AMD Radeon HD 6990 Review: Antilles Has Arrived

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Summarizing the Radeon HD 6990’s performance couldn’t be any easier. In every benchmark we ran and in every game we tested, regardless of the in-game settings or resolution used, the Radeon HD 6990 offered the best performance of any single-graphics card we’ve ever tested. The combination of two AMD Cayman-class GPUs and 4GB of fast GDDR5 memory on a single PCB result in extreme performance that’s significantly higher than the AMD Radeon HD 5970, Radeon HD 6970, or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580. In short, unless (or until) NVIDIA releases its own dual-GPU powered card, it’s going to take two of the most powerful single-GPU based graphics cards available today to match or exceed the performance of the Radeon HD 6990.

AMD Radeon HD 6990

The AMD Radeon HD 6990 is an extreme graphics card in every sense of the word. The card’s performance is obviously extreme, as is its power consumption, its output configuration, and its price. AMD is setting the MSRP at whopping $699. This card is no doubt expensive, but considering its performance, along with a few other factors worth mentioning, we can see how AMD arrived at this number. At $699, the Radeon HD 6990 costs a little more than double that of the average Radeon HD 6970, which currently sells for about $340. With every Radeon HD 6990 though, two mini-DP to DVI adapters (one active, and one passive) will be included, along with a single mini-DP to HDMI adapter. Shipping with this assortment of adapters will allow Radeon HD 6990 owners to immediately set up a wide array if Eyefinity configurations, with virtually any type of monitor, without having to invest in additional adapters. So, in terms of its performance and accessories, we can see why AMD is setting the price where it has. We wish it was cheaper, and we suspect many of you are feeling the same way, but as usual, you gotta pay to play on the bleeding edge of the PC enthusiast space.

While we wish power consumption was a bit lower and the card was a little quieter under load, we can’t help but be impressed by the AMD Radeon HD 6990. This graphics card is simply a beast, there’s no other way to put it. But AMD’s efforts to tame this beast must also be commended. Having tested single-GPU powered cards over the years that were much louder and didn’t offer anywhere near the kind of dominant performance that the Radeon HD 6990 does, we can better appreciate what AMD has done here. The Radeon HD 6990 is not everyone, as is evident by its exorbitant price tag and power requirements, but for those uncompromising enthusiasts that want nothing but the best of the best, at any price, the Radeon HD 6990 delivers the goods.

Update: AMD sent word of a Radeon HD 6990 give-away they're running and asked that we get the word out.  Check out this site for a chance to win.

  • Extreme Performance
  • Playable 5-way Eyefinity From a Single Card
  • 4GB On-Board
  • Overclocked At The Flip of a Switch

  • High Power Consumption
  • Pricey
  • A Little Loud Under Load

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