AMD Radeon HD 6990 on show at CeBIT

AMD's upcoming dual-GPU monster card, the Radeon HD 6990, is no secret - and while the company is holding fire on an official announcement, it's a common sight at hardware partners' stands here in Hannover.

With pretty much every major AMD graphics partner present at the event, it would have been strange for the Radeon HD 6990 - which the company has already shown off in the form of official press shots, which sadly didn't include technical specifications - to not be present.

Both MSI and Sapphire were showing test rigs running the Radeon HD 6990, which is an even bigger board than the press photography suggested. Add in a dual-vent system for the single central fan and a pair of 8-pin power sockets, and you're looking at a beast of a card.

Strangely, AMD has been keeping the card quiet here: although hardware partners were welcome to show the boards running in test rigs, sources tell us that AMD insisted that the graphics cards be sealed away from touch - and that absolutely no bare boards are to be displayed.

With AMD aiming to take the performance crown back from Nvidia, it's not surprising that it's being cagey with the details until the official launch date - but it is slightly strange to allow the boards to be shown, albeit with provisos, at an event like CeBIT if technical details aren't yet available.

What we've seen at the event, however, confirms some long-rumoured details: the board will draw some serious power, require a larger-than-average case, and includes a single DVI port alongside five mini DisplayPort outputs. CrossFireX is also included, for those who find two GPUs restrictive.

A display box from board partner Sapphire offers up a few more snippets: unsurprisingly, the PCI Express 2.1 board supports AMD's Eyefinity multi-display technology as standard, along with the HD3D stereoscopy technology. The mini DisplayPorts are version 1.2, and the board will ship with a massive 4GB of GDDR5 RAM as standard.

With the AMD Radeon HD 6990 expected to launch in the very near future, we won't have to wait long to see exactly what technology the company has hidden away in the boxy card.