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Friday, 27 August 2010 17:16

XFX HD 5970 4GB Black Edition previewed

Written by Sanjin Rados

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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 13:30
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