eVGA e-GeForce 7950 GX2 Black Pearl
So fresh out of eVGA's labs that they haven't even finalised the packaging yet, the samples sent over were 'white box' through and through, giving us what you'll get should you buy, but without any of the presentation fanfare. Sorry we therefore can't show you the box and whatnot, but what's inside is what really matters anyway.
eVGA ship the same basics as they did with the 7800 GTX 512 version, in terms of most of the watercooling extras you need to build it up, although the radiator appears slightly fatter than I remember, presumably to better cope with the heat from two GX2s in a single loop. We wrote a bit about setting things up and using the cooling hardware here, so we won't go over that again in detail, although we will chat about GX2 SLI integratation specifics shortly.
First though, the board itself.
You can see how there are two blocks, one for each GPU on their separate PCB slices, joined by a conduit that sticks out into any chassis you'll integrate one (or two) of them into. The conduit block and its barbs protrude up by two slots, making each one four slots side in total. Yowzers, and we'll get back to that in a bit.
The eagle eyed among you will notice that, given the orientation of the conduit block, there's no shipping mainboard out there with the three slots in between PEG16X ones that'll take two e-GeForce 7950 GX2 Black Pearls as they stand. Good job the user is free to unscrew the conduit block and rotate it, so the barbs hang below the board rather than stick up above it. That's crucial to making two fit in a regular SLI mainboard.
Side on you see the GPU sandwich and blocks therein. The cooling hardware makes the board fairly heavy -- over a kilo each by our reckoning -- so be sure and retain it to your chassis as best you can. As for the extra cooling hardware, here's what you get (with water additive and tubing not shown).
eVGA clock the Black Pearl GX2 at 600/700, with the 600MHz applying across all clock domains for all GPUs. 700MHz memory clock gives each chip 44.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth. Which is a lot.
Let's chat integration specifics for DIY Quad SLI, using the Black Pearls as our subjects.