Radeon HD 5970: Hemlock in the nude
Ati's Radeon HD 5970 (codename Hemlock) was tested a week ago. Now PC Games Hardware presents some more exclusive pictures showing the bare card.
On November 18, 2009 AMD launched the Radeon HD 5970, which is the fastest graphics card of the HD 5000 series. Since it is quite interesting to see what a card looks like under the hood, especially if it's a dual GPU design, we stripped the 5970 and took some pictures of the bare board.
Radeon HD 5970: Specification
The HD 5970 is equipped with two fully-fledged Cypress chips as they are used on the Radeon HD 5870. But they are running at the frequencies of the HD 5850 only: 725/2000 MHz (GPU/VRAM). In theory 1,600 Shader ALUs, 160 Texture Units and 64 ROPs are available. But since the Crossfire technology used does not scale to the full extend, the performance is not doubled. The communication between the two chips on the board is controlled with a bridge chip from PLX. It is placed in the middle and is compatible to PCI Express 2.1. Thus the graphics chips have access to the full bandwidth.
Radeon HD 5970: Board and cooling
With 30.9 centimeters the Radeon HD 5970 is one of the longest graphics cards ever. But the length is not caused by the board but by the plastic cover of the cooler - the PCB is "only” 29.3 centimeters long. The two graphics chips are placed on the same side of the PCB, surrounded by 1 GiByte GDDR5 video memory each. Like on all versions of the HD 5000 series the memory comes from Hynix's TC2 selection which is specified up to 2,500 MHz (0.4 nanoseconds access time).
One interesting thing, besides the free braze points for the second 8-pin power connector, is the "hole” in the voltage supply on the right side of the second GPU: There is enough space for an additional phase. With those options AMD apparently keeps prepared for future OC versions of the card, which need a better power supply. The cooler has a optically unobtrusive, but capable Vapor chamber with welded on aluminum fins. According to AMD the solution can deal with a waste heat of up to 400 watt. Fresh air is supplied by the same radial fan with 0.8 ampere known from the HD 5800 cards. A thick baseplate and a metal backplate cover GPUs, memory, VRMs and the bridge chip.
If you would like to know more about the Radeon HD 5970, take a look at our review of the dual GPU card.
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