AMD Radeon HD 7990 Video Card Review

Today marks the launch of AMD's Radeon HD 7990. The Radeon HD 7990 is a dual-GPU video card that has its two GPUs down on a single PCB that uses CrossFire to operate the two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs. We will test this video card in the latest games, comparing it to GeForce GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition CrossFire.

Introduction

Today AMD is officially launching the AMD Radeon HD 7990. The Radeon HD 7990 is a $999 video card that packages two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs on a single PCB and operates using hardwired CrossFire technology. This allows Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire in a single video card package. This is similar to the GeForce GTX 690, and similar products. In fact, this is actually not the first "7970" dual-GPU video card. Add-in-board partners such as ASUS and PowerColor got the drop on AMD and beat it to the punch with 7970 dual-GPU video cards previously.

We have evaluated the ASUS ROG ARES II and the PowerColor Devil13 in the past. We were impressed with ASUS' ability to create a silent running and compact video card using external liquid cooling. All one needed to do was attach the radiator and fan unit to the exhaust fan slot on your case and you were good to go. We found that 7970 dual-GPU performance on the ASUS ROG ARES II was right where we'd expect it, competing with Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition CrossFire. What we are going to see today out of the AMD Radeon HD 7990 will make you raise an eyebrow or two.

AMD Radeon HD 7990

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One positive, and exciting "feature" of the AMD Radeon HD 7990 is the bundle of games AMD is including with the video card. Never have we seen such an awesome bundle of games, and never this many. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex Human Revolution are included. This alone makes for a big value in software alone. It could make up some of the pricing on this video card should you decide to sell the games if you already own these as a few of these titles are far from brand new.

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The AMD Radeon HD 7990 contains two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs that are clocked very close to GHz Edition frequencies. The two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs are clocked at 950MHz base clock with a PowerTune Boost that makes the gaming frequency 1000MHz (1GHz). We experienced exactly 1000MHz while gaming. This is only 50MHz shy of the 1050MHz on Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition GPUs. These are full fledge HD 7970 GPUs.

On the memory side of things there is 3GB of VRAM to each GPU on a 384-bit memory bus at 6GHz. This is exactly the same specification found on Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition video cards. AMD likes to combine the numbers and tell you the card has 6GB of RAM, and while technically there is 6GB of RAM on this video card, each GPU only has access to 3GB.

Both GPUs are connected via an internal PLX bridge chip providing 48 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 performance. The inter-GPU bandwidth is 96GB/sec. A total of five displays are supported at once from one Radeon HD 7990. There are four mini-display port connectors and one DVI connector. This video card is a natural fit for Eyefinity multi-display usage.

AMD has designed a massive heatsink that goes across the entire video card, and there are three axial fans. Even though most of this video card is heatsinks and fans, it is actually lighter than you'd think it would be. Also, the fans are remarkably quiet. We detected no noise above our case fan and CPU radiator fans while gaming. AMD has designed the HD 7990 to be a cool and quiet video card, and AMD has succeeded. The TDP of the entire video card is 375W.

AMD Radeon HD 7990 Pictures

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The AMD Radeon HD 7990 is exactly 12" in length. Keep this in mind as you think of adding this to your system. It is required to install two 8-pin PCIe power connectors for operation.

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