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Sapphire HD7990 QuadFireX Review


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The Sapphire HD7990 box artwork features a monochrome version of their futuristic Army girl beside a large ‘6GB GDDR5’ graphic. There are eight games given away with this graphics card, Crysis 3, BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.
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Sapphire bundle a software disc, the code card for the 8 games, and a plethora of video converter cables and a Crossfire cable.
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The Sapphire HD7990 is identical to the AMD HD7990 reference card, although the two outside fans have ‘Sapphire’ branded stickers on them. The cooler is still a black plastic shell with three large fans which take up the full length of the PCB. The rear of the card has a backplate in place for protection and to help enhance memory cooling.
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The Sapphire HD7990 takes power from two 8 pin power connectors, as we would expect.
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The card is Crossfire capable, and we will be looking at this later in the review. There is also a dual bios switch close to the Crossfire connector.
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The HD7990 has a single dual link DVI output, and 4 additional mini Displayport connectors. It can support all five output connectors simultaneously, if you want to power five monitors.

The images below are taken from our previous launch article – the cards are identical, so we didn’t feel the need to disassemble the Sapphire version.

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The rear backplate is used to cool some of the GDDR5 memory, additionally it offers protection against damage. The backplate has little thermal pads in place to transfer heat from the memory chips on the PCB.
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Above, the main cooler, after disconnection from the PCB. There are two copper cores in place to cool each GPU core, placed on either side of the PCB. If you want to see close up pictures of the PCB, then make sure to visit the high resolution gallery on the next page.
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As the images above show, the AMD HD7990 Malta cooler is designed in ‘two halves’, with a dedicated heatsink for each core. Each heatsink has four thick copper heatpipes which run into the aluminum fins to dissapate the heat. The three fans are placed above the heatsinks and ensure adequate cool air circulates.

Two of the fans are doubled up into a single fan header, and the other fan is connected to a header on the other side of the PCB.

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A GPUz screenshot of the Sapphire HD7990 running the latest Catalyst 13.5 Beta 2 drivers. We discussed the hardware configuration in detail on the last page.

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