Review Index:

AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB Review - Malta Gets Frame Rated

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: AMD

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 (DirectX 11)


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With the driver version differences on the HD 7990 and the HD 7970s in CrossFire, we see some slightly different results, but both suffer from the same problem - runt frames that drastically lower the observed frame rate.  The HD 7990 sees the runts in collections while the HD 7970 CrossFire result is very consistent. 

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And here is why - the frame times of the orange line representing the HD 7970s in CrossFire shows drastic frame time deviations and while the HD 7990 (black line) is slightly better it still has many instances of runt frames.  Both the GTX 690 and the GTX Titan perform much better with tight bands of frame times.

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The orange line of the HD 7970s stays low the entire time though the HD 7990 actually has an average frame rate higher than the GTX Titan but it quickly falls below it en route to meeting up with the HD 7970s. 

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Frame time variance on the GTX 690 and GTX Titan is very low but on the new HD 7990 it exceeds the 10 ms mark at the 70th percentile, meaning that 30% of our frames in our benchmark run had consecutive frame time variances of MORE than 10 ms. 


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At 2560x1440, the results between the HD 7990 and the HD 7970s in CrossFire are much more similar with quite a bit of frame time variance throughout.  Meanwhile, both NVIDIA options are resulting in a much better experience.

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Take a look at the frame time bands on the GTX Titan and the GTX 690 - they very narrow indicating a smooth frame rate throughout the benchmark and game play.  The black and orange lines (which is mostly hidden by the black!) indicate wildly fluctuation frame times from near 0 ms to 60 ms and higher!

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With the runt frames out of the picture, the HD 7990 is running slower than the GTX Titan by 5 FPS (19%) on average and nearly 15 FPS on average (61%) compared to the GTX 690. 

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The Radeon HD 7990 actually passes the 15 ms frame mark at the 40th percentile, meaning that we are seeing an entire Vsync cycle's worth of variance in 60% of the frames rendered!


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Though not as bad as the HD 7970s in CrossFire result (with the older driver), the HD 7990 still exhibits dropped frames in Eyefinity, resulting in much lower average frame rates in the observed metric. 

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Only the GTX Titan from NVIDIA has a "smooth" experience in frame times as even the GTX 690 has some issues with Crysis 3 at this resolution and quality settings.  But with the AMD configurations dropping frames consistently, they aren't really producing quality experiences at all.

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Interestingly you can see the Titan and GTX 690 are close in terms of average frame rates but the drop at 90th percentile results tells us the experience might suffer.  The HD 7990 and HD 7970s in CrossFire stay consistently lower.

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We see similar results for the Eyefinity solution on Crysis 3 as we did with Battlefield 3.  Dropped frames don't affect our graph.


April 24, 2013 | 02:17 PM - Posted by AlienAndy (not verified)

Ryan, thank you.

AMD must be sado masochistic handing you one of these cards which does show positive signs that they may want to actually fix this.

April 24, 2013 | 02:35 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

I am excited for this. I'm not going to buy it but if AMD can improve their Xfire performance next time I upgrade it will definitely be AMD.

April 27, 2013 | 10:04 AM - Posted by taklamm

Thank you very much, Mr. Ryan I've been following your site and all of your articles for quite some time
And I'm very interested in the modern way to test the Graphics Accelerator
I need your consultation in some of the things in this regard
Hopes provide me with your Email
Thank you very much again
 And continued the wonderful effort

April 28, 2013 | 03:34 AM - Posted by JCCIII

Thanks Mr. Shrout and team,

I hope AMD can give our memories of ATi new life, and you people are, in large part, that motivation. AMD could not buy a better format to motivate its people, which brings a little excitement to see how AMD will strive to win and make the community a better place.

Joseph C. Carbone III; 28 April 2013

June 6, 2013 | 11:51 AM - Posted by halsten (not verified)

Where can i buy the AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB i cant find it anywhere!!

June 8, 2013 | 04:40 PM - Posted by krikman696 (not verified)

I've read another review (on tom's hardware) about 7990's performance, FCAT, prototype driver, etc, basically the same thing, although there was something i noticed.
In their benchmarks the hardware (FRAPS) FPS was also quite bigger for the prototype d. compared to the basic catalyst 7990. While for the observable FPS this difference is easy understandable, i found no explanation for the extra FPS.
Prototype driver just "arranges" the frames in a smoother way, but why it appears to produce more frames?

August 27, 2013 | 10:54 PM - Posted by Jason B (not verified)

I am running this card with 6 monitors- 5790x2160 in games and getting high smooth frame rates. I have one of those mythical MST hubs (bought from the UK) and it works perfectly.

To each his own. BTW I sold my TITAN since Nvidia can never (their words) support more than 4 monitors. It was a nice card though. The 7990 is faster though (as it should be with 2 GPU's.)

Seems these fan boy threads always devolve to AMD or Nvidia bashing.

September 12, 2013 | 11:05 AM - Posted by mike2411 (not verified)

Just installed the 7990 last night and went straight to BF3...frame rates SUCKED!! I had a GTX 570 and it's rates were WAY faster. How do I resolve this problem? How do I get the card to work as expected? How do I get good frame rates with this card? What am I doing wrong. I want to run BF3 on ULTRA settings and enjoy all the "eye-candy" that comes with a high-end card like the 7990. PLEASE HELP!!

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