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GeForce GTX 580M SLI Vs. Radeon HD 6990M CrossFire

Radeon HD 6990M Or GeForce GTX 580M?

An examination of the latest mobile graphics processors was the primary impetus for today’s test, so let’s look at a quick summary of gaming benchmark results.

It'd be easy for Nvidia to claim the superiority of its cards in SLI, given the results of the games we tested. Both its GeForce GTX 580M and 485M dual-GPU configurations beat AMD's Radeon HD 6990M in CrossFire. But that chart includes all resolutions, and we know that most gamers (especially the ones dropping more than seven grand) prefer to play at the display panel’s native resolution.

Limiting our selection to 1920x1080 results doesn’t really help AMD either. Yet, we do know of at least one place where Radeons can win.

Desktop gamers usually point and laugh when we start pointing out the efficiency differences between cards. But then again, desktop users don’t need to worry as much about heat. AMD’s GPUs use less power, in part because they’re slightly weaker on-average. However, they also produce more work per watt than the competition. Moreover, the Radeon HD 6990M costs less than the GeForce GTX 580M.

Eurocom deserves credit for stepping beyond the comfort zone of competing system builders and figuring out how to get two Radeon HD 6990Ms working in a rig able to support a pair of GeForce GTX 580Ms. However, it'd seem that the Nvidia cards are the better match for such an over-the-top mobile workstation. The AMD boards, based on their power and performance profile, would likely be better suited in a smaller, lighter, less expensive machine. The Radeon HD 6990M is the "more mobile" solution tested today in a "less mobile" platform.

The price difference between Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580M and AMD's Radeon HD 6990M is also very significant. It just so happens that thousands of dollars of upgrades to this notebook (which we appreciate; they help squash the potential of system bottlenecks when we run benchmarks) make a large price delta look less painful than it actually is. Value leadership favoring AMD's new flagship would have been more noticeable in a $2000 build than it is in a $7000 build.

Thus, while the GeForce GTX 580M SLI holds performance leadership in a greater number of today's games, we look forward to smaller-sized, lighter-priced gaming notebooks that might be able to demonstrate the comparative value of AMD’s flagship Radeon HD 6990M in both single-GPU and CrossFire configurations.

  • mightymaxio
    Good to see that the performance of the SLI 580m lives up to the name.
    Reply
  • burnley14
    I'm amazed that this product even exists. The market for people willing to pay $7k for a behemoth gaming laptop has to be pretty miniscule.
    Reply
  • decembermouse
    Come on, AMD, I've seen too many articles like this declaring Nvidia's new solution to be the superior one. We know that AMD's cards tend to be more power-efficient, but that only goes so far for some people. Keep that advantage certainly, but become more competitive with overall performance as well.
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    Do you really need this much performance in a laptop, I curious. A GTX 560M could run most games on medium-high anyways (on a laptop) those laptops run about $1100, the saved money could get you a beast SB-E or BD comp and then some left for the college fund.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    aznshinobiDo you really need this much performance in a laptop, I curious. A GTX 560M could run most games on medium-high anyways (on a laptop) those laptops run about $1100, the saved money could get you a beast SB-E or BD comp and then some left for the college fund.Do you really think so? Because 1920x1080 seems to be a fairly popular resolution for 17" notebooks, and a single GTX 580M appears barely-adequate for medium-settings at that resolution. Well, maybe a single HD 6990M would do. That's why the article suggested the HD 6990M might be a top solution for slightly smaller notebooks, aka "normal sized" 17" notebooks.
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    how long until battery run out of energy ? 25 minutes of gaming ? LOL
    Reply
  • Phyrexiancure
    Wow, this is light years better than my desktop.
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    377W lol, that needs a big ass AC Adaptor!
    Reply
  • Crashman
    iam2thecrowe377W lol, that needs a big ass AC Adaptor!Remember that's input wattage FOR the adapter. The output was STILL less than 300W. These high-capacity power bricks are far from being 80-Plus Gold rated!
    Reply
  • Todd Sauve
    CrashmanDo you really think so? Because 1920x1080 seems to be a fairly popular resolution for 17" notebooks, and a single GTX 580M appears barely-adequate for medium-settings at that resolution. Well, maybe a single HD 6990M would do. That's why the article suggested the HD 6990M might be a top solution for slightly smaller notebooks, aka "normal sized" 17" notebooks.
    This entire article is eminently STUPID! Who is going to spend that kind of money on a notebook simply so they can play games on it?

    And is there a human being on this planet that can make use of a resolution like 1920x1080 on a 17" notebook screen in order to play games?

    It is little wonder that the rest of the world finds us degenerate when we will indulge ourselves with toys like this, and at such a scandalous price, while millions of our fellow human beings are simply starving to death as we speak ... ;(
    Reply