The current generation AMD GPU series, collectively known as the "Southern Islands", was released over a year ago, beginning its launch in January 2012. Sixteen months later, the Radeon HD 7000 series is still very relevant as AMD continues to release new models under the same GPU family.
Released last month, the Radeon HD 7790 is a product that most gamers can enjoy considering its price tag of $ 150. The HD 7790 increased the number of chips for the series to 10 different 28 nm GPUs. Today, AMD offers a wide price range from $ 100 with the Radeon HD 7750 to $ 450 with the 7970 GHz edition.
If you can and want to spend more than $ 450 on a single graphics card, you have to look at either the GeForce GTX 690 or the mighty GTX Titan, both extravagant $ 1000 options. Alternatively, if you can support multiple graphics cards, which frankly most gaming systems can, a pair of Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition graphics cards should work fine (well, kind of).
Even so, AMD believes they need to offer an extremely expensive graphics card too, so today they are releasing the Radeon HD 7990. Although it's been over a year since they launched the Radeon HD 7970, we're just getting one official dual GPU version The truth is, it's been around for a while.
Products like the PowerColor Devil 13 HD 7990 6 GB, the HIS Radeon HD 7970 6 GB IceQ X2 and the Asus ROG Ares II have been making the rounds for some time. While the release of an official Radeon HD 7990 isn't radically new, it does mean a few things. On the one hand, the prices as well as the specifications and functions will be standardized. Most importantly, availability and actual driver support which makes it a lot easier for players with cash to get their hands on one.
The Radeon HD 7990 is very similar to the 6990 and the 5970 before it (ohh and the 4870 X2 before it) in that it's basically a pair of flagship GPUs of each generation that are mounted on the same extra long circuit board.
The Radeon HD 7990 requires 7970 GPUs with overclocked cores (from 925 MHz to 1000 MHz), while GDDR5 memory is increased from 1375 MHz to 1500 MHz. These clock rates happen to be the same as the 7970 GHz edition, although the 7990 does not offer a boost clock. We therefore believe the GPUs are better compared to the standard 7970.
Radeon HD 7990 in detail
Here are some numbers AMD uses to describe the Radeon HD 7990: 8.6 billion transistors, 4096 stream processors, 8.2 TFLOPS computing power, 6 GB GDDR5, and 576 GB / s memory bandwidth.
But of course, as a dual-GPU graphics card, those numbers aren't nearly as impressive as they are usually when it comes to a single GPU solution. 8.2 TFLOPS of computer performance are also no reason to sneeze, so we will be curious to see how the 7990 handles itself shortly.
The Radeon HD 7990 is a monstrous graphics card with a length of 30 cm and a length of 3 cm compared to the 7970 GHz edition.
The GPU core is clocked at 1000 MHz, 8% higher than the HD 7970, while the memory is clocked at 1500 MHz (6.0 GHz DDR) 9% higher. Combining this frequency with a 384-bit memory bus gives the HD 7990 a theoretical bandwidth of 288 GB / s per GPU, which corresponds to a total of a whopping 576 GB / s.
Like the Radeon HD 7970, which comes with a generous 3 GB memory buffer, the 7990 allocates 3 GB to each GPU for a total card capacity of 6 GB.
We have found that when using multi-monitor setups with extreme resolutions, the larger buffer on AMD cards offers a significant advantage over Nvidia, which are mostly limited to 2GB. However, the new GeForce GTX Titan has a 6 GB memory buffer for a single GPU.
The core configuration or, as we should say, "cores" of the Radeon HD 7990 corresponds to that of the individual GPU 7970 versions. It has 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs, and 32 ROPs on each GPU, so you can sort of double those numbers.
The two graphics processors are connected via the PEX bridge from PLX Technologies. This is the same method used by all previous AMD dual GPU graphics cards. However, the HD 7990 has the latest 3.0 PEX8747 bridge with 48 PCI Express 3.0 lanes for 96 GB / s inter-GPU bandwidth.
The "Malta" GPU is cooled by two massive heat sinks made from aluminum vapor chambers with 62 fins each and four heat pipes. The vapor chamber design was first implemented by the Radeon HD 5970 and has since been adopted by numerous high-end AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. The heat is given off by three 75 x 20 mm axial fans, which suck in air from inside the housing and push it out towards the rear.
The fan of the HD 7990 works quietly for the most part, but despite the card's impressive idle consumption of only 15 watts, it still chugs up to 375 watts under load, so the fan spins up a little during heavy gaming sessions.
The heat sink and fan are housed in a custom case that hides the entire graphics card. This is a common practice for flagship AMD products and one that we love to like. Nvidia has done this in the past too, although this is a design method usually reserved for only the highest quality products.
In order to supply the card with sufficient power, AMD includes two 8-pin PCI Express connectors – the same setup as the HD 6990.
Of course, the HD 7990 supports QuadFire (Crossfire) and so there is a connection for bridging with another card. The only other ports are on the I / O control panel. Our AMD reference example has a double DL-DVI connector and four Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 sockets that allow support for five simultaneous monitors.