Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

AMD Radeon HD 6990 "Antilles" Video Card Review

The Radeon HD 6990 is being launched today, and we have full coverage of specifications and our gameplay experiences compared to several high-end dual-GPU solutions out there. If you are looking for a single video card package that packs a punch and provides headroom for hardware enthusiasts, this is a solid solution.

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Power Testing

We tested the power utilization at the wall of the entire system without a video card, and with each video card at idle and full load. For full load power and temperature testing we used real gaming, in this case Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The power supply used in testing is a PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1200W. Our system is very lean with only one optical drive and one hard drive being powered. Total system wattage at idle without video card is 190W.

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The AMD Radeon HD 6990 had a lower idle Wattage than the GeForce GTX 570 SLI and GeForce GTX 580 SLI by quite a bit. There is no question both the Radeon HD 6990 and Radeon HD 6970 CrossFireX setups use less power. At full load this trend continued with both AMD setups pulling a lot less power. The AMD Radeon HD 6990 pulled 603 System Watts, which is over 100 Watts less than GTX 570 SLI. The Radeon HD 6970 CrossFireX being two video cards, and operating at higher speeds pulled 662 system watts, which is more than the HD 6990 but less than GTX 570 SLI still. GeForce GTX 580 SLI is still in a league of its own when it comes to wattage.

Temperature

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Temperature-wise, the AMD Radeon HD 6990 stayed warm at idle speeds. There is simply less surface area to cool each GPU than on a single Radeon HD 6970 which uses the whole card. Still, these thermals are acceptable for the package as a whole since the board is rated at a high 450 Watt. Full load temperatures were not out of whack on par with everything else. We noticed the fan came on quite strong and kept the GPU from reaching over 89c.

Fan Noise

When the video card is idling at your desktop the fan is near silent, unless you have an open case system or have it right beside your head, you aren't going to hear it. However, once the temperature ramps up the fan moves some air vigorously. There aren't any annoying ramping speeds or varying RPM fan noises, but at full load there is a rush of air you can hear. This is not a silent video card by any means when playing a game for hours on end. This is to be expected for such a beast, two GPUs is going to need some air moved. However it is not annoying albeit heard.