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AMD Radeon HD 7990 Review: Dual GPU Comeback

By Julio Franco ยท 222 replies
Apr 24, 2013
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  1. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    The whole HD 7990 launch seems like a rush job tbh. There isn't a single review site that has had two cards to test quad-CFX, and even the mainstream sites have to queue up to await a card passed down the line. The card wont appear in retail until at least May 7th, yet AMD seemed in a hurry to release the card. Why?

    What makes it a real head scratcher is that the card has issues with two of the game titles that the card is being bundled with
    Far Cry 3:
    and Bioshock Infinite
    Neither of which are related to the microstutter/frame latency issue.
    The whole Tech Report review is pretty interesting- well worth the read for the methodology alone.
  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,044   +794

    Thanks for the info, that is really bizarre? Was worth the read, I still don't understand the rush though? maybe they were trying to get it out before the 8000 series?
  3. AMD is working on Microstutter. Apparently the 13.5 Beta 2 drivers are the beginning of the fix. http://www.rage3d.com/index.php?cat=75#newsid34000447

    As far as both Nvidia's 690 and AMD's 7990 go.. both are an insane price. SLi or Crossfire on cheaper cards (Radeon 7950/Geforce alt. is the way to go if you can/if you need top end performance.
  4. GhostRyder

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

    Yea your following a friend and attacking the person who was struck at first by him and the nVidia fan boys on this thread trying to bring down the point of the thread with useless insults. Why dont you actually read back instead of just reading the responses and see who actually started what before you run your mouth. Yes I have been building computers longer than you, I can guarantee that based on your age in general. Why dont you read those quotes and actually use your brain on half of them, if you would actually read the before responses properly, maybe you will notice that they are responses to insults that were thrown before those comments.

    To respond on the Micro-stutter and bad Crossfire support on some games, yea some of those games do have bad CFX support many of which are because the game companies Favor nVidia more and are not making it easy for AMD to make their cards work better with them. Games like PlanetSide 2 and Assasins Creed are favoring nVidia and are making it hard to get support to make the AMD cards work better. I have tried planet side 2 and my machine without CFX and with do just barely better in the CFX setup but its only hitting 15-25% usage on all 4 GPUS on ultra and spike from 35-60 which is not too noticeable but I notice that. I hope soon they will be able to finally at least get some decent support on some of those games but its hard when companies dont care about the support. Now as for Bioshock Infinite and Far Cry 3, I play far cry on my 6990s and it does alright again not perfect as I hit at most 45% on all 4 GPUS on Ultra and it still drops beloe 50 FPS at times which does need a fix and I hope will come soon same with Bioshock. Honestly it is taking too long for some of these games, but knowing AMD, the 13.5 by the way its sounding will be the key to unlocking some of the issues stated and will start down a path of just improving the user experience in these games and with their new HD 7990.

    Honestly AMD has some work to be done with some of these games, but based on what I am hearing, the next patch will be fixing alot of issues and just moving forward.
  5. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,714   +874

    For the most part Quad GPU setups are a big fat waste of time IMO, even today they have all types of issues. The number of games that support 4 GPU's properly climbs every year but not many of them, last I knew, support it very well. The 4th GPU makes very little difference and sometimes causes more problems. Only someone who knows what they are getting into, or a hapless fool, would buy that setup.
    Dual 6990's is a look-at-me setup and does not even come close to validating the price for its performance, and thats excluding the driver issues that come with that setup.

    Why keep making these childish comments?
    Do you actually think you've built more machines then some people on this site? Do you know how arrogant and immature the comment above looks?
    Just shut your mouth already, the only thing that blatantly obvious is that you don't know as much as you think you do.
    No one insulted you, you just got pissy when someone like me claimed Nvidia is the best GPU out there. I am entitled to my opinion regardless of how strong or biased it is. I will say this one more time, then I am done.
    (You can try and talk down CUDA all you want but its a damn nice feature. PhysX was a joke until Borderlands 2, the gameplay and visuals are far superior and different on a GTX (fact). (yes its easy to get a small dedicated PhysX card) Nvidia's Vsync technology works better. Nvidia's SLi is smoother and has less issue with latency/frame times compared to Radeons (fact). Nvidia drivers, to this day, still are more reliable with less bugs/glitches and issues.)
    All I am trying to say is that, WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH IT OR NOT, there is a reason Nvidia prices thier GTX's at a premium.

    Burty117 likes this.
  6. Jad Chaar

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

    zero, the 7990 being rushed seems funny since it took them almost a year to release it after the 690 :D. But yeah, the drivers are now the issue. This is the original 7000 series launch all over again.
  7. GhostRyder

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

    Amstech, you have no right to speak about maturity after coming onto an AMD area talking about a card and trolling by saying nVidia cards are superior to AMD cards in every way. And unlike you and burty, we were done talking about that war yet your obviously hurt that your cards are being beaten and want to bring others down for liking the company. Your the least mature one here and need to grow up and get over it. As of this point im not responding to you because your a fanboy who obviously cant comprehend being beaten.

    Back to the subject at hand, the 7990 probably in all honesty came a little late but its still well appreciated by AMD enthusiasts. I personally dont think id buy one because im still happy with my setup and honestly if the price drops to the right area, id consider it. Its a shame because the way things are going with prices (Im my opinion, the GPU price inflation is hitting an all time high), Dual GPU cards are going to become a price point where its just gonna be limited edition buys or super limited quantity because the prices are not obtainable by normal users. I wish both nVidia and AMD would not sell these at such a high inflated price and would just drop them back to around 1.75 the price of the 2 GPU's it has on the board. But neither card company can honestly to me validate any of their 1000$ GPUs on the market to me at the moment. I would probably if I was thinking of upgrading buy some 7970 Ghz editions or 680s with the 4gb gddr5 if Iwas gonna upgrade because I feel its becoming a better deal to do single GPUS in Xfire of SLI configs with more cards than buying a dual GPU or 2 Dual GPU cards. If the price of these cards drops to ~800, then I would be willing to consider it.
  8. Jad Chaar

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

    I agree with drivers and stability. But what features are exclusive to nVidia? If you are gonna say PhysX, AMD has TressFX, thus making the claim invalid. I am just kind of curious, what features are better on the nVidia platform. I am not trying to flame you in any way ams ;) , just asking.
  9. GhostRyder

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

    Catalyst works just as well as nVidia control panel, it has no issues and I have had it crash once in the last 6 months same with nvidia control panel on my laptop so stability, no theres no difference from what ive seen or tested, now some people have claimed more in the past issues, but hoenstly at this point, it works just fine.

    Features, both have the exact same features excluding physx which still is installed it jsut defaults to the CPU on games taht actually use it which are again very limited with only Borderlands 2 actually using its potential and thats one game.

    Vsyc tech...No it doesnt they both work the same neither has an advantage, its vsync good god.

    SLI has less frame latency which has only started being tested recently and thats true. However AMD cards scale better in Xfire than SLI and the tests show the FPS scaling to be much better at the current driver settings. Now this ~20% difference in the frame latency is barely noticeable and its now annoying that people are basing everything off this new test saying pretty much this test is all that matters now. I play Far Cry 3 on my Dual HD 6990's it aint stuttery or laggy, I wish I could get some better use of my GPU's off it, but the game play is smooth as my 580s were.

    Name one feature other than Physx that nVidia cards have over AMD. It has to be something also that is actually used.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    FYI: Insults are against TS policy.
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,044   +794

    Just wanted clean this up, some of us work or have stuff to do or live in different country's with different time zones, we cannot respond instantly and I just click on my alerts, I didn't pay attention to how many pages this had been going on for until I commented.

    I apologise for continuing this "raging, Nivida fan boy filled" troll post.
  12. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    I can't speak for the experience or viewpoint of others (namely amstech), but from my experience with both (tho' I haven't had Crossfire since my HD 5850 Black Edition's), friends, and accumulated empirical data:
    1. Nvidia control panel over CCC . Never bothered with CCC personally ( ATI Tray Tools and Radeon Pro). Most driver crashes I've seen with Radeon cards are less to do with the driver than they are with CCC. Nvidia's global profiling is slicker than anything ATI/AMD have ever come up with - as it should since its been around since the FX 5000 series.
    2. Adaptive V-Sync. AMD presently has no analogue.
    3. Transparency full screen anti-aliasing and other esoteric forms of very high quality AA- such as Sparse Grid Super Sampling. Here are some benches from HardwareLUXX showing the performance hit that cards using SGSSAA take. Bear in mind that the HD 7990 with its larger framebuffer and bus width (3GB/384-bit per GPU vs 2GB/256-bit for the GTX 690) should have the advantage here.

    Of course it's not all one way traffic. Historically, ATI/AMD have offered better performance/$, and their implementation of sound options (and home theatre in general) and low power states are first rate.

    /My $0.02
  13. GhostRyder

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

    As with any card or company, each one focuses on different tasks and approaches things at their own pace.

    The pictures were glitched excuse the quick post and then the quick edit.

    AMD and nVidia approach new tech and different thigns in a different way. As with SGSSAA, AMD has not really started going into that and was still focused on MSAA because in the past, they were having issues with it, hence why now their cards are starting to shine there where as nvidia has already begun on the next step. Its just the way each company does things, not many games are even going to show really a benefit yet in that field and right now obviously the AMD side is not shining their. However I also look at things relatively, AMD sometimes just focuses more on present stuff and tries to keep improving things at the time, hence why we see performance hikes (As in HD 7970 imrpvoing so far from being low on the ladder). Its just the way each company does things and each has its own advantage, in this case nVidia is ahead with that setting.

    With power states it seems to follow another odd pattern, for instance, nvidia went for more of the "When the card is being stressed" part and tried improving its power consumption to where it does not consume alot of power under load where as AMD went straight to zero core and when your not gaming or doing intensive things, the cards go to an ultra low power state and use a very small amount of energy. Each has its own advantage and disadvantage and honestly its a matter of opinion which you would prefer because if your not gaming all day, then the AMD card might save more power where as if you game under high loads most of the time on your machine when its on, you might save more power with the nvidia cards, its all relative to what you do.
  14. Jad Chaar

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

    I do like the nVidia Control Panel, but I dont mind CCC. AMD cards have never been good with SGSSAA, but I hear what you say, the higher bandwidth should be winning.
  15. Waros

    Waros TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Radeon pro is better than nvi adaptive v-sync.John Mautari must be given the due credit...The test is done on November and even though not much CFX fix driver for amd at that time,but with implementation of radeon pro,the results are magical...


    Conclusion from Tom's-

    "Aside from a few dropped frames and a handful of spikes when the test changes scenes, our dual-Tahiti card enjoys much smoother sailing. In fact, the end result is often better than what you'd see from a single graphics card, with virtually no micro-stuttering left.

    The RadeonPro software is more complicated to use than Nvidia's hardware-based solution because you have to manually create a new profile for each and every game. But the results speak for themselves. This is nothing short of a revelation for the folks who pin the scalability of their gaming machines on multi-GPU configurations, but hate the idea of micro-stuttering. John Mautari, the utility's developer, deserves big thanks from the crew at AMD, to be certain. "
  16. GhostRyder

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

    Oh really, im going to actually look into this, never heard of this software, thanks for the notification on it.
  17. Waros

    Waros TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Yes man it's a magic of a software...I am using it for the last 6-7 months,working like a charm..Right now playing bioshock infinite and crysis 3(2xsmaa,maxed out sett.) (13.5B2) maxed out, locked on silky smooth 60 fps on my 7950..
    You can customize a ton of features in it to work on radeon as sweetFX,SMAA,AO,frame pacing,etc etc etc...also set? custom profile with double vsync on,triple buffering on and dynamic frame control to 50-60 fps depending on how powerful your card is to achieve that desired 60 fps target...good luck
  18. Waros

    Waros TS Rookie Posts: 18

  19. GhostRyder

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

    Well with Quad-Fire 6990's, BF3 seemed to always be smooth as it was with vsync in-game on but im curious how this will act now. I really want to try in on Far Cry 3 as that game seems to act very strangely (I dont see it as stuttery and unplayable like some claim, but its definitly not great performance because on ultra it seems to only ever use max 45% on all 4 and spikes down to ~40's on FPS). If this software is as good as you say and from what im reading it is (ive been googling this now) when I get off work im going to try it and see what I can do.

    Also how are you liking the 13.5b2, I have 13.4 installed atm, how stable is it and any problems to speak of?
    Waros likes this.
  20. Waros

    Waros TS Rookie Posts: 18

    BF3 same case as you,very smooth even with in-game v-sync

    In-game bench procedure(not canned bench) for accurate and unbiased results for BF3-

    Benchmark results-

    I installed 13.5B2 from 13.3 beta 3 for a couple of days and works like a charm and no stability issues experienced until now...

    I tested 13.5B2 with two games pre-installed on my PC with 13.3B3-crysis 3 and B.inf
    I was getting very smooth gameplay with B.inf even with 13.3 beta 3,but it got silky smooth now with 13.5B2..
    But crysis 3 got a dramatic performance boost of nearly 30%(tested on both 2xsmaa/4xsmaa maxed out on 13.5b2 wrt 13.3b3..

    I have not tested skyrim yet with 13.5b2,but PGHD tested skyrim and the results are nicer with 13.5B2 compared to 13.3B3-

    And also every games I played and the 3 listed above,I use radeon pro for custom profile and advance vsync set-up from the "Tweaks" tab of radeon pro...

    Your results may vary as the cards tested are GCN (not VLIW),but it's worth giving a shot with 13.5B2..
  21. GhostRyder

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

    Yea, thats what I hear though since im fine at the moment, I may skip and wait till its in full release. But anyway, im syced to try this out because if this really adds that much performance to games, im really going to enjoy it (And I dont mind making profiles for each game).

    Also, I watch lots of Linus tech Tips, love that webshow, ive seen those before and I thought it was interesting especially when you compare those cards a year ago on the same game.

    It make take me some testing to find the best point on that software, but if it does like it sounds like it should, thats gotta be amazing.
    Waros likes this.
  22. Jad Chaar

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

    I never trust 3rd part stuff that mess with things like graphics drivers. But Radeon Pro seems legit. But at the same time, adding features not meant to be run is risky.
  23. Waros

    Waros TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Linus is one of my favourite GPU reviewer.He does in-game benchs(not canned ones for saving time and biased) and show us the exact process of his gameplay benchs procedure so we can compare it for ourselves to test the results.Therefore,nothing to hide or cheat/biased.I always follow his price point GPU benchmarks and generally make my gpu upgrading decisions..

    And yes,radeon pro custom profile will take some time as there are many graphics enhancing features in there to choose and test and advance v-sync option in "Tweaks" Tab.But when you make all those graphical optimisation and mainly tweaks for silky smoothness,I bet you will really like this wonderful amd radeon tool radeon pro...It works like a charm with my HD 7950.
  24. GhostRyder

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

    Personally, heres all I care about when I game, being able to run a game, on its ultra preset (or highest possible where stable) and keep 60FPS as constant as possible. 60 FPS is what I care about at the top of the chart because after that it feels pointless and when gaming (especially on my older cards) I would comp settings to get a straight constant FPS on whatever machine I was on.

    My friend on the other hand (Dual 580s FYI) likes looks more than anything and will take Higher resolution to sacrifice FPS. He has Far Cry 3 maxed and keeps it above 30 minimum, but I prefer stable 60.
  25. Waros

    Waros TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Yes agreed, playing with 60 fps maxed out settings feels like invincible when gaming...that fluidity of shooting and moving is stunning...60 FPS RULES

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