Aug 03, 2022
It produces the type of frame rates in DirectX 11 (DX11) games that we didn't believe were feasible even a few months ago when we first tested it. Although this was to be anticipated considering its twin GPUs and the astonishing frame rates they create, it nevertheless came as a surprise.
As stated, we are in awe of this card's capabilities, and as a result, we have no choice but to name it the Editors' Choice. However, and this is a significant caveat, not everyone will like it. The Radeon HD 6990 is a top-tier gaming card with a hefty list price of $699, high energy consumption that will drive up your power bill, and all of the typical drawbacks associated with high-end graphics cards.
The 6990 has enormous dimensions in every aspect, beginning with its technical specifications. It can compute at 5.1 teraflops per second. It has an essential clock speed of 830 MHz for the device's core. It comes equipped with 3,072 stream processors, 192 texture units, and 64 registers of operand processing. It operates on a memory route of 256 bits wide and 5 gigabits per second and has a frame buffer of 4 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory.
If all of this doesn't precisely meet your needs, you always have the option of going a little bit farther up the scale. You may activate a built-in overclocking option by using the dual-BIOS switch, which is positioned next to the I/O bracket. This switch is present on several other 6000-series graphics cards as well.
The 6990 has a significant form factor as well. The length of this card, which is identical to that of the 5970, is 12.5 inches, making it the most extended card that can be purchased. Attempting to house it in a case that is anything less than a full tower is taking a real risk, and we even hit a snag in our spacious case: we had to rearrange the hard drives to make room for the 6990.
A large-scale connection is feasible, even though this would be a significant shift for AMD. It is possible to use Eyefinity configurations with as many as five monitors simultaneously, thanks to including one dual-link DVI connector and four Mini DisplayPort ports among the outputs. Do not worry if you do not have an abundance of displays capable of using Mini DisplayPort. one passive Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter will be included with the purchase of any model of the 6990. Because of this, significant design modifications are required to address performance and heat dissipation concerns.
Performance is, without a doubt, the top concern of anybody who is genuinely thinking about purchasing the 6990 and should be their primary concern as well. And as we've shown, this card is unrivaled in its category. We put it through its paces by running all of our DX11 benchmark tests at the highest usual resolutions.
The 6990's high power consumption is one of its Achilles' heels, which is excessive, as we've already established. Although this was to be anticipated considering its twin GPUs and the astonishing frame rates they create, it nevertheless came as a surprise. However, we were unprepared for what we witnessed, and AMD has just lost one of its long-standing advantages against Nvidia.
During a period of inactivity, the 6990 in our test system drew a respectable 148 watts of power from the electrical grid. This is even lower than the 5970's power consumption, which was 143 and 144 watts, respectively. It is slightly more than the two Nvidia cards (154 watts). Our power logger recorded 149 watts of consumption when the 6990's factory overclocking was activated, but we didn't even detect a substantial difference in performance.
In addition to that, it is a potentially noisy prospect. Because having a lot of power generates a lot of heat, it is necessary to have a lot of cooling, which results in a lot of fan noise. We never had any issue hearing the 6990, even when it was doing its hardest processing. Even while this isn't that big of a problem for severe users since, after some time, you do grow accustomed to it, we can't say that we didn't notice it because we did. These are the problems most closely associated with the AMD Radeon HD 6990, but if you are ready for them—with a healthy cash account, power supply, and plan for cooling your system and suppressing the noise it produces—then this card is well worth it.