Print 23 comment(s) - last by tamalero.. on Apr 29 at 11:45 AM

Chipmaker claims card is the world's most powerful GPU

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) has answered NVIDIA Corp.'s (NVDA) challenge on the high-end.  It today made official the launch of the Radeon HD 7990, a $999 USD graphics card which will pound antlers with the identically priced GeForce GTX 690 (and sister Titan card) from NVIDIA.

I. The Answer

The card will start shipping in two weeks and packs a whopping 8 TFLOPS of raw power.  Both the GTX 690 and Radeon HD 7990 are amply equipped to handle gaming at a 4K resolution (typically referring to 3840x2160 pixel displays) -- although you'll need a pricey display and a strong CPU, etc. to tap that potential.  AMD uses two Tahiti chips (rebranded as Malta processors) in its card.

AMD makes its case presenting internal benchmarks for games that it comes out ahead of NVIDIA, including Crysis 2 and Metro 2033.

Here's a quick rundown on the device's spec, versus the GTX 690:
AMD v. NVIDIA GTX 690 and Radeon 7990 edition
A couple of quick notes -- while NVIDIA has a smaller stream processor count, its SPs are more powerful, so this is essentially a tie.  Second, actual performance numbers (read on) indicate that AMD's theoretical raw performance "lead" may be nonexistent in the real world.

The two chief areas where the devices are actually different are the memory and power fronts.

II. The Best Card?  Hard to Say, But it is Tardy

The card has been benchmarked by Ryan Smith over at AnandTech who reports that it achieves a statistical dead-heat with NVIDIA:

On average the 7990 delivers 100% of the performance of the GTX 690. Of course there aren’t any games where they’re tied, since NVIDIA and AMD exchange the lead on an almost per-game basis.

He concludes that the NVIDIA card wins on power and heat -- it consumes approximately 75 less watts, and puts off 75 watts less heat.  But he says that the 6 GB of onboard GDDR5 video RAM (compared to the "measly" 4 GB of GDDR5 on the GTX 690) make the AMD card more future-proof.
HD Radeon 7990
He adds, though, that AMD's card is tardy -- which may hurt AMD in the long term.  He writes, "There’s really not a very good way to point this out, but AMD’s 7990 is historically late...The real head scratcher is this: why wasn’t AMD doing this aggressive binning and putting together a card like their 7990 a year ago?"

Sources: AMD, AnandTech [benchmarks]

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The pic is off
By bebimbap on 4/24/2013 2:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
The stream processors for the 7990 should be 2x2048 and not 2x4096 I think everything else is right though.
I was on the verge of thinking 9990!!!

RE: The pic is off
By mikeyD95125 on 4/24/2013 9:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
I know we are still years away from reaching the theoretical limit of stream processors on a GPU. 8192 would be ridiculous.

RE: The pic is off
By Spoelie on 4/25/2013 7:00:52 AM , Rating: 4
Also, memory speed should only be expressed in bandwidth in the tables. Funny how 6ghz is worse than 6.008ghz even though both don't matter on their own, as the bus width also matters.

Bit coin doesnt need eye candy power
By KOOLTIME on 4/24/2013 1:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
Its about raw gpu power not resolution eye candy power. So this card is not much for a bit coiner to use, as the scale they would need for this to even break even with cost to have a bit coin farm of the size needed for this card to be of relevant use + its cost, 99.9999% of people would never achieves such a BT farm set up.

By Mitch101 on 4/25/2013 8:17:19 AM , Rating: 2
4K projectors, TV's, and Stereo Receivers that can upscale to 4k are out and the prices aren't horrible either. Ive even seen some 4k video content floating on the web already. The 4K movement probably isn't far behind. The HDMI cables I bought which weren't expensive either about $6.00 each are rated for 4k video. Its here already sure the content will follow soon enough. After all we need another copy of Star Wars this time all the guns and light sabres replaced with Walkie Talkies and still Guido shoots first but cant hit at point blank range.

journalism fail
By Argon18 on 4/24/2013 3:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
Really, "6 Ghz" vs "6.008 Ghz" was one of the comparisons? That's called a tie. When comparing numbers, it's imperative to use the same number of decimal places.

Who's to say that AMD's "6 Ghz" is not actually 6.009 Ghz? You don't know that, hence the Nvidia number must be rounded to an even 6 Ghz or its an invalid comparison.

RE: journalism fail
By Mitch101 on 4/25/2013 8:12:09 AM , Rating: 2
Im sure that's a NVIDIA marketing guy who came up with that.

Also whenever I see something like that a red flag goes off and I wonder why are they trying this hard to one up something with a spec like that?

By Motoman on 4/25/2013 11:43:20 AM , Rating: 3
...who actually buys these cards?

OK...I'm a huge fan of PC gaming. Waaaay more better than console gaming. I always build my personal machines with gaming in mind as the primary driver of what components go in - knowing full well that it'll be just fine for work too after that.

But to spend a thousand bucks on a video card? I had to do some serious soul-searching to spend ~$180 on my 7850. Which runs every game I want totally maxed out on my 1080p monitor.

Yeah, so I don't have a "4K" monitor. So I don't know how much that cost either.

I guess I wish I had the kind of money laying around where I wouldn't care what such things cost, and could just throw the money around willy-nilly. Even then though...I'd have to believe there'd be *something* more important to do with a thousand bucks.

By tamalero on 4/29/2013 11:38:47 AM , Rating: 3
Its pretty simple.
the news about TITAN stole the "thunder" from AMD.
so they had to counter somehow.

Bad on you AMD
By Crazyeyeskillah on 4/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bad on you AMD
By tamalero on 4/29/2013 11:45:18 AM , Rating: 2
Disagree, they did not show any information of that (on tomb raider)
they claimed the game crashed then they speculated about the performance.

Stuttering for the masses
By bug77 on 4/24/2013 6:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, at $1,000 a piece, maybe not for the masses.
Anyway, I like how these guys do their reviews:

Be sure to read till the end, it seems AMD is (finally) working on addressing stutter.

Wrong Stream Proc Count
By toast70 on 4/25/2013 11:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
These cards do not have 2 X 4096, they have 4096 total

2 x 2048

Get your facts straight!!


Higher dpi monitor
By euler007 on 4/25/2013 12:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Great, now we just need a monitor that can do 4k for below 1k$.

The secret to higher AMD sales is...?
By RealTheXev on 4/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: The secret to higher AMD sales is...?
By xti on 4/24/2013 12:40:17 PM , Rating: 3
gamers who need this...would be 1%. bitcoiners, are like the 1% of the 1%.

By BRB29 on 4/24/2013 3:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
less than 1%

RE: The secret to higher AMD sales is...?
By Flunk on 4/24/2013 1:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
There really aren't that many people "mining" Bitcoin, but I suppose that this doesn't really make much sense for gamers either so it could genuinely affect sales.

It seems to me though that a lot of Bitcoin "miners" are just gamers that use their video cards when they're not playing games to "mine" and the number of large farms is low.

Bitcoin is really badly understood at this point.

RE: The secret to higher AMD sales is...?
By BRB29 on 4/25/2013 10:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
with the cost of electricity and even more electricity to cool my room, there is no significant gain in bitcoin mining.

By UnauthorisedAccess on 4/25/2013 7:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ethics aside, if electricity was free to use (Uni campus, office, companies data centre, even a holiday rental) then mining becomes feasible.

RE: The secret to higher AMD sales is...?
By bebimbap on 4/24/2013 2:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
Powercolor 7950 costs 250.

you could have 4x 7950s for $1000. though it only has 1792 procs each that's 7186 stream procs instead of just 4048. A Far better deal for bit coin farming, and gaming if you can ignore the frame studdering anyway, and also since you can sell your game vouchers for another $20 each easy.
Even two 7970s is only about $800 while the GHZ ed will cost you $900.

this would not be the card to get for bit coin mining. The only people I can see wanting it are those with space concerns and money is no object so they wouldn't be mining in the first place. for instance an mini ITX gaming case with the power of xfire with just 1x16 PCI-E or someone that wants quad with a mATX.

By sixteenornumber on 4/24/2013 4:06:07 PM , Rating: 2
yes but what he was saying is, bit coin minders are about to get a Bitcoin ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated circuit).
for $6.8K one of these ASICs can do 65 GHashes/s. For compassion, a 7990 prob won't even hit 2GH/s but I could be wrong.

By Totally on 4/24/2013 9:59:03 PM , Rating: 3
a bit of fyi, frame stuttering is virtually non-existent on 3+ GPU set ups.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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