Rumours started circulating last week that a 1GB version of the Radeon HD 6950 might be making its way to retailers some time soon. Now, though, HIS - one of AMD's major AIB partners - has posted a product page for the new card on its website, all but confirming that the cut-back card is on its way.
Although there are a few differences here and there, it looks like this will be a mostly stock board. The 1,408 shaders will be clocked at a standard 800MHz, while the frame buffer will come with the usual 5,000MHz frequency. However, the custom cooler should provide some extra overclocking headroom - or at least quieter operation at stock speeds.
The only other thing worth noting is that the dual-BIOS switch found on the first run of cards seems to have gone missing. We saw a few second run HD 6950s at CES from other manufacturers that also lacked this feature, meaning that it might be disappearing from AMD's reference design.
All of the initial 6900-series cards were based on the exact same PCB, with only the power connectors and the BIOS to differentiate them. Now that manufacturing on the cards is up to speed, AMD may have decided to reserve the twin BIOS for the more enthusiast-focussed HD 6970s.
Some sources also claim that the PCB is smaller than the reference design, but the stats on the HIS product page indicate that the boards share the same dimensions.
Unfortunately, there are no details on pricing or availability, but we wouldn't be surprised to see this tweaked card pop up at retail around the same time that NVIDIA launches its GTX 560 in an attempt to try and steal some of its thunder. As before, our best guess on pricing for the 1GB HD 6950 would be somewhere just north of the £200 mark.