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Test Settings And Benchmarks

Radeon HD 6990M And GeForce GTX 580M: A Beautiful Lie


Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-990X (Gulftown), LGA 1366, 3.46-3.73 GHz, 12 MB Shared L3 Cache
RAM3 x 4 GB DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24, 12 GB Total
Desktop MotherboardASRock X58 Extreme3, BIOS P2.80 (10/31/2011)
Mobile PlatformClevo X7200 X58, BIOS 1.01.12 (06/21/2011)
Radeon HD 6990
Desktop Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 6990 4 GB (2 GB x2)
830 MHz GPU Core, GDDR5-5000
Desktop Catalyst 11.11 Display Driver
Radeon HD 6990M
Mobile Graphics
Clevo Radeon 6990M 2 GB (x2 for CrossFire)
715 MHz GPU Core, GDDR5-3600
Mobile Catalyst 11.11 Display Driver
GeForce GTX 580
Desktop Graphics
GeForce GTX 580M 1.5 GB
722 MHz GPU Core, GDDR5-4008
Desktop Driver Version 280.26
GeForce GTX 580M
Mobile Graphics
GeForce GTX 580M 2 GB (x2 for SLI)
620 MHz GPU Core, GDDR5-3000
Mobile Driver Version 280.26
Hard DriveIntel SSDSC2MH120A2: 120 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 64-bit

Although a desktop builder could put two dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 graphics cards into a single system, notebook builders are stuck with two GPUs at most. MXM modules are simply too small to accommodate two large GPUs, let alone the power circuitry and doubled-up memory resources. So, we're going to put AMD’s mobile graphics in the best possible light by comparing two of its mobile Radeon HD 6990M modules to a single desktop Radeon HD 6990.

Nvidia isn’t getting a pass for its own indiscretions. We're also comparing a pair of its GeForce GTX 580M graphics cards to a single GeForce GTX 580. Nvidia's solution can't be included in as many of the tests, since we no longer have access to the mobile modules we'd need in order to run some of our newer benchmarks. That also explains why the older 280.26 display drivers were used. But it's worth noting that Nvidia is guilty of the same naming practices.

Fortunately, our legacy gaming suite include GPU-busters like Just Cause 2 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.

Notebook motherboards are generally pretty limited with regard to their features. So, a budget desktop motherboard using the same chipset makes for the most accurate comparison. ASRock’s X58 Extreme3 fills the need for desktop graphics connectivity.

Benchmark Configuration
Legacy 3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 4x AA
Just Cause 2Version, Built-In Benchmark "Concrete Jungle"
Test Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF
Test Set 2: Highest Details, 4x AA, 16x AF
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
Recent 3D Games
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF
Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
StarCraft IIVersion, Tom's Hardware custom map
Test Set 1: High Texture, High Quality
Test Set 2: Ultra Textures, Extreme Quality
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