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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 secret to higher AMD sales is...?
By RealTheXev on 4/24/2013 12:34:58 PM , Rating: -1
It will hurt AMD's sales.. in an unexpected way: Bitcoin miners. They are about to get dedicated asic's, and this card probably won't see the sales it would have if it has launched sooner.

Bitcoin mining is the quiet thing making AMD's sales higher, and AMD should be worried.

Doesn't matter how you feel about Bitcoin, but it is a cruel reality for AMD right now how much their sales and aftermarket sales are effected by people building massive mining rigs.

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.

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