AS CLOSELY AS AMD has guarded its 6900 series graphics cards it wasn’t entirely unexpected that pictures of cards would start to leak ahead of the launch once products started to ship into retail and that’s exactly what has happened now. Some benchmarks have also leaked, but due to the fact that the drivers supplied with the cards aren’t the final drivers, none of the current benchmarks should be taken as gospel.
Currently it seems like most of the leaks are out of China, either pictures snapped in various shops which appear to have stacks of boards, or from online auction sites where unscrupulous sellers are trying to make a quick buck or two by selling cards that shouldn’t be available quite yet. Yet thanks to these helpful individuals we’re getting something of a sneak peak of things to come which we’re not going to be complaining too loudly about.
On industrious seller on Chinese online auction site Taobao.com even stripped the heatsink of a card to give us an idea of what’s under the covers so to say. Nothing all that unexpected showed up, as the 6900 cards are still using a 256-bit memory interface and the physical chip isn’t much larger than AMD’s previous generation of high-end GPUs. AMD has stuck with a digital PWM design and has gone for a 6+1+1+1 layout that is powered by an eight and a six pin power connector. There are no memory chips on the rear of the PCB, so in the case of 2GB cards, AMD would be using higher density memory chips rather than simply just add more of them. Oh and the 6900 retains the two CrossFire connectors, unlike the 6800 series which only has one.
Both the 6970 and 6950 should come in a 2GB version, of at a price premium over the 1GB version. Speaking of price, we’re hearing that AMD has priced its new cards very competitively to say the least and we might just be in for a little bit of a price war, not that it’s going to make us sad or anything. High-end graphics cards have been over priced for quite some time, so we’re actually welcoming the competition in the market, as it makes products more affordable for consumers. We can’t of course reveal any of the figures we’ve heard, as that’d get us in trouble, but at least the good news is that the long wait is just about over.S|A
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