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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.

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.