A significant amount of engineering went into not only designing the Radeon HD 6990 PCB, but its cooling solution as well.
AMD made as much of the board and its component layout as symmetrical as possible. The regulators are located in the center of the board, with GPUs and their associated memory on either side. The board also uses a newer-generation of programmable Volterra regulators, which are more efficient than previous generations and offer higher current capacity relative to the previous solutions used by AMD. These new regulators also reportedly operate at lower temperatures and consume less power as well.
To keep everything on the card cooled, AMD employs a pair of vapor chambers with a centrally located blower. The vapor chambers are mounted to the GPUs, and are surrounded by an additional heat plate that cools the regulators and on-board RAM. AMD also uses a phase-change thermal interface material that’s reportedly offers up to 8% better performance than what AMD has used previously.
To coincide with the launch of the Radeon HD 6990, AMD is also announcing some new features and changes to the Catalyst software suite. In addition to adding support for 5x1 portrait Eyefinity configurations, starting with Catalyst 11.4, AMD will be incorporating a driver update notification system and a revamped Eyefinity user interface, with a task-based display management system. AMD will also be unveiling a new branding scheme to help better identify the graphics configuration in a system. In APU equipped systems, the drivers will be branded “AMD Vision Engine Control Center”, in workstations “AMD Catalyst Pro Control Center” and the “Catalyst Control Center” on desktop and gaming systems.