Update - 3:18PM EST- We've updated this page to include AMD's GPU14 Tech Day Live Stream. Slide down to the bottom of this post to catch it live!
We’re attending AMD’s GPU14 Tech Day Event currently taking place in Hawaii and have some interesting pictures to show you. During a dinner event last night at the Missouri Battleship Museum (which is freakin’ awesome BTW), AMD’s Matt Skynner and Chris Hook quickly took turns holding up a graphics card for the audience, which turned out to be the upcoming Radeon R9 290X.
We don’t have any specifications or new features to disclose just yet, but there is quite a bit we can speculate about in the pics. First off, you’ll notice the new fan shroud design. There are large ducts cut into the shroud, which appear to be designed to allow more air to get to the fan when two cards are sandwiched together in a CrossFire configuration. We’re not sure how well the design works, but the Radeon HD 6000 and 7000 series were mostly flat (save for the slope at the end of 7000 series cards), which made it tough for air to squeeze in between two cards placed in adjacent slots. In theory, the ducts should help alleviate that problem.
You can also make out the display output configuration on the card. Looking at the pics, it appears that the Radeon R9 290X sports a pair of DVI outputs, a full-sized DisplayPort output, and an HDMI output. Although this is unconfirmed at the moment, we think it’s pretty safe to assume that all of those outputs can be utilized at once for quad-monitor Eyefinity setups.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about these pictures is what’s missing. The more astute observers out there may notice that there are no CrossFire connectors on the card. Does that mean AMD is abandoning multi-GPU support? Hardly. We’re speculating here, but based on these pics and scuttlebutt at the event, it’s clear that AMD has enabled bridge-less CrossFire, at least with the R9 290X, which most likely leverages the bandwidth of PCI Express for inter-card communications in a multi-GPU setup.
There’s a lot more coming from AMD during their Live Stream, which is starting now. In a couple of hours, we should all know a lot more about AMD’s plans moving forward on both the hardware and software fronts. Stay tuned to HotHardware for all the juicy deets as we get them.