The AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB lived up to AMD’s marketing hype and proved itself to be the fastest graphics card in the world. It easily beat out the Radeon HD 5970 2GB, the previous dual-GPU video card by AMD, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 single-GPU video card. With a massive 4GB of memory and two Cayman-class GPUs on a single PCB we aren’t surprised by the performance numbers we are seeing from the Radeon HD 6990.
The AMD Radeon HD 6990 also proved itself to be a solid overclocking video card and it was easy to overclock. We were able to get the card from 830MHz to 950MHz on the core clock with the default voltage option, which is very impressive. This frequency jump really woke the card up and was easy to reach. We still wish AMD would have a check box in the driver to allow you to set both GPU cores at the same time as it gets boring having to constantly switch between the GPUs to make the clock settings match up.
The temperature of the card peaks in the low 80s Degrees Celsius, which isn’t bad for a card of this nature. The one downside to this massive card was the noise from the cooling fan. It’s certainly not what you’d consider a quiet cooling solution by any means. If you are okay with a bit of fan noise it shouldn’t be a deal breaker by any means, but you’ll know your fan kicked into high gear when gaming.
When it comes to pricing the MSRP of the Radeon HD 6990 is $699, which makes it rather pricey and too expensive for the average consumer. What we thought was interesting is that you can get an MSI Radeon HD 6970 2GB video cards for $319.99 after rebate from Newegg. This means you can run a pair in CrossFire for roughly $640, which is $50 less than the Radeon HD 6990. If you never plan on adding in another Radeon HD 6990 to your system you might be better off buying two Radeon HD 6970 video cards and saving a few bucks. If you go back and look at our performance numbers the Radeon HD 6970 CrossFire setup did very well in the benchmarks and were often faster than the Radeon HD 6990 at its default speed of 830MHz as they were clocked faster. The only downside to the Radeon HD 6970 Crossfire setup is that is used more power.
The AMD Radeon HD 6990 is a beast of a card, but has the delays by AMD hurt the success of this card? We do know that NVIDIA is working on a new dual-GPU video card called
the GeForce GTX 590 and they contacted us today to remind us that their
new flagship video card is coming out very shortly. NVIDIA refused to say exactly how long, but they said it would be “Sooner than when Cayman showed up after the GeForce GTX 580 launched”. That means we should see the GeForce GTX 590 being released in less than five weeks. So, next month we’ll have the Radeon HD 6990 versus the GeForce GTX 590. That is, unless NVIDIA has a delay or is trying to play spoiler.
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB is the fastest video card on the planet and for $699 it better be!