With the first round of third-party AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT cards now on the way, we caught wind that Asus spearheaded the movement with the custom, factory-overclocked TUF Gaming RX 6900 XT GPU. A sneaky move from Asus, having crept the design out the day before AMD's reference cards were set to go on sale.
This pioneer AIB card is based on the 6000-series flagship model, the AMD RX 6900 XT—affectionately known as 'Big Navi'—will be powered by dual 8-pin connectors, and features a massive, enhanced triple-fan and triple-slot cooling solution to keep the fully custom PCB design from running hot. Clock speeds are TBD at this point, but we're expecting these to boast something in super-excess of the reference cards 2,250MHz max recommended boost clock.
Joining the Asus TUF Gaming GPU in the Big Navi AIB lineup, comes the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT Phantom Gaming D. The Phantom Big D (please let this catch on) not only features a wider and longer, fully custom PCB, it also necessitates triple 8-pin power connectors, and a beastly aluminum heatsink cooling solution with nine heat pipes to boot.
Following this, ASRock pulled out a non-public version of the Phantom Gaming D, with a further enhanced radiator and PCB materials. Again, the actual specs for both the public and non-public cards are nebulous at the moment, and are apparently "subject to change without notice," not that there are any to speak of yet. Still, it's fair to say that the 3x8-pin power connectors point to some thirsty clock numbers or overclocking potential—that which there is potentially plenty of with the binned Navi 21 GPU at this card's core.
Both the Asus TUF Gaming and ASRock Phantom Gaming D RX 6900 XTs are expected to come in at way over the reference RX 6900 XT's $999 MSRP. And with more third party manufactured Navi 21 cards on the way, you can look forward to a varied lineup of these top-end AMD cards slowly rolling out.
Still, don't expect to be able to get hold of any for a good few months yet, even if we do see a fair few designs coming our way. The GPU stock landscape is a barren waste at current, but there's no harm in looking.