According to some information posted on the Chiphell forums, AMD could have possibly sent our engineering samples of their upcoming next generation flagship graphics card, the Radeon HD 9970. The card is question has been sent out to AiB partner Sapphire. If this turns out to be true we could see these cards as early as October!
Many people have speculated that AMD would skip the HD 8000 naming scheme and just go with the HD 9000 name. The recently released AMD FX processors are branded as FX-9000 so that could be the reasoning behind the HD 9000 naming scheme.
This new card would be part of AMD’s Volcanic Islands line of GPUs and would be based on a completely new architecture. This card may be significantly faster than the HD 7000 series, but unfortunately we do not have any technical information on the card except for what was leaked in the catalyst drivers a couple of weeks ago.
The AMD Radeon HD 7790 will feature the Hawii XT core based on the Volcanic Islands architecture, which will have much more performance over the GCN Southern Islands architecture. The card that was sent out to Sapphire has a 12 layer PCB. The AMD HD 9970 and the rest of the HD 9000 series cards are to reportedly be launching in October 2013 or Q4 of 2013. These cards will compete directly with NVIDIA’s 700 series cards.