AMD Radeon HD 6990

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Tech Info
Tags: , , ,

AMD Radeon HD 6990 arrives – the world’s fastest, and noisiest graphics card
Radeon-6990
AMD has finally launched the successor to the Radeon HD 5970, transferring the crown of the world’s fastest graphics card to the new single-slot dual-GPU champion – HD 6990 (Antilles). While the world now awaits a dual-GPU offering from Nvidia, the GTX 595 or 590, let us give the newly launched card its due before a pair of overclocked GTX 580s snatch its laurels from it.
he Antilles HD 6990 is built out of two Cayman HD 6970 GPUs, with precisely twice the stream processors – 3072, texture units – 192, ROPs – 64, and video memory – 4GB GDDR5. Just like the Hemlock HD 5970 however, which was built out of two Cypress HD 5870 GPUs, the dual GPU core and memory clock speeds have been lowered from their single GPU counter parts. The drop this time however has not been as significant, with a 5.5% drop in core clock speeds to 830 MHz from 880 MHz, and a 9% drop in memory clock speeds to 5.0 GHz from 5.5 GHz. All this equals an average 22% boost in performance over the HD 5970. The card is also a bit less massive as the HD 5970, measuring in at 11.5-inches.
Model
HD 6990
HD 6970
HD 6950
HD 5970
Stream Processors
2×1536
1536
1408
2×1600
Texture Units
2×96
96
88
2×80
ROPs
2×32
32
32
2×32
Core Clock
830MHz
880MHz
800MHz
725MHz
Memory Clock
1.25GHz (5.0GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.375GHz (5.5GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.25GHz (5.0GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width
2×256-bit
256-bit
256-bit
2×256-bit
Frame Buffer
2x2GB
2GB
2GB
2x1GB
Transistor Count
2x 2.64B
2.64B
2.64B
2×2.15B
Manufacturing Process
TSMC 40nm
TSMC 40nm
TSMC 40nm
TSMC 40nm
Price Point
$699
$349
$259
N/A

Underclocking the HD 6990’s dual-GPU setup was a decision that must have not been taken lightly, but when paired with a launch price of $699, the HD 6990 becomes more than twice as expensive as two HD 6970 cards in CrossFire, a combination that is faster on many fronts – fast enough to nearly outweigh the disadvantages of a CrossFire setup. In fact, the even cheaper HD 6950 CF setup is very comparable in performance to the HD 6990.

Another variable in the above equation is of course power consumption, and the HD 6990 has taken that crown from the HD 5970 as well, ranking up a mind-boggling official load TDP of 375W. Power consumption under serious load goes even higher, up to nearly 500W, and nearly 550W when overclocked. The official idle TDP of the HD 6990 however, is lower than the HD 5970, at 37W.

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