In its GDC press-briefing on Tuesday, AMD previewed the reference-design Radeon HD 7990 dual-GPU graphics card. The company dragged its feet over such a product throughout 2012, and allowed its AIB partners to launch graphics cards with their own designs. Among the two that made it to the market were a PCS+ board by TUL, sold under the PowerColor, VTX3D, and Club3D brands, and the ASUS ROG ARES II. While those cards had different company codename, "New Zealand," the new HD 7990 is being referred to internally, as "Malta."
AMD's belated move to launch the Radeon HD 7990 reference design could reiterate the company's long-haul strategy with the Radeon HD 7000 series, which could sail the company through the crucial Summer sales season, over to Q4 2013, when the company is expected to launch its next GPU generation. AMD's reference design HD 7990 enjoys an edge over current market offerings: dual-slot thickness. It uses three 90 mm fans to cool a complex heatsink cooling the two GPUs, the bridge chip, and the VRM to feed them all. AMD didn't speak much about the card, but mentioned that its triple-fan approach is paying dividends. "It's whisper quiet," commented Matt Skynner, general manager of AMD's graphics business unit.