AMD reference cards
Everyone only seems to carry cards from 3rd party vendors, does anyone know where to get AMD reference cards?
I'm talking about the red/black ones with the squirrel cage blower that are actually manufactured by AMD.
To be specific, I'm looking for either a HD7950 or and HD7870...
What you are talking about is called a reference board design. They are actually manufactured by the vendors (board partners) (ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, etc) based on AMD's design. They are usually sold at the beginning of a specific chip's lifespan. Eventually, the board partners will finalize their own PCB and cooler design, and will start phasing out the reference designs until none are available.
You're best bet at this point, if you really want a reference design (usually for watercooling, or cases with poor airflow) is to look for a used card in the BST.
Sorry for the late reply, been too busy to respond lately...
I am aware that 3rd party vendors manufacturers produce cards using the reference design.
However, I'm looking for an actual AMD branded card(not just the board).
The reference cards are the ones that have the AMD/radeon sticker on the blower hub.
Does anyone know anywhere that sells them?
Can't do it. Really, the only cards that are branded AMD are engineering samples that are sent to reviewers upon release of a model of card, and AFAIK they are not allowed to sell them. The consumer has no choice but to purchase a card from a 3rd party vendor.
i guess you could try to contact a hardware reviewer and ask about getting it from them, but remember its a guess. also you can contact AMD about it as well. Ive been looking into ref models myself and its pretty hard to find them after the first couple weeks. Other than that, you will have to get a 3rd party's card or their OEM? design.
I contacted AMD recently about buying reference cards / engineering samples. They're apparently out of them, so no dice =(. Maybe you'll have better luck if you contact them.
In terms of buying a reference card from retail, MemoryExpress sells an HIS 7970 for $399 that looks like it may be one.
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