PCB Design and Functionality
The card looks stylish and attractive. The black glossy casing of its cooler is decorated with a chrome-like plastic stripe and a picture of the same mysterious figure.
The round “lock” near the mounting bracket is just a plastic dummy, but it is sure to attract your friends’ curiosity. There is no metallic cover on the reverse side of the card. We noticed in our earlier reviews that it only worsened the cooling of Radeon HD 6950/5970 cards, so it's good that Sapphire has got rid of it.
The Radeon HD 6950 2GB Toxic Edition is equipped with a classic selection of five outputs: two DVIs, two mini-DisplayPorts, and one HDMI. There are as many as two vent grids in the card's mounting bracket for exhausting the hot air out of the system case:
The manufacturer obviously tried to increase cooling efficiency and lower the cooler's noise. Sapphire gets more points from us for such a meticulous attention to detail.
The card has power connectors, two CrossFireX connectors and a BIOS switch in their standard locations.
One of the distinguishing features of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition is that it has one 6-pin and one 8-pin connector like a Radeon HD 6970, but not two 6-pin power connectors as the reference Radeon HD 6950. This must be due to its increased clock rates. Sapphire just wanted to make the card stable, especially if the user tries to overclock it further.
The PCB seems to be but slightly different from the reference one:
However, it is in the power circuit of the card that we discover its main feature. It is a digital voltage management module based on high-quality components:
The 8-phase power circuit is based on a CHiL Semiconductor CHL82289 controller. We couldn’t find any information about it.
The Cayman chip installed on our sample of the card was manufactured on the 5th week of 2011.
It has the standard Radeon HD 6950 configuration with 1408 unified shader processors, 88 texture-mapping units, and 32 raster operators. The GPU clock rate is increased on the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition and equals that of the reference Radeon HD 6970, i.e. 880 MHz (at a voltage of 1.176 volts). It is reduced to 250 MHz at a voltage of 0.9 volts in 2D mode.
The graphics card is equipped with 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory in FCFBGA chips from Hynix Semiconductor located on the face side of the PCB.
These H5GQ2H24MFR T2C chips have a default voltage of 1.5 volts and a rated frequency of 5000 MHz. Despite that, the Sapphire card has a memory frequency of 5200 MHz, which is 4% higher than that of the reference Radeon HD 6950. The memory clock rate is lowered to 600 MHz in 2D mode. The memory bus is 256 bits wide.
The GPU-Z utility has the following to report about the Toxic card from Sapphire: