Earlier this month we saw a website say at Cebit that they were looking at the Sapphire HD 5990. This information sent everyone into a bit of a spin thinking that this was ATIs answer to Fermi; a model that isn’t yet realised and been plagued with issues for months. That’s not to say it won’t be good but we’re not all that sure ATI have anything to worry about.

The HD 5970 4GB version from Sapphire is a real model, it’s coming. It’s not going to be called the HD 5990 though. The two big differences in this 4GB version and the 2GB one is that we’ll see double the amount of memory and an overclock on the card.

The 4GB version of the model should be limited to only a few AIBs due to only a limited amount of high clocking cores being available.

The HD 5970 4GB is essentially a HD 5970 with double the amount of memory and handpicked cores. While the extra memory won’t do heaps for overall performance the largest jump is going to come from the increased clock speeds.

At the moment we know of two companies that are going to offer the card, the first is Sapphire who at the moment don’t have a name for the card it seems and the other is XFX who are calling it the HD 5970 Black Edition Limited.

This product isn’t going to be a Fermi killer or anything like that because it’s nothing all that new. I think what you’ll find this model is really doing for ATI is making sure they get coverage over what is going to be a very green second half of March.

Calling the HD 5970 4GB the HD 5990 wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do because ATI would be giving people the impression that the new model is going to offer something new when it’s not. Considering NVIDIA have done this a number of times in the past and it has never been welcomed with open arms we’d be surprised if ATI tried to follow the same path.