Radeon HD 7990 And GeForce GTX 690: Bring Out The Big Guns

Benchmark System

We first benchmarked all the graphics cards in our VGA 2012 benchmark system. After that, we took a look at installation and operation in a closed case.

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Benchmark System
CPUIntel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 4C/8T, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading Enabled, Overclocked to 4.5 GHz
MotherboardGigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3, Intel Z68 Express, BIOS F10
Memory4 x 4 GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600
CPU CoolerCooler Master TPC 800 with Noiseblocker eLoop B12-PS (PWM)
SSDKingston V200+ 480 GB
Power SupplyCorsair AX1200i Digital ATX Power Supply, 1200 W, 80 PLUS Platinum
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DriverCatalyst 12.11 (Beta) and Catalyst 12.9         GeForce 306.97 WHQL
Temperature22 °C (held constant)
Closed Benchmark CaseNZXT Phantom 820

We're particularly interested to compare the performance of AMD's Catalyst 12.9 driver package to the more recently-released 12.11 beta driver, which the company claims should be much faster in a number of games.

Unlike many of the graphics card reviews you read, we're conducting our testing today in a closed chassis. After all, it can't be that easy to dissipate more than 500 W worth of heat, and we want to know what effect that has on real-world thermals and acoustics.

  • mayankleoboy1
    IMHO, the GTX690 looks best. There is something really alluring about shiny white metallic shine and the fine metal mesh. Along with the fluorescent green branding.
    Maybe i am too much of a retro SF buff :)
  • Ironslice
    What's the most impressive is that the GTX 690 was made by nVidia themselves and not an OEM. Very nice and balanced card.
  • tacoslave
    i wept
  • hellfire24
    your test system is sexy!!!!!!!
  • willyroc
    You can't really go wrong either way with these generally insane(so to speak) cards.
  • amuffin
    Is it just me or do the 7970X2 and 7990 coolers look so fast and fugly? :heink:
  • thanks for the in depth analysis with adaptive V-sync and radeon pro helping with micro stutter.

    not to take away anything for the hard work performed; i would have liked have seen nvidia's latest beta driver, 310.33, included also to see if nvidia is doing anything to improve the performance of their card instead of just adding 3d vision, AO, and sli profiles.
  • esrever
    can we get some quadfire benchmarks too? :D
  • RazorBurn
    AMD's Dual GPU at 500+ Watts of electricity is out for me.. Too Much Power and Noise..
  • mohit9206
    2 670's in sli is better than spending on a 690 and 2 7950's in Xfire is better than spending on a 7990. this way you save nearly $300 both ways