AMD Radeon HD 7990 Review: Dual GPU Comeback

By Julio Franco · 222 replies
Apr 24, 2013
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  1. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    I personally stopped buying NVidia graphical cards since 2009 when my then $600 NVidia 280 GTX after 1 year of working perfectly gave up a stinky smoke and left me without desktop for 3 weeks. I never tried to overclock it or change any parameters in it, it just died during normal desktop work, emitting toxic smell all over the room. When I put it apart I saw one of the chips on the card (not the GPU) caught fire for reasons unknown.
  2. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    AMD has had plenty of time to fix thier drivers.
    The stuttery gameplay and erratic performance has shown up on many Radeon GPU's, both single and CrossfireX setups. I don't understand what your disagreeing with, its fact.
    Plus, its one of those things that is much worse then it appears, the fact that frame time and latency issues do show up on tests indicates the issue is actually worse then it appears. Many gamers who have went back and forth from green to red will say the same thing.
  3. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I have an ATI 5730 in my laptop and I play Blackops 2 on high settings at like 40-50 FPS. I can play Battlefield 3 on medium settings at 35-40FPS. My resolution is 1366x768. I bought this laptop a few years back when I didnt really know anything about computers. As I learned more about computers, I noticed how weak this card is. But it still kicks some serious butt.
  4. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Ok your obviously biased so nothing I say will reach you but here's some facts for you.

    Facts: On most of those tests, The 7990 beat every configuration of nvidia cards including the gtx 690 which is its competitor.

    The HD 7990 ran cooler that the gtx 690

    AMD cards cost less and have a better price per performance margin (HD 7990 and 690 do cost the same but your getting free games with the 7990 and a better cooler)

    Eyefinity is better than the nvidia equivalent

    You can crossfire up to 4 way on any and card that supports crossfire.

    AMD cards on a general basis overclock easier and better.

    Your argument is that in this 1 new test that people are testing for the nvidia card is better at it which makes it auto better. I'm saying you can't say that one test makes a card auto better as your trying to make amd cards look bad. Each card succeeds at different things and you have to look at what games and stuff your doing. Fact is even on its first layer of drivers, the 7990 is beating the 690 in almost every test and it can only get better.

    Oh and on the note of "stutter in-games" my 6990's play bf3 perfectly fine and can keep a pretty constant and SMOOTH experience above 60fps in eyefinity mode on ultra.
  5. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    No overclocking test?
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

  7. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,037

    We had one day with the card Howzz I am sorry.

    Single GPU Radeon cards are fine, there is no stuttering there to speak of at all this is now purely a multi-GPU issue and its improving all the time.
  8. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    I think I know what amstech is referring to, and I have to say I'm agreeing with him. My responses below in italic.

    To conclude, I support the opinion that if you're aiming for the very top-end market, you get what you pay for. NVIDIA currently reigns here.
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    That kind of depends on what parameters you are judging the boards on. AMD presently has no Crossfire profile for Assassins Creed 3, Batman: Arkham City, F1 2012, Planetside 2, and World of Warcraft's Mists of Pandaria there's at least five recent games where the 7990 is going to come unstuck.
    Depends what application you're using to stress the card (ComputerBase also has a good comparison) , but either way the difference falls a long way short of AMD's press kit claims
    ...on the other hand, the GTX 690 doesn't dump almost all of its exhaust into the chassis- so, more of a design choice for the user to negotiate...and a GTX 690 doesn't do this.*
    A moot point with the HD 7990 since the board is limited by power draw. Overclocking is minimal to say the least, and in some cases, performance is lower than stock since the card downclocks to 950MHz as soon as it hits max power draw.
    The free games are a definite plus, but considering up until recently you could buy a TUL designed triple slot HD 7990 for $799 (Club3D, VTX3D, PowerColor's non-Devil 13) with a ton of overclocking headroom (thanks to a 525W input power specification), its safe to say that AMD's reference card pales in comparison with its own partners previous products.
    True enough that the latency/frame rendering issue isn't a be-all-and-end-all. It neither affects all titles, nor all users. It has however become a convenient whipping stick for Nvidia fanboys, but then, if the roles were reversed I doubt the finger pointing would be any less than it is at present.
    Fact of the matter is that AMD has had a dual Tahiti card on the roadmap for a year, and Crossfire GCN issues with latency and inconsistent frame rendering for longer still. Nvidia had a similar problem with Kepler when it was first released. The difference is Nvidia instituted frame metering/frame delay and had the problem fixed within a few months, while AMD either didn't think the matter worth investigating, knew that benchmark averages would take a hit, or decided that the R&D outweighed the gameplay experience of the affected. My guess is a combination of the three, and the tipping point only came when the PR implications imploded as more sites moved from a strict statistical evaluation (min/max/average framerate) to actual gameplay experience
    Your 6990's are VLIW4, not GCN.

    * Coil whine also reported by Hilbert at G3D, TPU, Sweclockers, Hardware Canucks amongst others- while HardOCP, Tech Report, PCPer and other sites reported no issues. Enough variance to make me want to hear the card I was buying before parting with the cash.

    This card does have one large saving grace. The ability to hook up four cards for their hashing ability.
    Burty117 and St1ckM4n like this.
  10. 7950 is 100$ less than 670 but performance at par with 670 or between 670 and 680 and even beating 680 in some blockbuster games with 200$ less price tag and also cope and take less performance hit with high AA scaling compared to 680/70

    "7950 simply the best valued card of this gen..."
  11. Pcper also reports that single radeon gpu is perfectly fine and no latency issue,only CFX has issues
    even our human eye can't perceive below 50ms
    Guru3d reviewer Hilbert was perhaps right when he said that this frame time issue has blown out of proportion
  12. Update:just installed 13.5B2(without 13.4 cap1) with my 7950 and first playing crysis 3 maxed out(smaa 4x),nearly increased 25-30% performance and much much smoother than 13.3 beta 3!!!,and custom profile set with radeon pro as always.Performance increase and so smooth,it's simply a joy ride with crysis 3 now....big thx to amd
  13. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

  14. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Im not saying the HD 7990 is the best card ever made, but im saying that I dont like people saying the GTX 690 destroys it because of one test that it was slightly better in. Im saying look at the overall package and do a side by side comparison, at the moment, I think the HD 7990 based on specs and how its reacting in game, is better.
  15. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Last thing I want to say about that, noone mentions that the GTX Titan (Which is a complete and utter rip off at a 1000$ price point) has horrible support for games, frame latency based on the tests I H ave seen in just 2 card configs has had horrible latency and terrible scaling yet nvidia fan boys dont mention that nad defend the card like its the best thing ever. They just mention it to the AMD card when its got an issue with the same thing (Though its not near as bad from what ive seen).
  16. 7990 is the fastest card till now(except CFX)...hardwareheaven does the most extensive testing among all other reviews,and 7990 came on top of 690
    also,a/anandtech review,7990 wins in most games and besides gaming 7990 also topples 690 at ease in every compute related works as Folding @ Home,bitcoin mining,lux mark,cl bench,etc..
    overall,7990 is much better choice than 690...
    GhostRyder likes this.
  17. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    But its still a Radeon. It still has more driver bugs on average, it still suffers more from frame time/latency, and still brings less features to the table. Even at the same performance the 690 would 'feel' faster so if the 7990 does beat it out, it still wouldn't seem that way....just sayin. It's a great way to save money, but the best, smoothest most feature rich and reliable gaming experience can only be had with Nvidia. You get what you pay for.
    (Dual GPU graphic cards are a gimmick anyway IMO, Titan is king. SLi Titans would murder a 7990.)
    And yes I will admit, the $1000 price tag is beyond ridiculous, but the fastest single GPU always pulls a premium because its king of the hill.
  18. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Ok first of all, no it would not "Seem Faster" if you did a side by side comparison, I doubt you would see a difference if you were just playing the games side by side. And yes the 7990 does beat it outright and it shows in the benches. Radeon cards do not have anymore driver "Bugs" than NVidia, I have had catalyst close on my just as many times as NVidia control panel and even for that to happen its been extremely rare. Saying the best experience is with NVidia is a flat out lie, your very biased and everyone can tell by the way your talking that your a fanboy for NVidia, the cards have very slight differences, AMD just gives you stuff at a better price. And for the Nvidia 3D that you spoke of, umm yeah you also have to but a like 200 dollar kit to do it, at that point, why not just by the monitor in 3d (Also catalyst has a 3d option as well...)

    As for SLI titans, yes the Titan is the singles fastest Single GPU card, no doubt about that, however the SLI on the titans is garbage and every reviewer has said the same thing, right now the scaling is at most 1.75 with 2 titans (And that's if your lucky with the game) and it costs 2000 dollars to do. Right now as with the tests, the HD 7990 beat the titan by 35% in FPS most of the time and costs the same price plus with a huge bundle of free games. The 1000$ price tage on the Titan is completely uncalled for, its NVidia just saying "We can charge whatever we want, fan boys will pay for it". Give it about 3 more months, and the price will drop then Maybe ill say its a worth the buy card, but right now its just Nvidia being early to the party and trying to charge a premium on cards.

    But that's besides the point, my point is the HD 7990 has proven to be the FASTEST Single card right now and is coming with a gamers bundle along with it which is more than can be said for the 690 and its can handle 5 monitor outs along with loads of features. The 690 is a great card and no one is denying that neither are we denying the GTX titan is a great card, HOWEVER your fanboyish response saying NVidia beats all is false and been proven right here that the only one test is the card being beaten in and that on BETA DRIVERS.
  19. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    As I said... Rubbish.

    If you're going to continue pulling supposed facts out of your nether regions, you'll find no end of tech followers quite happy to point out your errors in perception.

    You can cheerlead for the 7990 all you like, the simple fact is that every review site and most of the potential user base are thoroughly underwhelmed by the SKU - even your beloved Hardware Heaven (who only rarely rate any card less than 8/10) rated the GTX 690 higher than the HD 7990.
    Two (power limited) neutered Tahiti GPUs that cost more than two discrete GHz versions ( $840 ) and renders basically nil increase in overclocking thanks to a hard limit of 375W input before throttling occurs, allied with lacking Crossfire profiles (esp. with Eyefinity) negates a lot of the potential of the card.

    These issues will only be solved in the future when AMD get their ducks in a row regarding drivers and if AIB's are allowed to increase the input power to allow for overclocking headroom (although I'm certain that will require a move back to a triple-slot cooler). But in the Here and Now, the card makes little sense...less so given that the drivers are still in development and the card isn't actually for sale.

    You can also engage amstech in a pointless Titan vs 7990 comparision, but the fact remains that the potential customers for one aren't the customers for the other. A Titan owner wants exclusivity, and the single fastest GPU card (or multi-card) setup, or maybe has a use for CUDA accelerated GPGPU.

    ...while your potential user base for the 7990 has had access to a more powerful card at the same (or lower) price for some time. And as for the supposed drawback of a triple-slot design- it really isn't a problem for most people. Gamers would likely not use quad-CFX, or would be willing to sacrifice the mobo slots for the setup- and of course, there are already waterblocks available to the TUL designed cards:
  20. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    After one card failure you refuse to buy another from the same company? That's all it takes? You better hope your AMD card doesn't fail, because the only one left is Intel (IGP).

  21. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    There have been HD 6870 X2 Cards and more below that support QuadFire so don't tell me I don't know what im talking about especially when after reading on the site it says nowhere that you cant quad them up. If im wrong then they changed it just this generation and I doubt they did that.

    Once again, this is an EARLY PRE-RELEASE stop basing every little thing off its current drivers. Once the card comes out, we can debate, but even on the site you posted they say "The HD 7990 has the upper hand where it COUNTS" The issues with the frame latency will be resolved along with any other issue as they have in the past.
  22. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I also still stand by my fact that the Titan does not scale well at all and is a complete and utter rip off for 1000$, its the GTX 780 essentially by the way they have it listed because it uses GK110 which was the next generation card Chips meaning your paying 1000$ which is minimum 400 above above LAST generation prices. Have fun paying that much, ill stick with 450 for a single GPU card or paying 1000$ for more performance. I still think the 690 is a better deal that the titan and so is the 7990 or really any other config of cards.
  23. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    That I do, hope :) Also, I'm staying away from all the hardware power hogs. I don't want to support manufacturers who boast performance via ludicrous power consumption, like the card in this article. That's why I can't wait for Haswell to arrive...

    Also, the future APU-s from AMD are starting to look more and more attractive for the best embedded graphics. I will likely settle for the embedded graphics between Haswell with HD 5200 and the upcoming APU update from AMD. The new A10-6800K will offer the best price/performance ratio ever.
  24. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Stop trolling. This is the third time you've shifted the focus of your "point" to support some vague supposition not borne out by the facts.
    Your posts:
    HD 7850 > Specifications > AMD CrossFire™ multi-GPU technology
    • Supports dual-GPU performance scaling
    Except the explicit statement saying that the 7850 supports 2 card Crossfire ?
    How about reading ANY HD 7870 or HD 7850 review and noting that both cards only have one Crossfire connector
    You don't know what you're talking about. The HD 6870 X2 was non reference made by TUL (PowerColor, Club3D, VTX3D) - the same point you argued against in your earlier post regarding third party designs. The reference HD 6870 and HD 6850 both only supported 2 card Crossfire.
    Technically they (AMD) cut 3 and 4 card Crossfire from the performance/upper mainstream products two generations ago due to HD 5850 sales cannibalizing those of the HD 5870.
    Well, if you're going to base your opinion of the 7990 on some undefined point in the future, maybe you should also take into account that Nvidia will likely also improve performance in the future (especially with a new product like the Titan) and -in the same timeframe as AMD's new driver release- debut the improved Kepler series, which will drop prices of the current single GPU cards (both Nvidia and AMD) in addition to incrementally raising performance.

    So, lets recapitulate...
    In addition to showing a severely limited knowledge base of AMD's product stack of the last two generations (at least), you'd like everybody to base their opinion of the 7990 on some theoretical performance gains to be made 2-3 months in the future, while judging the 7990's competition on present day parameters, and dismissing the conclusions of respected reviewers with first-hand experience with the card.
    Good luck with that.
  25. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    No comment.

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