AMD has clearly abandoned its performance per watt graphics dream. The company that used to make small and power efficient chips went for a different approach, a huge chip. As we reported earlier, Cayman in its Radeon HD 6970 variant has a total board power rating of under 300W.
AMD has a history of avoiding some industry standards such as TDP as they already tried to skip this standard when Barcelona core went hot. AMD is currently using three different TDP values and calls them PowerTune Maximum Power, Typical Gaming Power and, of course, Typical Idle Power. The PowerTune feature looks a lot similar to the gimmick that Nvidia used on its GTX 580 and it looks like this one lock the HD 6970 maximum TDP at 250W. Typical Gaming Power is set at 190W while the idle stands at 20W.
The card physically has one 6-pin and one 8-pin connector and it plans to introduce PowerTune technology where you will be able to add or substract 20W in order to save some power and the Amazon forests or add some maximal power for better overclocking.
Overall the best case scenario looks to be quite hot and much more than people are expecting, us included. AMD will officially launch Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 on the December 15th 5AM European Time and December 14th 08.00 PM California Pacific Standard Time and you will get this one confirmed.