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XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition Limited 4GB in CrossFire X Review

The cards are supplied inside a ‘P90' shaped gun casing. A very creative idea from XFX and one we have never seen attempted before.

A lever is pulled on the underside which allows the shell to be opened. The XFX HD5970 BE LE 4GB is encased inside an antistatic bag with foam inserts on 3 of the sides.

Both cards removed from their P90 shipping containers.

Immediately the weight is noticeable, these are heavy duty graphics cards. The cooler is finished in a beautiful off black granite colour with intense red fan in the middle.

The fan looks great against the black shroud and for some reason we couldn't help thinking about the Ducati Senna Edition when we looked at this card. The fan glows red when it is powered up.

Who says video cards can't be works of art?

31 centimeters is hard to picture in your mind, so here is one of the cards next to an eVGA superclocked GTX460. Yes, its huge.

Removing the cooler is a straightforward, if slightly long process. Screws need to be removed at the rear of the card so we can get access to screws on the PCB. This PCB is 12 inches long and we can immediately see that the design is different to the reference ATI design – the GPU cores are slightly further apart. Each of the heatsinks on the cooler is a copper design which is connected to three copper heatpipes for a high level of heat removal.

Each of the limited edition cards has six mini displayport connectors as can be seen on the images above and these can work in conjunction with the supplied adapters to connect to a wealth of panels. for Eyefinity. The cards take 2 x 8 pin power connectors each which we had expected. They can obviously be hooked together for a CrossfireX configuration, which we will be doing today.

Above, GPUZ reporting a single card, then a dual card in our system (Crossfire X). The astute among you will notice that XFX have not only changed the appearance of the cards, but also the specifications. There are two 40nm Cypress cores with 1600 unifed shaders and 32 ROPS, but the core speed has been increased from 725mhz to 850mhz. This is a hell of an increase over the reference HD5970 design. The memory has also doubled, from 1GB for each core, to 2GB – totaling 4GB. XFX are using high grade Hynix chips which are clocked to 1200mhz, rather than 1000mhz. Support is true to the reference design HD5970 meaning 7.1 audio output, DX11, Shader Model 5.0, DirectCompute 5.0 and PCI Express 2.1.

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