AMD Radeon HD 6990 4 GB Review: Antilles Makes (Too Much) Noise

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eddieroolz

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Interesting review. Great performing card, but issues worse than NVidia faced with their much-mocked GF100.

I think NVidia is content to let AMD take the performance crown for now. It simply isn't worth repeating the same mistake that they made with GF100. But I believe that a dual-GPU solution from NVidia will be able to outpace the 6990 no problem - even the GTX570 serves up 60% of the frames of the 6990. Combine two, and you have (at best) 120% performance.

On a side note, it disgusts me to see the same people that hammered NVidia praise AMD even though AMD's execution was arguably much poorer. The same people that mocked GTX480's grilles being able to cook eggs are now drooling over 6990, stating that heat and noise is to be expected from a flagship card? Way to be a fanboy, guys.
 

alidan

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[citation][nom]dragonsqrrl[/nom]Real? Care to expand on what exactly you define as a "REAL" problem? But before you do, I'm just going to venture a guess and assume all the issues found in recent reviews of the HD6990 fall outside this definition, even if the problems share commonalities with some previous gen Nvidia cards.I'll give you credit though, at least you just tell it straight and admit your blatant fanboyism instead of trying to cover it up like some others.[/citation]

lets over look anything that can be solved with newer drivers and things, as these are solvable problems.

so far, there are no cards cooking themselves, so that is a plus.

in the past i have had nvidia cards, they were hot regardless of what i did, idol or in games, i can only hope it was defects, and its not every card, but a while ago my nvidia was hitting 80c idle even after i cleaned it, forcing a replacement. before that, a relative who is a pc enthusiast (builds and swaps parts quarterly) has ran into several nvidia cards that he could only attest to frying themselves from heat.

now if i remember right, even non high end cards form nvidia, for a long time where loud, not just the highest end card, and that is a REAL problem.

another REAL problem for me is in my room, heat tends to linger longer than anywhere else, so if a card is blowing out heat, allot, always, like nvidia tends to, its a problem. now i have had a high end card at one point, and i didn't care to much that heat blew out of it, because its to be expected on the highest end. but if it was lower end cards, i couldn't accept that. because this is the highest end card, its a problem, but its not a REAL one, because honestly, what did you expect from a high end card?

i also want to say its not fanboyism, if their was a third competitor, id go ati or them. ill explain it a bit. when nvidia came out with their 3d solution, i was ready to buy a new card, a new monitor and the 3d setup they wanted. turns out i didn't need a new monitor, so i was happy, im ready to spend that money on the highest end single card so i can use 3d... and im looking over the requirements one more time until i came across, dx10 only. up till this point i was only seeing the cards i would need the cpu, what os never even crossed my mind to check. i would have had to get windows vista, to be able to use 3d, at the time i was sitting on about 800$, i would have bought a new computer to see 3d if it was required, but i was not getting vista. you have no idea how much that #@$^ed me off. that is why i hate them, sense than, i like the ideas that ati had more than nvidia, like open solutions to nvidias closed platforms. given the two solutions, i would lean twords ati regardless even if it wasn't for that 3d stuff. granted its probably because ati isnt ever in a dominating position that they went open but i still like open apposed to closed.
 

masterofevil22

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Off topic, but I've got a 6850 right now. I game in 1080p on my tv.. one screen. Does anyone think that before the next generation of consoles/games comes out that I can honestly justify an upgrade to SLI or 6950/GTX 570??

I mean everybody just saw that new UE3 Samaritan demo. Those guys were running Three GTX 580's. If that's what next-gen consoles are packing and that's what it's going to take to run those games..my question becomes; what is the point in buying all this high priced/powered hardware today to play games that run on six year old consoles and probably WON'T run "next-gen" games anyway??
 

bluestar2k11

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Nice review. Though I think directly comparing a single 580 to a 6990 is a touch unfair, I can see the need to compare overall performance. I'm very curious how the upcoming Geforce 590 will fair against this monster. Another clash of the titans coming soon to a newegg near you.

I'm betting the 590 will stop on the 6990 overall, but I think the 590 will produce more heat and eat more power then the 6990. (2x 8pin and 1x 6pin PCIE anyone? lol.) As for what it will do with the heat, I don't know. Putting half back into the case is a steep asking price, that would raise the ambient temperatures in the case by at least 10C, perhaps 15C, or more depending on your cooling solution.

Though my 580 runs around 70C overclocked under heavy load, I have outstanding case cooling, these new on-board SLi/Xfire will require such cooling by the sounds of it just to maintain a less then 80C temp. That's scary, though most people who would use one of these high end cards, are likely those with excellent cooling. Maybe even use their own aftermarket or liquid cooling for the card itself.
 

nebun

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[citation][nom]malmental[/nom]you will not be able to hear the game your gaming on, headphones or not..... LOL[/citation]
just water cool the damn thing...:)
 

juliom

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For crying out loud Chris, this is a DUAL GPU card! What did you expect? That it would behave like a passively cooled card? How can you compare it with a SINGLE GTX 480? Your bias never ceases to amaze me.
 

masterofevil22

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It's settled. I'm going 6850's OC'd and crossfired. That beats a 580 handily and uses less power doing it. After that, I'm waiting till the console gen starts and if (I'm sure they will) games require it, I'll upgrade again.
 

THEfog101

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[citation][nom]csuwrx[/nom]No Crysis benchmark?[/citation]

That was my first thought as well, i dont care what the fanboy's cry - i would like to see this card run Crysis on Enthusiast setting with 2560x1440 Res and AA maxed out and still maintain a solid 60FPS. Nice Example of what is to come though, hopefully they fix up the sound and heat issues before going retail.

ughhh i can just see in my mind when the GTX590 is released, 80% of the people here are going to be saying the likes of "Look at that, its hot and noisy and i dont like it" It dosn't matter that it is still cooler, quieter and faster than the 6990 and dosn't cost as much......it still sucks........because it isn't AMD.

Hypocrites are a plague upon the IT industry.
 

masterofevil22

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ughhh i can just see in my mind when the GTX590 is released, 80% of the people here are going to be saying the likes of "Look at that, its hot and noisy and i dont like it" It dosn't matter that it is still cooler, quieter and faster than the 6990 and dosn't cost as much......it still sucks........because it isn't AMD.
I don't care if it's AMD or Nvidia making the GPU's. If anyone expects either company to able to release their highest end GPU's, TWO of them on a single card and NOT have heat and noise issues; they are kidding themselves.
 

silverblue

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Dual GPU cards will always have a market. For a start, there's people who don't have enough room or slots for more than one x16 card. There's also the people with enough money to get two such cards. Also, as we've seen with the 6990, its power usage sits between 6950CF and 6970CF, right where the card performs on average. AMD's failure to utilise a more sensible cooling solution is the real fail here and I for one am waiting to see what the third parties come up with to solve this issue.

nVidia haven't launched a dual-GPU card for a while now and that might be down to GF100 not being ideal, but those issues have been mitigated, at least partly, with the release of GT110 and 114. The 590, if it exists, could be a very good card. Power issues shouldn't be a massive problem for people able to afford one of these beasts in the first place, however if the 590 uses far more power than the 6990 for little performance gain (and there's that PCIe bandwidth limit that might be called into question...), questions will undoubtedly be asked. A consumer should get the card that best matches his/her requirements, be that Eyefinity, PhysX, CUDA and so on, bearing in mind how much having these features cost to have and to use.

It's a little foolish to accuse Chris of being anti-AMD when he recommended two 6970s instead... credit where credit's due. He also said two 570s would be a great buy. So, if you're in the market for some real performance, there's some good choices to be had, especially if your board can take either Crossfire or SLi.
 

Marcus52

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[citation][nom]ubercake[/nom]OK, Nvidia... You're turn.[/citation]

I'm always looking for the next big thing like most everyone else, but not as a "mine is bigger" race. If Nvidia builds a dual GPU product that advances the technology, I'm all for it, but if the cobble together 2 GPUs just to claim a title I think that's the wrong reason, and it won't impress me.

;)

 

golflink

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I am not too computer savy, so any advice is appreciated. I wanted to order a high end computer for FSX only. Falcon-NW wouldn't recommend dual 6990 4 Gb cards due to noise. They said either 1 4gb 6990 or dual N-Vidia 1.5 gb cards. Alienware diesn't offer the 6990 yet.
For FSX what do you guys say with money not a real consideration
a. 1 4 GB 6990
b. dual 4 gb 6990 and deal with the noise
c. dual N-vidia GTX 570 at 1.38 GB
d. wait until N-vidia next card.
 

K2N hater

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[citation][nom]golflink[/nom]I am not too computer savy, so any advice is appreciated. I wanted to order a high end computer for FSX only.[/citation]
Hardware can get you addicted easily so take it easy.
 

Ten98

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Yeah, except you miss one crucially important thing. Dual GPU cards are only as good as the Crossfire / SLI driver support for the particular game you want to play.

9 times out of 10, the crossfire support simply doesn't exist or is so buggy and crashy it would be better if it didn't.

Buy one of these and enjoy having to disable one of your GPUs most of the time.
 

silverblue

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Hasn't Crossfire massively improved over the past year, especially with the introduction of the 6xxx series cards? The scaling certainly has, and there's less issues being reported in reviews, though I expect it would be foolish to believe it's perfect.
 

Ten98

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Extremely foolish. It's far from perfect. Most games are designed around single-GPU systems and Crossfire / SLI support is added as an afterthought.

Then you get the problem that Game X is sponsored by Nvidia and Game Y is sponsored by ATI so Game X works amazingly on SLI but terribly on crossfire and Game Y works ok on Crossfire and below average on SLI.
 
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