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HD 6990 reviews and discussion

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a c 169 U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 6:58:48 AM
a c 169 U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 7:21:07 AM

Honestly,I was expecting a little from it.I though we would see a true successor to 5970.
Performance-wise,its about 20% faster but it's quite loud and pricey.
I guess aside from things like not having enough room for 2 cards, other options such as 2 6950's offer the same performance and cost less.
March 8, 2011 11:14:41 AM

Usually I say my unlocked 6950 beasts every game but Metro 2033 beasted my 6950. I was averaging about 30fps with AAA (not 4xMSAA) and had its points where I was getting 13-20 fps.

I wish I had that 6990 for that game but its much too pricy ($700) and my 6950 fits in my case with like 1/4 inch to spare. Other than that game, I feel the only reason to get a card of that magnitude is just to make your e-peen bigger. Games play perfectly at 60fps and a 6970+ and 570+ can provide that with the exception of Crysis and maybe a couple RELEVANT DX11 games.

I'm just hoping that my GPU is good enough for Dragon Age 2 and Crysis 2. I pre-ordered my games on Newegg so I'll find out soon enough.
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March 8, 2011 1:53:08 PM

I plan to purchase a 6990, but not for the 'epeen extenstion' many people seem to associate this card with. My reasoning:

it looks to typically outperform sli'd 570s (possibly due to the larger vram), at the same price point. 580's are a lot better, but IMO not worth the extra $300 ($500 for 3gb versions).

the 6990 outperforms GTX 560s that come in the 2gb flavor (palit 560 ti's), without being *much* higher in price (about $100-$150). I think the px increase in this scenario is worth the extra cost.

And the final pin in my cushion: as tempting as 6950's or 6970's are, the 6990 offers me an eyefinity setup with the same output going to all 3 monitors. This 'solves' the vsync screen tear problem experienced when mixing dvi w/ dp on the 50/70 cards.

All in all, it is capable of beating the GTX 570s, and has more vram for AA/textures and such. In my opinion, it also has better price/px than SLId 580s or 2gb 560s... On the AMD side of the fence, the $60 premium, and 5% to 10% performance reduction against xfire 6950/70s is an acceptable trade when considering there is no screen tear to deal with when enabling vsync. I understand this is a 'halo' product, and many people do not have a need or desire for it. On the other hand, I am one of the seemingly few where it fits what I've been looking for to the letter. I hope this helps detract from the "e-peen" mentality many people have towards this card :-)
March 8, 2011 4:33:46 PM

I don't think you need to worry about "epeen" with this card darkphox.

The hairdryer noise it apparently makes is going to make it very affordable, very soon methinks.

With the GTX590 allegedly launching this month, you might do well to wait a few weeks and see if NVIDIA can engineer a dual gpu card that doesn't wake the neighbors.
If their card is a dustbuster as well, you can always still buy this one.






NVIDIA Focus Group Member
NVIDIA Focus Group Members receive free software and/or hardware from NVIDIA from time to time to facilitate the evaluation of NVIDIA products.
However, the opinions expressed are solely those of the Members.
a b U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 7:07:00 PM

after reading the review, the card seems to be a bit underwhelming the huge amount of vram really, imo offers very little advantage over 1 gig or 2 gig models 6950s, (at least price/performance wise) personally I will not be budging from my 6870 crossfire setup anytime soon...
March 8, 2011 10:26:23 PM

According to the reviews the card also exhausts both inside and outside the case. The last thing I need is more hot air blowing into my case, esp. onto the disk drives which is where it would go in a typical tower setup.

I just lost a RAID0 drive (Seagate of course) which I suspect was due to not getting enough airflow from the front case fan (bottom of the stack). Luckily I'm semi-conscientious (semi-conscious?) about backing up to an external drive, so I only lost a little data.

So my preference would be a pair of 580s in SLI or wait for the 590 (unless it too blows like a hair dryer onto my drive bay).
a b U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 10:57:45 PM

Well I think it's swell if you are okay with noise.
a c 194 U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 1:25:54 AM

This beast is going to kill off power supplies with that little switch at the top, and anyone who has a slightly corroded pair of 8 pin PCI connectors is going to start melting some plastic once they start pushing that much power through them, there was a reason that no card exceeding 300W can bear the PCI-E logo, now the design specs all PSU manufacturers have been using for those 8 pins have been thrown out the window because AMD got desperate for power. If you cant do it in the limits then its time to get better tech, dont ignore the limits and just shove crap in.

I checked on newegg, the XFX version is the only one with a power supply recommendation at the moment and its only recommending a 650W unit, considering AMD says the card can pull up to 450W with that switch flipped i dont think 650W will be enough for these guys and there are going to be some very sad people out there with some very dead PSUs. Im rather disappointed in AMD with this one.
March 9, 2011 11:00:08 AM

Even if I could afford a 6990, I would never put one in my PC. It's too hot and WAY too loud. I will keep my trusty HD 5850.
a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 5:54:06 PM

^pathetic
a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 5:57:26 PM

The only way this card will ever survive in the market is if card manufacturers install better cooling system and do some bios tweaking with the card.
a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 8:01:14 PM

Either way its not a gpu that will ever, imo, come with a high recommendation to buy, there are just better options out there.
a b U Graphics card
March 10, 2011 12:31:18 AM

Anyone here own one yet?
a b U Graphics card
March 10, 2011 1:05:25 AM

Yep, But people will buy them for the same reason as the 5970 when it was released.
E-peen.
a c 169 U Graphics card
March 10, 2011 1:39:58 PM

plznote said:
Yep, But people will buy them for the same reason as the 5970 when it was released.
E-peen.

Not exactly.
I bought 5970 instead of 2 5850s because it was cooler,quieter and had less power consumption and offered the same performance.
However,6990 is different.It performs like 2 6950s but it's louder.
a b U Graphics card
March 10, 2011 11:14:09 PM

I guess, But I live in Canada and the 5970 was well over 800 bucks when it was released.
What makes me sad is our dollar is worth more than the American now.
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 1:50:43 AM

The overclocking the 6990 easy with the reference design?
There is already noise/power/temp issues..
Can it be overclocked to about 6970+ levels?
a b U Graphics card
March 15, 2011 12:32:06 PM

my god.4GB,EVEN CROSSFIRE IS NOT REQUIRED
a little noisy as in reviews but this is the powerfull card in the world
oc is also easy with this
a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2011 11:03:28 PM

That's good.
March 20, 2011 11:56:32 AM

manu 11 said:
my god.4GB,EVEN CROSSFIRE IS NOT REQUIRED
a little noisy as in reviews but this is the powerfull card in the world
oc is also easy with this


Why would an OC be easy with a card that runs hot and loud at stock?
March 20, 2011 1:09:59 PM

Quote:
^ it has a bios switch that turns it into a true HD6970x2 in a flick of a button ?


I know that.


You're argueing that the defintion of "easy to overlock" is a switch that retruns the card to STOCK SPEEDS.

The card is nearly impossible to OC. Even returning it to stock settings makes the thing nearly impossible to live with.


Cards that are easy to OC are cards like the HD 5870, that ran cool and had plenty of headroom coupled with low power useage.
March 20, 2011 1:11:30 PM

Quote:
yea, ths bioss switch enables HD6950 to HD6970 unlock on HD6990s


I'm starting to think you have no idea what youre tlaking about.

The HD 6950=/= 6970 at lower clocks.

There are disbaled shaders.

The HD 6990= 2 6970 chips at lower clocks.
a b U Graphics card
March 20, 2011 5:46:02 PM

herpity said:
I know that.


You're argueing that the defintion of "easy to overlock" is a switch that retruns the card to STOCK SPEEDS.

The card is nearly impossible to OC. Even returning it to stock settings makes the thing nearly impossible to live with.


Cards that are easy to OC are cards like the HD 5870, that ran cool and had plenty of headroom coupled with low power useage.

That doesn't mean easy, that means efficient.

The flick of a switch is as easy as it gets.
March 20, 2011 5:54:02 PM

TheViper said:
That doesn't mean easy, that means efficient.

The flick of a switch is as easy as it gets.


You're trying to tell me Headroom and Temps don't matter in OCing?

Bullshit,

Couldn't care less about there stupid switch, takes 5 mins in afterburner.

What matters is OC headroom (Low) and temps (High).
a b U Graphics card
March 20, 2011 6:23:18 PM

Can you take that same 5 minutes and find in my post where I said that headroom and temps don't matter in overclocking? Because I took a full minute myself and couldn't find it.

Of course they matter. But those are factors of efficiency, not ease. A single switch is still "easier" than minutes worth of configurations in Afterburner.

Why are you having issues with grasping the concept of something being "easy". I don't think anyone stated it was efficient at overclocking, but rather it was easy to overclock.
March 20, 2011 6:51:59 PM

TheViper said:
Can you take that same 5 minutes and find in my post where I said that headroom and temps don't matter in overclocking? Because I took a full minute myself and couldn't find it.

Of course they matter. But those are factors of efficiency, not ease. A single switch is still "easier" than minutes worth of configurations in Afterburner.

Why are you having issues with grasping the concept of something being "easy". I don't think anyone stated it was efficient at overclocking, but rather it was easy to overclock.


I would consider headroom and temp more indactors of ease than anything else.

They make it much easier to OC, as difficulties (Read: Opposite of ease), come into play when the chip reaches high tempatures or does not have enough headroom.

A button press to gain a few mhz is nothing but a gimmick, (I would argue that the millionth of a calorie expended by opening the case and bending over to press the button is much harder and more difficult than 3 mouse clicks, which requires no energy whatsoever) and does nothing to ease the process of actually overclocking the chip, as I do not consider a button press to return a card to what the stock settings should have been an overlcock.


Simply setting up a preset in afterburner would accomplish the same thing, and you wouldn't have to touch your hardware.

I spent a few minutes thinking of WHY AMD would do such a thing, when software would be a better way to reach the same effect.

A button in CCC that says: 'Return 6990 to enhanced speeds?' or something along those lines would be a much better idea.
a b U Graphics card
March 20, 2011 11:07:20 PM

Warranty and not everyone uses the CCC is why they optioned for a switch for dual BIOS.

And the definition of an overclock is increasing clock speeds beyond their manufactured default settings. Doesn't matter what you think the default clock speed should be; it's what you get from the manufacturer.
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2011 12:19:21 AM

The dual-BIOS is awesome.
March 21, 2011 4:57:18 PM

TheViper said:
Warranty and not everyone uses the CCC is why they optioned for a switch for dual BIOS.

And the definition of an overclock is increasing clock speeds beyond their manufactured default settings. Doesn't matter what you think the default clock speed should be; it's what you get from the manufacturer.


Using the switch invalidates the warrenty.

And, speaking of invalid, the above statement invalidates your arguement.
March 21, 2011 7:22:03 PM

Lol? How does "The dual-bios is awesome" statement invalidate his argument?

His argument remains the same and is very accurate.
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2011 9:38:12 PM

The dual-Bios lets you switch to a 6970X2 with a flick of a switch.
Hence, I say it is awesome.
March 23, 2011 7:08:52 AM

what would be the minimum processor required to not "bottleneck" this card?

would i have to overclock a phenomx4 or would it just be better to use a phenom 6 core?

wich core i5?

i dont do a ton of computing power all i want to do is run games, watch movies, brows the net. i dont want to have to overclock if i dont have to mainly because i want a computer that will last me alot of years and wont give me any headaches down the road. i think a core i7 would be overkill for what i use a computer for.

i want a build that can run dual monitors without any headaches so before my only option was sli or xfire but i like using only one card. i was thinking 8 gigs of ram quadcore processor and a cheap 80-120gig ssd does this sound like a good plan?

a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 12:29:35 PM

I think the 1090T/i5 would be enough if overclocked.
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 2:52:52 PM

emergancy exit said:
what would be the minimum processor required to not "bottleneck" this card?

would i have to overclock a phenomx4 or would it just be better to use a phenom 6 core?

wich core i5?

i dont do a ton of computing power all i want to do is run games, watch movies, brows the net. i dont want to have to overclock if i dont have to mainly because i want a computer that will last me alot of years and wont give me any headaches down the road. i think a core i7 would be overkill for what i use a computer for.

i want a build that can run dual monitors without any headaches so before my only option was sli or xfire but i like using only one card. i was thinking 8 gigs of ram quadcore processor and a cheap 80-120gig ssd does this sound like a good plan?



start your own thread with your budget, etc... and people can suggest you a build, personally I would say go for a i5 2500k based build if you want it to last for several years, for the money that will be a lot better than any AMD cpu right now
March 23, 2011 5:03:13 PM

^^ well i thought the processor question was a legitamate question. all the reviews ive found they just stick the i7 in there and call it a day
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 5:11:03 PM

yeah didnt mean to call you out I was just saying that if you want good advice start a proper thread for it, but overall like I said above I would stick with the i5 2500k to build my system around
March 23, 2011 6:58:44 PM

Quote:
HD6990 has the same amount of cores as the HD6970 ,it runs at 830mhz, between the 6970 and 6950.
Headroom is constrained by the die node and Temp doesnt mean much when u have enough air flow.....

If u're arguing that the 6990 can hit 40% increase in clocks, u can try the GTX590 since I heard they're a pair of GTX580 at 500 something mhz........so maybe with 3 8pins, u can hit 1ghz with those chips :lol: 


I don't think you'll be so amused when the reviews of the 590 hit tomorrow, speaking as someone who most likely has one. :whistle: 




NVIDIA Focus Group Member
NVIDIA Focus Group Members receive free software and/or hardware from NVIDIA from time to time to facilitate the evaluation of NVIDIA products.
However, the opinions expressed are solely those of the Members.
March 23, 2011 11:17:45 PM

Quote:
HD6990 has the same amount of cores as the HD6970 ,it runs at 830mhz, between the 6970 and 6950.
Headroom is constrained by the die node and Temp doesnt mean much when u have enough air flow.....

If u're arguing that the 6990 can hit 40% increase in clocks, u can try the GTX590 since I heard they're a pair of GTX580 at 500 something mhz........so maybe with 3 8pins, u can hit 1ghz with those chips :lol: 


You restated what I said, want a cookie?

And I'm argueing that the 6990 can't OC well, where did you pull 40% from?
March 24, 2011 1:07:07 AM

When I power up my Pavilion dv2000, I have blue lights but the screen remains black / blank. I can't hear the pc booting any further. I replaced NEW motherboard, still the same problem....need help
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 12:23:18 PM

The 590 sure is powerful.
Overclocking gives 20%+ increase.
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 3:08:17 PM

Rollo said:
I don't think you'll be so amused when the reviews of the 590 hit tomorrow, speaking as someone who most likely has one. :whistle: 




NVIDIA Focus Group Member
NVIDIA Focus Group Members receive free software and/or hardware from NVIDIA from time to time to facilitate the evaluation of NVIDIA products.
However, the opinions expressed are solely those of the Members.

So the reviews are in and it appears the 590 is a card you definitely don't want to overclock at all. Tech Power Up's 590 blew up on them when trying to overclock it.

And on a stock for stock basis, it's a statistical tie for performance until the 2560 x 1600 resolution (the ONLY resolution you should really use these cards with) the 6990 takes an easy win thanks to the VRAM difference.
March 24, 2011 7:17:50 PM

Quote:
That was a typo, I meant to say it cant hit 40% OC, cause we all know it's technically impossible for it to go 1.4ghz core :) 

Typo or no typo, I fail to see your point.

Me: 6990 Doesn't OC very well.

You: Shiny button!

Me: Button is useless gimmick

You: Shiny!

You: 6990 can OC to 40% higher clocks!

Me: What is this I don't even.

You: It was a typo, but the other option is equally stupid!

Me:

March 24, 2011 10:32:06 PM

HardOCP did widescreen gaming benchmarks and had some interesting thoughts. Single screen gaming, either one is overkill. Once surround gaming was added, the differences are apparent. GTX 590 beat the 6990, but it was in games where both cards got over 100fps anyhow. 6990 beat the GTX in more strenuous games, where frames are at or below 60, where they're a little more meaningful. They also did it with less overall power draw, albeit at 2-3 degrees hotter.

"We truly thought the GTX 590 was going to make the Radeon 6990 look bad, but the fact of the matter is that NVIDIA made the 6990 look that much better. The GTX 590 is not the "World's Fastest Single Card Solution" as stated on our page 1 slides; the Radeon HD 6990 is very much retaining that title." - Hard OCP

In their post-action review they overclocked the 6990 and said they liked it better now than they did at first review (where they gave it a good smashing). I don't favor red or green, I favor the best px for my money and I am confident the 6990 was the right choice this go around...
March 24, 2011 11:18:09 PM

6990 needs water cooling, 590 is semi useable as an air cooled card.
March 24, 2011 11:19:21 PM

TheViper said:
So the reviews are in and it appears the 590 is a card you definitely don't want to overclock at all. Tech Power Up's 590 blew up on them when trying to overclock it.

And on a stock for stock basis, it's a statistical tie for performance until the 2560 x 1600 resolution (the ONLY resolution you should really use these cards with) the 6990 takes an easy win thanks to the VRAM difference.


First, here's NVIDIA's official statement on the cards people have managed to blow up by running 25% above spec power through them:

Quote:
“The few press reports on GTX 590 boards dying were caused by overvoltaging to unsafe levels (as high as 1.2V vs. default voltage of 0.91 to 0.96V), and using older drivers that have lower levels of overcurrent protection. Rest assured that GTX 590 operates reliably at default voltages, and our 267.84 launch drivers provide even more additional levels of protection for overclockers. For more information on overclocking and overcurrent protection on GTX 590 please see our knowledge base article here: http://nvidia.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/nvidia.cfg/php/endus....”


Second, in that TechPowerup the "easy win" at 25 X 16 you referred to was 3% overall. Is that really worth listening to the blowdryer roar of the 6990?





NVIDIA Focus Group Member
NVIDIA Focus Group Members receive free software and/or hardware from NVIDIA from time to time to facilitate the evaluation of NVIDIA products.
However, the opinions expressed are solely those of the Members.
a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2011 12:01:49 AM

Rollo said:
First, here's NVIDIA's official statement on the cards people have managed to blow up by running 25% above spec power through them:

Quote:
“The few press reports on GTX 590 boards dying were caused by overvoltaging to unsafe levels (as high as 1.2V vs. default voltage of 0.91 to 0.96V), and using older drivers that have lower levels of overcurrent protection. Rest assured that GTX 590 operates reliably at default voltages, and our 267.84 launch drivers provide even more additional levels of protection for overclockers. For more information on overclocking and overcurrent protection on GTX 590 please see our knowledge base article here: http://nvidia.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/nvidia.cfg/php/endus....”


Second, in that TechPowerup the "easy win" at 25 X 16 you referred to was 3% overall. Is that really worth listening to the blowdryer roar of the 6990?





NVIDIA Focus Group Member
NVIDIA Focus Group Members receive free software and/or hardware from NVIDIA from time to time to facilitate the evaluation of NVIDIA products.
However, the opinions expressed are solely those of the Members.

It blew up, man. Are you in good conscious truly going to try to defend that?

Oh wait, your boilerplate signature tells the whole story. You wouldn't be a good company man if you didn't.
March 25, 2011 12:02:54 AM

TheViper said:
It blew up, man. Are you in good conscious truly going to try to defend that?

Oh wait, your boilerplate signature tells the whole story. You wouldn't be a good company man if you didn't.


Shut up and drink the damn koolaid.
!