A Radeon RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab) just went up for presale with a surprising cooler configuration. Bearing the Sapphire brand, the GPU doesn't feature any of the hallmarks of the third-party manufacturer. Instead, it looks the part of a reference liquid-cooled design with a compact 120mm radiator.
Take a look and you'll see a shroud and cooler that certainly looks the part of AMD's RDNA 2 reference design, which feels like evidence enough of its official AMD origins.
The card is listed on Kabum (opens in new tab) (good find, Videocardz (opens in new tab)), and is listed with availability starting June 30, 2021. It also further confirms images of such a card previously posted to Chinese forum Chiphell.
If that date stands to reason, it may be that this retailer has jumped the gun on a wider announcement from AMD for the liquid-cooled RX 6900 XT. It could also be that high demand and low supply will see this card release in select markets only, as the regular reference RX 6900 XT is gold dust today—rarer, probably.
The rest of the liquid-cooled RX 6900 XT specs check out: 5,120 cores, 80 CUs, 80 Ray Accelerators, and 16GB of GDDR6 memory at 16Gbps.
The liquid-cooled model does differ in a couple key areas, however. The GPU boost clock is reportedly 2,435MHz, which is 185MHz higher than the air-cooled reference card, and the memory is listed at 18Gbps.
The faster core clocks would likely come down to the improved cooling with a liquid-cooled card. Though the card may also feature the Navi 21 XTX GPU, a binned variant of the GPU found in the first run of RX 6900 XT graphics cards capable of running a little faster.
This isn't entirely new territory for AMD, at least. It has offered liquid-cooled reference cards in the past, such as the RX Vega 64 XTX, which was also available through AMD's partners, including Sapphire—it came with a similar radiator design from the RDNA 2 one before you today.
The liquid-cooled RX Vega 64 was an incredibly limited run, however, and effectively never returned once the first wave of cards sold out. It was also pretty pricey, and the same may be said for a liquid-cooled RX 6900 XT. The above listing prices it at 19,999 Brazilian Real—nearly $4,000 USD.
I've reached out to Sapphire for more information, but I fully suspect this card to be officially under wraps for a little while longer.