AMD Radeon HD 7990 - A Worthy Competitor In The High-End Of The Graphics Card Category

7/28/2013 6:55:18 PM

Blazing speed, but this card is too expensive for all but the most extreme gamers

It’s more than a year since the first HD 7000 Series cards appeared, but AMD has at last launched a flagship model -and what a card it is. The Radeon HD 7990 is a dual-core monster, but it comes in at the highest price we’ve ever seen for a graphics card.

AMD Radeon HD 7990

The price can be explained in part by the card’s use of two Radeon HD 7970 cores, clocked at 1,000MHz, rather than the normal 925MHz, and also by the 6GB of GDDR5 RAM, which is more than we’ve ever seen on a graphics card. Between them, the twin cores pack in a massive 8.6 billion transistors and 4,096 stream processors.

The HD 7990 blitzed our benchmarks, easily beating the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 (web ID: 373696). It scored 80fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis benchmark, Lofps ahead of the GTX 680, and 4x anti-aliasing hardly slowed it down - it scored 75fps. In Battlefield 3, it zipped through the Ultra quality 1,920 x 1,080 test at 160fps, returning a score of 116fps when 4x anti-aliasing was activated.

It has enough power to handle gaming across three screens at a resolution of 5,760 x 1,080. At Very High quality, it ran Crysis at 52fps and Battlefield 3 at 88fps.

Twin cores pack in 8.6 billion transistors

Twin cores pack in 8.6 billion transistors

AMD has used serious hardware to keep temperatures down. The bulk of the 306mm-long card is occupied by a huge heat sink, and it’s topped with three 90mm fans that keep the top temperature of the card down to an impressively low 72°C. Power consumption is another story, however: our test rig drew 418W from the mains when stress-tested, and the card requires two eight-pin power connectors.

The HD 7990 is the quickest card on the planet, but it isn’t cheap

The HD 7990 is the quickest card on the planet, but it isn’t cheap. For $256 less, you can get two GTX 680s, a configuration that will also comfortably play games across three screens. It’s a remarkable graphics card, but only the wealthiest gamers need apply.

AMD Radeon HD 7990 specs

§  2 x 3GB GDDR5 RAM

§  950MHz core clock (boost to 1GHz)\

§  1500MHz memory clock (6GHz DDR effective)

§  2 x 384-bit memory interface

§  2 x 2048 stream processors

§  2 x 128 texture units

§  2 x 32 ROP units

§  PCI-E interface

§  DirectX 11

§  1 x DVI, 4 x Mini-DisplayPort

§  2 x 8-pin PSU connector needed


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