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

Radeon HD 7990 And GeForce GTX 690 Duke It Out

A couple of weeks ago, our German office got an exclusive on HIS' new flagship graphics card, the 7970 X2 (notice that they're not calling it a Radeon HD 7990). Because we also have PowerColor's Devil13 HD7990 6 GB in our lab, along with a GeForce GTX 690 from EVGA, we're about to crown the fastest graphics card of 2012 right here and right now.

Will the outcome matter to you? Well, PowerColor's board is currently listed on Newegg for $1000, but it's out of stock. The HIS card doesn't even show up for sale online yet. Our sample was part of a small, limited-production run (we'll come back to this in the conclusion). Only EVGA's offering is sitting on store shelves. And while it also goes for $1000, making it too expensive for most folks, there's at least something to be said for availability, right?

With its factory overclock, PowerColor's Devil13 HD7990 6 GB comes very close to the GeForce GTX 690 in our performance-oriented tests. Meanwhile, HIS' 7970 X2, which was shown off at Computex, but not necessarily a sure thing, is finally ready. Elevated clock rates are supposed to make the HIS card the fastest graphics card, period. But do the benchmarks concur? Let's have a look at how these three boards stack up on paper first.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Radeon HD 7970 X2, Radeon HD 7990, And GeForce GTX 690
Row 0 - Cell 0 HIS 7970 X2PowerColor Devil13 HD7990 6 GBEVGA GeForce GTX 690
Shader Units2 x 20482 x 20482 x 1536
GPU Clock Rate1050 MHz925 / 1000 MHz915 MHz +Turbo
ROPs2 x 322 x 322 x 32
GPUs2 x Tahiti XT2 x Tahiti XT2 x GK104
Transistors (Billion)2 x 4.312 x 4.312 x 3.54
Memory2 x 3 GB2 x 3 GB2 x 2 GB
Memory Bus2 x 384-bit2 x 384-bit2 x 256-bit
Memory Clock Rate1500 MHz1375 MHz1502 MHz

Technically, the HIS card looks like it holds a strong position. If those numbers translate into real-world performance, and if micro-stuttering isn't a problem for AMD, it could be our winner. Then again, we already saw in GeForce GTX 690 Review: Testing Nvidia's Sexiest Graphics Card that Nvidia put a lot of effort into creating a fast, svelte, and quiet offering in its GeForce GTX 690. That'll be a tough act to follow.

  • 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