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AMD Radeon HD 7990: Eight Games And A Beastly Card For $1,000

Results: Crysis 3

It’s a good thing that we have so much information at our disposal. Otherwise, the average frame rates in Crysis 3 would confound us. On one hand, we see two Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire rendering more than 46 FPS, but giving us a more modest 23.4 FPS once we remove dropped and runt frames. On the other, AMD’s Radeon HD 7990 yields a similarly poor 22.3 FPS in both the hardware and practical frame rate measurements. Then, we install the prototype Catalyst driver and get chart-topping results.

It isn’t clear why the Radeon HD 7990’s hardware and practical frame rates are so low from this chart. But when we drill down into the raw frame times, we see the dual-GPU flagship bouncing between very precise ~35 and ~50 ms frames, occasionally jumping to ~65 ms. This is being done deliberately, perhaps to circumvent the severe number of runts encountered by the CrossFire config. Radeon HD 7990 surprisingly encounters few drops or runts at all, instead simply suffering low all-around frame rates.

Perhaps the prototype driver suggests what AMD would like to see in the long-term. It does drop some frames and cut others off prematurely (indicated by the divergent dotted line). However, we clearly see it’s much more competitive against Nvidia’s hardware.

We expect a single GPU to serve up the lowest variance between successive frames, and GeForce GTX Titan delivers. Two GTX 680s in SLI leverage Nvidia’s metering technology to achieve solid numbers as well.

Meanwhile, a range from about 5 to 45 ms really hurts the Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire. The strangely specific peaks and valleys between 35 and 50 ms help keep the 7990’s frame time variance and check. But it’s the prototype driver we should probably be looking forward to most.

  • blackmagnum
    If I had 1,000 dollars... I would buy a Titan. Its power efficiency, drivers and uber-chip goodness is unmatched.
    Reply
  • whyso
    Power usage?

    Thats some nice gains from the prototype driver.
    Reply
  • ilysaml
    Nice article!! Unbeatable performance out of the box.
    Reply
  • 17seconds
    Sort of seems like a mess to me. The game bundle is nice.
    Reply
  • timw03878
    Here's an idea. Take away the 8 games at 40 bucks a piece and deduct that from the insane 1000 price tag.
    Reply
  • donquad2001
    this test was 99% useless to the average gamer,Test the card at 1900x1080 like most of us use to get a real ideal of what its like,only your unigine benchmarks helped the average gamer,who cares what any card can do at a resolution we cant use anyway?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    whysoPower usage?Thats some nice gains from the prototype driver.Power is the one thing I didn't have time for. We already know the 7990 is a 375 W card, while GTX 690 is a 300 W card, though. We also know AMD has Zero Core, which is going to shave off power at idle with one GPU shut off. I'm not expecting any surprises on power that those specs and technologies don't already insinuate.
    Reply
  • ASHISH65
    nice article! here comes the Competitor of gtx 690!
    Reply
  • cangelini
    donquad2001this test was 99% useless to the average gamer,Test the card at 1900x1080 like most of us use to get a real ideal of what its like,only your unigine benchmarks helped the average gamer,who cares what any card can do at a resolution we cant use anyway?If you're looking to game at 1920x1080, I can save you a ton of money by recommending something less than half as expensive. This card is for folks playing at 2560 *at least.* Next time, I'm looking to get FCAT running on a 7680x1440 array ;)
    Reply
  • hero1
    Nice article. I was hopping that they would have addressed the whining but they haven't and that's a shame. Performance wise it can be matched by GTX 680 SLI and GTX 690 without the huge time variance and runt frames. Let's hope they fix their whining issue and FPS without forcing users to turn on V-sync. For now I know where my money is going consider that I have dealt with AMD before:XFX and Sapphire and didn't like the results (whining, artifacts, XF stops working etc). Sorry but I gave the red team a try and I will stick with Nvidia until AMD can prove that they have fixed their issues.
    Reply