From 7900GX2 to 7950GX2
We had a look at the 7900GX2 last month which was just an introduction to Quad SLI, reserved only for the use of system builders such as Dell. There were a few flaws with the 7900GX2 - the placement of the connector between the cards reduced airflow, they were way too long and performance for Quad SLI just wasn't 100% there - hence the reason this product was not set loose in the retail market.
Now most of the issues have been fixed. For starters, in the picture below, you can see three cards - the 7800GTX from BFG, the 7950GX2 from XFX and the 7900GX2 from Gigabyte (in that order). You can clearly see that the 7950GX2 has been shaved down to come in at a total length of 9 inches, only a little longer than the GeForce 7800GTX. This is much more case friendly considering Gigabyte had to hack even their Aurora case to get the original 7900GX2 into the system.
The connection between the two cards is the same as the previous GX2 cards from Gigabyte although the placement is much better.
We can see though in the below image that it goes straight and doesn't block any air from escaping the system. These cards get hot, there is no doubt about that - the way the connector has been placed on the 7950GX2 is fantastic.
We also find that the SLI connection between two cards for Quad SLI has changed. nVidia has opted for one connector between the sets of cards compared to an SLI connector found on each card like we saw with the older 7900GX2 series.
Lastly one of the other main differences is that we find there is only a single 6-pin PCI Express power connector unlike the old 7900GX2 which required two.
Physically there have been a few changes which make the 7950GX2 a much more feasible Quad SLI solution. Between the length shortening, the reduction of power connectors and the better placement of the internal SLI connector, the 7950GX2 is a much more end-user friendly product.