sapphire, radeon hd 7970, sapphire radeon hd 7970 toxic edition 6gb, gddr5, gcn, amd, amd radeon, graphics card
Sapphire has announced what it claims is the world's fastest single-GPU graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970 TOXIC Edition 6GB.
As the name suggests, the board is based on AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GPU and packs a whopping 6GB of GDDR5 graphics memory - the first consumer-oriented single-GPU board to include such a large framebuffer. By default, the board runs at 1050MHz standard or 1100MHz in dynamic boost mode; press the Lethal Boost Button, however, and the board overclocks to 1100MHz standard and 1200MHz in dynamic boost mode, with the memory jumping from 6GHz effective to 6.4GHz effective.
Sapphire claims that the board is rock-solid stable at these speeds, thanks largely to a new power control system exclusively developed by the company. Dubbed the Lethal Power Suite, the package includes a new eight-phase power design for the GPU VDDC, with an additional phase each for the VDDCI and MVDD, along with double-sided Black Diamond Choke and DirectFET technology on a 12-layer PCB. The Black Diamond Choke, in particular, is key the card's overclocking potential: in testing, Sapphire claims to have reduced the power design circuitry temperature by 40 degrees Celsius compared to AMD's reference design.
To help keep things even cooler, Sapphire has redesigned its Vapor-X cooling system, modifying the vapour chamber specifically for the Radeon HD 7970 TOXIC Edition 6GB. Heat is carried away from the board through two 8mm and two 6mm heatpipes and dispersed through a large heatsink thanks to two 90mm fans with aerofoil blades and dust-repelling bearings. For even more peace of mind during overclocking beyond the 1200MHz level, the board also includes an LED which warns of high temperature levels.
If you've after an ultra-fast single-GPU board, the Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 TOXIC EDition 6GB is certainly that - but with US pricing set at $680 (around £434 excluding taxes) and UK pricing yet to be confirmed, you can expect to pay for the privilege.