Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 breaks ranks

We’ve been told the end of January will bring with it the launch of several new graphics cards from the AMD camp, based on the Pro derivative of the Tahiti chip. It seems to be true, considering the leaky pics of a stealth Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 that made it onto the Guru 3D forums.

First launches are usually reference designs, but it doesn’t seem to be the case with this one. According to asder00, the poster, the upcoming Sapphire graphics card (named the ‘Sapphire HD7950 3G GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/DVI-I/DUAL MINI DP OC version’) is set to be released a week from now and sports a dual-fan-five-heatpipe design instead of the redesigned AMD stock cooling system.

Based on the Tahiti Pro chip, this particular HD 7950 will feature 3GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit memory bus, just like it’s big brother the HD 7970 (Tahiti XT). The HD 7950 will occupy the slot just below AMD’s current champion, the HD 7970, but carries 1792 vs 2048 “stream processors”. Reference specs also list it as having lower clock and memory rates but that could be a moot point if we consider that there’s nothing stock about the card.

The post shows the card and box shots, in good enough quality to verify some of its features, as well as some specs, although not a single one shows the power connectors for the PCIe power adaptors. You can also find a bevvy of display connectors just like the name says: DVI-I, HDMI and dual mini DP, which will earn you some Eyefinity gaming ability if you need it.

The card, it seems, will be factory overclocked which seems to be further supported by the non-reference cooling system used.

Information about pricing is, obviously, lacking, but we are expecting a sub-£400 price tag on the card.