AMD Radeon HD 7990 Review: The Quiet Beast

Power Consumption, Noise, Temps

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points--namely, power consumption, temperatures, and noise. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored acoustics and tracked how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea of how much power each configuration used while idling and also while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the graphics cards alone.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

The Radeon HD 7990's idle power consumption is right in-line with, although slightly higher, than the GeForce GTX 690 and a bit higher than all of the single-GPU based solutions as well. Please note, however, that these numbers were recorded with the cards sitting at the Windows desktop. If the system goes to sleep and the monitor is powered down, the Radeon HD 7990's power consumption drops to 143 watts. Power consumption under load is a different story altogether. When hammering on the Radeon HD 7990, its power consumption goes way up. The 7990's power consumption under load was over 100 watts higher than the GeForce GTX 690.

Although the card uses a lot of power relative to its competition, the Radeon HD 7990's triple-fan cooler has no trouble keeping up. At idle, temperatures are a non-issue and under load the card's GPU temp peaked at only 76 degrees C.

We should also mention that the Radeon HD 7990 remains nice and quiet, regardless of load.  AMD claims the card produces a lower sound pressure level than the GeForce GTX 690 and GTX Titan under load, but we couldn't confirm that because our sound level meter isn't sensitive enough to report decibel levels low enough (AMD claims 37.8dBA for the 7990 at 50cm while running Furmark). Subjectively, we'd actually say the card was just a tad bit louder than the GeForce GTX 690, but we would not consider loud by any means. AMD clearly put a lot on engineering effort into the Radeon HD 7990's cooling solution and it has paid off in spades. In fact, the card is quieter than a single Radeon HD 7970 and it's a completely different league versus the Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire setup. AMD deserves some kudos for this one.

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