Radeon HD 6990 review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 03/07/2011 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
So then, it is based on two Cayman GPUs, now we can describe the product very easily. Take a Radeon 6970 and multiply everything by two. And that is roughly the R6990 in a nutshell, features and specification wise, yet now it's one card.
Now before I show you the final specifications of the Radeon HD 6990, you need to understand that the card has two modes, normal and unlocked.
The AMD Radeon HD 6990 graphics card features dual-BIOS capabilities. This feature is controlled by an Unlocking Switch sitting closely next to the CrossFireX connector on your board. The switch toggles between the factory-supported Performance BIOS of 375W TDP (BIOS1), and a more extreme Performance BIOS (BIOS2) that unlocks higher clock speeds and up to 450W TDP of performance.
For end users to enable this higher performance BIOS, they will have to remove a label covering the dual BIOS switch and set the BIOS switch to the desired position outlined below:
- Position 1 450W Extreme Performance BIOS (BIOS2).
- Position 2 (default shipping position) 375W factory-supported Performance BIOS (BIOS1).
Let's place that in a table:
|Radeon HD 6950||Radeon 6970||Radeon 6990||Radeon 6990 Unlocked|
|Die Size||389 mm2||389 mm2||389 mm2 x2||389 mm2 x2|
|Transistors||2.64 Billion||2.64 Billion||5.28 Billion||5.28 Billion|
|Core Clock / MHz||800||880||830||880|
|Memory Clock / MHz||5000||5500||5000||5000|
|Memory Bandwith||160 GBps||176 GBPs||320 GB/s||320 GB/s|
|Compute performance||2.25 TFLOPS||2.7 TFLOPS||5.10 TFLOPS||5.40 TFLOPS|
|TDP Gaming||140 W||190 W||350 W||415 W|
|Idle power||20 W||20 W||37 W||37 W|
The Radeon HD 6990 comes armed with an astonishing 3072 shader processors, thus 48 SIMD based shader clusters, split up in a twofold engine per GPU. The domain and shader clock is locked in at 830 or 880 MHz. The card comes paired with 4 GB of memory clocked at (effective) 5000 MHz (2GB per GPU). The TDP of this product is 350W in default mode, and in unlocked mode the card can consume 415W with a hefty game. There's room left for overclocking in the unlocked design though, you may take the card up-to roughly 450W.
Now, since we have all this knowledge let's just compare this product with some others. Let's have a quick comparative overview of some of the specifications representing a certain scope of other performance parts, you'll notice that the differences are just HUGE, I've inserted the 'default' performance mode in there, not the unlocked one :
|Specifications||Radeon HD 5770||Radeon HD 5850||Radeon HD 6850||Radeon HD 6870||Radeon HD 6950||Radeon HD 6970||Radeon HD 6990|
|GPU||Juniper XT||Cypress Pro||Barts Pro||Barts XT||Cayman Pro||Cayman XT||Cayman XT|
|Manufact. tech.||40nm||40 nm||40nm||40nm||40nm||40nm||40nm|
|GPU frequency||850 MHz||725 MHz||775 MHz||900 MHz||800 MHz||880 MHz||830 MHz|
|Memory Datarate||4800 MHz||4000 MHz||4000 MHz||4200 MHz||5000 MHz||5500 MHz||5000 MHz|
|Memory bus||128-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit x2|
||1 GB GDDR5||1 GB GDDR5||1 GB GDDR5||1 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5||2 GB GDDR5||4 GB GDDR5|
Impressive stuff huh ? The card of course is an up-to-date DX11 class product with a couple of new features. Features wise, the graphics cards will be very similar to the last generation products and is merely an advanced, updated model. However some features like one DVI and four DisplayPort 1.2 monitor connectors are present for a full Eyefinity experience up-to five cards with just one R6990.
Now before you get concerned about the four DP connectors, the card will ship with 3 adapters to enable Eyefinity gaming out of the box for all users. The product will ship with:
- 1x mini DisplayPort to passive single-link DVI adapter
- 1x mini DisplayPort to active single-link DVI adapter
- 1x mini DisplayPort to passive HDMI adapter
The adapter configuration will enable 3x1 gaming out of the box with DVI panels but with additional display adapters or Display Port displays you will be able to drive up to 5 displays in portrait Eyefinity (5x1 Portrait mode) for the rather grand gaming experience.
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