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

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: AMD

Power Consumption, Sound Levels and Overclocking

Though secondary for most people that are buying a $1000 gaming graphics card, a quick look at the power consumption and sound levels of the new HD 7990 reveals some interesting data

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The release of Kepler showed us that NVIDIA could take high performance and low power seriously, while AMD struggles a bit to keep up with that mentality in this case.  The HD 7990 used 512 watts (total system), which was a good drop from the 624 watts of the HD 7970 cards running in CrossFire.  But, compare that to the GTX options: the GTX 690 used 90 watts less and the GTX Titan used 147 watts less! 

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During the press presentation about the HD 7990 AMD was very proud of the fact that they had lowered the noise levels of the HD 7990 so much compared to other HD 7000-series cards that it would it was coming in under even the over-engineered GTX Titan.  Our tests didn't show that at all.  The HD 7990 in my sound level testing came in right about the same level as the GTX 690 but was still 6 dBA higher than our GTX Titan results. 

Sound level testing in an open environment can be tricky, but we are careful to keep consistent ambient sound levels so I don't think our results are off enough to account for this kind of discrepancy. 

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I took a pretty short route to overclocking the Radeon HD 7990 - using only the Catalyst Control Center I pushed the clock from 1000 MHz to 1100 MHz, and the memory clock from 1500 MHz to 1575 MHz.  That's not much, and considering the clock speed of the HD 7990 wasn't hitting 1000 MHz consistently, I didn't expect a big improvement in performance.

Our 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme result only increased about 1% so we are obviously going to need to get into voltage adjustment to really push this card forward. 

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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