First of all, the launch date for the cards is next Tuesday, March 8th, but that is pretty well known by now. The other bit is that when we said the cards would be below 300W yesterday, we were wrong. AMD is going to blow through that barrier, but not nearly as badly as the GTX590 according to some Nvidia AIBs.
The short story is that the base card has two 8-pin PCIe power connectors and a TDP of 375W. Unless you flip the BIOS switch, the first one, not the hidden second one. With the switch pointing to the second BIOS, it will speed up the card, a lot, and put the TDP at 450W. This is over the 300W PCIe limit by the proverbial ‘wee bit’, but isn’t a problem for any specific card. Once one company goes over that limit though, the floodgates open, and any hope of efficiency for the industry becomes a mere fading memory.
That brings us to the rumor, the same old tired and still utterly wrong bit about the PowerTune slider voiding the warranty is coming around again, this time in the form of the second BIOS switch. It goes like this, if you use the ‘EZ-Bake(TM)(R)(C)(P)’ BIOS setting, you void the warranty. Just like the older variant, it isn’t true.
When asked, one of the AIBs showing the card said, “That’s bollocks”. When asked for a longer explanation because SemiAccurate, being a family oriented site, can’t say bollocks in print, he replied, “Why would using something the way it was designed void the warranty? It is complete Bollocks”. There you have it. S|A
Update: 4 March 2011, embargo’d till March 8th.