The Card and Features
With a combination of Sapphire and AMD board pictures along with the launch press kits, we're able to give you a great idea and picture of what exactly the HD 6990 4GB offers.
The overall card design is very similar to the previous generation HD 6000 series and even the series prior with that blower fan that pushes air out the back of the card. The design on the card here is a little different, though, as the fan is moved to the middle.
Sapphire has placed their own sticker on the card and for the moment that's the only difference we'll see from companies. We're sure it's not going take long for companies to really begin to mix it up, though.
Considering the 450 Watt quoted number from the card, one of the earlier slides in the launch deck of the new model indeed lets us know just how you cool a card that draws so much power and offers so much power.
As you can see above, they've opted for a "Dual Vapor Chamber" setup over the top of each GPU with the "Central Blower" in the middle of the card. AMD has also opted for a higher quality thermal paste or TIM that they quote offers "8% Better thermal performance".
Of course, we've also got the enclosed shroud and same form factor of the HD 5970 that we've seen in the past. Clearly this works for AMD, so the decision to offer any changes in that particular area was unnecessary.
While we don't have a direct shot of the power setup, we do have the information and we can also clearly see it on the naked picture provided by AMD. We've got two 8-Pin PCI-E power connectors and you can see in the above picture that they're actually separated slightly and not next to each other like we normally would see.
While also looking across the top of the card, we can see there's only a single CrossFire connector. This isn't a surprise since we can only achieve up to a four GPU setup which only requires two cards in this case thanks to the dual GPU nature of the HD 6990.
From the actual card perspective, one of the other big important features is the connectivity on offer. What AMD has opted for is a single Dual-Link DVI connector and four Mini DisplayPort connectors. While this might be a concern for some, we did mention that a large number of Mini DP connectors are included in the bundle, so most users shouldn't run into any problems with connecting their monitor or monitors.
What the design also does is give us the ability to have a full slot for exhaust, something we haven't seen in a while from these higher end cards due to the large amount of connectors. Since the design of the cooler pushes hot air out the back of the card, the more exhaust room means more heat can escape. It's the little things that will help keep the card running cooler.