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Friday, 27 August 2010 17:16

XFX HD 5970 4GB Black Edition previewed

Written by Sanjin Rados

Preview: Deadlier than a P90

We’ve heard rumors of XFX’s HD 5970 4GB card some time ago and we’ve been trying to land a sample since March. Today is finally the day, we’ve received the biggest graphics card package ever, as you can see from the picture below. This is an XFX HD 5970 4G Black Edition package compared to a 15-inch laptop box.


The large cardboard package hides the bag that holds the card, so you can use the bag at LAN parties or however you might see fit. In fact, the bag has designated spots for two keyboards and two mice, with two side pockets that can also hold plenty of stuff.





All XFX HD 5970 4GB cards feature special serial numbers and come in a specially designed plastic housing, which looks like FN’s P-90 gun.



Obviously, we’re looking at a limited edition card, so the pricing will definitely throw off bargain hunters, but make no mistake – we’re talking about a true workhorse. For US$1000, you’ll get an HD 5970 4GB with six video outs, meaning Eyefinity 6.

With all this, it’s still a dual slot card rather than a three slot monster. XFX’s card is the same length as the reference card, 30.8cm.
As you can see from the photos, the cooler is different and should do a much better job in cooling its two Cypress XT cores. The distance between the cores is bigger than on the reference PCB and the fan is placed at the center rather than the end of the card.

In case you’ve forgotten, the Radeon HD 5870 card is a single GPU card (RV870 a.k.a. Cypress XT), whereas Radeon HD 5970 is dual-GPU a card (2x RV870 at lower clocks, a.k.a. Hemlock). Individually, each HD 5970 GPU packs 1600 stream processors, 80 texture units, 32 ROPs and 1GB of GDDR5 memory but as the name states XFX’s HD 5970 4GB card comes with 2GB per GPU.


The reference HD 5970 2GB card comes with a 725MHz GPU and 1000MHz memory, but XFX ended up pushing the GPU to 850MHz and memory to 1200MHz. It’s well worth noting that XFX hand-picked each and every GPU that ends up on these cards, which smells of serious overclocking potential.

Overclock and 4GB of memory spell higher consumption so the card is powered via two 8-pin connectors, unlike the reference card that uses 6-pin and 8-pin connectors.

If you check out the results below, you’ll find that XFX’s HD 5970 4GB is clearly faster than a reference HD 5970 by a significant margin. As far as loudness goes, we must admit we’ve been expecting a quieter card. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not too loud, but it’s loud enough to significantly contribute to a noisy case. Stay tuned as we’ll have a full review soon.







Last modified on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 13:30
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+7 #1 Stewox 2010-08-27 18:55
+27 #2 PHiZiK 2010-08-27 19:42
This takes nerdiness to a whole other level
+26 #3 kapeeteeleest_peeg 2010-08-27 20:28
£1k for this? & HD6870/6970 in 2-4 months... think I'll just wait & get faster for cheaper...
+4 #4 B0GiE-uk- 2010-08-27 21:29
I just bought an Asus EAH 5870 from ebay for £210. It clocks stable at 950 Mhz on the core, and 1300 Mhz on the memory.

If I bought another one and put it in Crossfire it would beat the XFX.

All for £420, + or - a few quid.

+31 #5 Bl0bb3r 2010-08-27 22:06
This is a collector's card, not a cheap-ass-clueless-joe card!
+19 #6 deadspeedv 2010-08-28 03:24
Actually Bogie your setup would still only have 1GB memory per GPU, plus you overclocked your cards while comparing it to the factory clocks of this beast. That doesn't mean this thing cant be overclocked higher then your cards as well.

Plus as Blobber said this is more of a collectors cards. Designed more to piss Nvidia off for dropping XFX as a preferred wholesaler all because they starting selling ATi cards as well, which I have to admit sounds really bitchy to me.
+3 #7 peixepf 2010-08-29 06:35
Bl0bb3r, this is the most funny comment i ever read in IT sites. And i´m brazilian, so it´s not easy to understand these expressions you american guys use. But your coment made me almost piss here, haha. L-O-L !!!
-4 #8 B0GiE-uk- 2010-08-29 10:40
@ Deadspeedv, if you read some reviews on the HD 5870 series you will find that the extra GB of memory does not count for anything on framerates.
I will concede however that the XFX card can be overclocked. As to how much is debatable, I'm pretty sure that the factory clocks are pretty close to the limit due to cooling the card.

I still believe that two overclocked 5870's with 950 Mhz on the core would beat the XFX even with only 2GB of GDDR.

I'm not knocking the XFX, its a cool card. Personally I would not pay a £1000 for it unless I lose my marbles!
+2 #9 Bl0bb3r 2010-08-29 16:11
@peixepf, I'm Eastern European.

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