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AMD’s new dual-GPU flagship appears in public

AMD’s long-anticipated new flagship graphics card has been finally showed to public at a recent event held in Taiwan

AMD’s long-anticipated new flagship graphics card has been finally showed to public at a recent event held in Taiwan. Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s GPU division, teases us with some card to look like Radeon HD 6990, codename Antilles, that is made using 40nm process logic and hold two Cayman GPUs.

Judging from the outlook, the card is amount the same length as ATI Radeon HD 5970, previous dual-core monster. But the newbie is super power-hungry and requires two 8-pin power power connectors to feed it well. (note, Radeon HD 5970 needed one 6-pin and one 8-pin). This provides a massive of 375W! (including PCI-Express 2.0 slot), but should be reduced to around 300W to fit power limits set for graphics cards. Again, Radeon HD 5970 has TDP of 294W.

Te overall design looks familiar to HD 6800, HD 6900 series cards, with a dual-slot cooling system. However, the traditional fan located to the right of the card is absent. It is likely that the fan was moved to center (covered by Matt’s palm) for better of two GPUs. Other rumors say the card will have cylindrical blower to draw air from the rear portion of the cooler and circulate through the complex vapor-chamber enhanced heatsink inside. In addition, HD 6990 features backplate to cool components located on the other side of card’s PCB and one CFX header for QUAD-GPU Crossfire-X configuration.

The details of performance configuration are unknown, however, based on info we already know about Cayman architecture, we can expect the card to 4GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory over 2×256-bit memory bus. Power restrictions will definitely affect the number of Shader/ROPs/TMUs and Core/Memory clocks. Most likely we will see a standard for current HD 6000 line-up set of output connectors that includes Dual-link DVI, HDMI and mini-Display ports. However, this can subject to change too.

According to the official AMD roadmap, the new flagship should see the light in Q1 2011. Latest news state a more precise date — the beginning of February, right after Chinese New Year holidays.

Post updated on 26/01/11

More pictures have arrived from recent Asia Pacific Fusion Tech Day gathering revealing more details of this beast.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 main view
So this confirms our suggestion upon cooler placement and shatter the rumor about cylindrical blower under the housing.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 back view
Next we see the card, uses one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connector to provide enough energy for both cores, with a maximum power that can be drawn by this card set at 300 Watts. However, the card is said to be and engineering sample, meaning this design feature is subject to change.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 main view
The last photo demonstrates a set of display connectors supporting AMD’s multi-display and 3D technologies. Instead of Dual-DVI, two mini Display ports and one HDMI port, HD 6990 comes with one DVI, and four mini Display ports. We assume that this was done to increase the amount of hot air blown through a PCI bracket which now has more ventilation area than we saw in earlier Barts and Cayman based solutions.

The price details are kept hidden, while the release date is set to February, however, don’t get surprised if it is pushed to March or even further.

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