PowerColor HD6990 Crossfire Review

Far Cry 2 and Metro 2033

PowerColor HD6990 Crossfire Review

Far Cry 2

Ignoring the overclock result for a moment we can see how scaling is greatly affected by the quality of the underlying game engine. The Dunia engine is one that your humble scribe has long felt didn't get the use it deserved and at least it takes advantage of the four GPUs we have available with our PowerColor setup today.

 

Metro 2033

Is there no end to the talents of the 4A Development team and their 4A Engine? As badly as it performs with a single GPU at the helm, it just eats extra hardware for breakfast, making 100% use of it, then sits there like the omnom from Cut the Rope just waiting for the next bit.

If the HD6990 was impressive, two are stunning. Sure it's a grands worth of kit, but to run out of eye-candy settings on Metro 2033 and still be well into triple digit frame-rates is almost worthy of a round of applause.

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Most Recent Comments

07-03-2011, 23:43:55

tinytomlogan
Got a spare grand kicking about and wonder what to do with it? Just read the review of the HD6990 and wonder how it would do in Crossfire? Read on...



Continue Reading

07-03-2011, 23:51:06

TheWhiteRose000
Again.

Does want.

08-03-2011, 00:46:23

Hribi
I wonder how it would perform in wather cooled conditions? Uderwise nice card, but a little hot and loud for my taste

08-03-2011, 01:41:50

dugdiamond
very nice - but however rich i think i am, i cannot justify paying over 1000 for two cards, just for an upped framerate.

although, on their own, they handle the benches very well, considering that they are dual gpu cards.

i think AMD have also overpriced them, as they offer no new technology. for that price i would expect DX12 (whatever/whenever that may be)

08-03-2011, 02:41:51

Zeals
Wow for Quad GPUs they scale insanely well.

08-03-2011, 03:16:38

wraithien
Wow it might be expensive but crossfire performance is insane though that's a hell of a lot of money for two graphics card regardless of performance.

08-03-2011, 03:18:46

Todd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

Wow for Quad GPUs they scale insanely well.
Indeed, most previous attempts were nothing short of spectacular.. when it comes to failing... at everything. Tom, you look tired, mate. Go get some sleep, I'll drop by your office tomorrow so we can start sorting this mess out. (I just love Vice City )

08-03-2011, 03:30:08

JCBenton
Alrighty. Finished reading both, now time to patiently wait for 590 results, then for results from other manufacturers' cards, on both sides.

Should be a nice march/april.

08-03-2011, 04:53:49

almighty15
Dissapointed, those 4 GPU cores have so much more to give, if only that 3Ghz i7 used in the review would push them.

I say stick a 4Ghz+ in and run a few tests again and you'll see a difference then.

08-03-2011, 05:51:16

silenthill
I really respect your honesty tom which makes this review spot on and it seems to me that neither Nvidia or AMD care anymore about noise levels because most of these new cards sound like hairdryers when overclocked so noise is no longer an issue and if you wish to OC these cards you need to move on to custom cooling exactly like the CPU market.

08-03-2011, 06:35:18

OEOTS
Quote:
Originally Posted by almighty15 View Post

Dissapointed, those 4 GPU cores have so much more to give, if only that 3Ghz i7 used in the review would push them.

I say stick a 4Ghz+ in and run a few tests again and you'll see a difference then.
have you read the Test Setup specs?

the i7 950 Tom uses has been OC'ed to 4Ghz, as he does with all his GPU tests.

08-03-2011, 07:10:50

wraithien
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenthill View Post

if you wish to OC these cards you need to move on to custom cooling exactly like the CPU market.
The irony being if you want to put on a water block or any aftermarket air cooler you instantly void your warranty.

08-03-2011, 08:01:12

OEOTS
I can understand it gets frustrating, that doesn't mean you shouldn't say anything about it though.

and yup, that's mine, ESP '06 model Signature model, best guitar I've ever owned. Sound good through my VH4S too

08-03-2011, 08:15:18

SieB
Meh, performance is good but to me noise and heat are what I look at as well and there is no way I would want one of those 6990's ringing in my ears never mind 2. Bring on the 590 I have high hopes for it.

08-03-2011, 08:19:50

Zeals
Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithien View Post

The irony being if you want to put on a water block or any aftermarket air cooler you instantly void your warranty.
Warranty depends completely on the manufacturer. While I'll personally recommend MSI because of the Twin Frozer III coolers. If you're going to use custom water cooling or Arctic Cooler VGA coolers; go for XFX because their warranty service covers removal of the stock cooler. Also comes with life time warranty.

08-03-2011, 08:20:06

Zeals
It will be interesting to see how the GTX590 stacks up against this. In all likelihood it will be faster, the question is how it will scale, and the pricing. If NVidia decide to make the cost similar to the HD6990, and I think I read somewhere that the GTX590 will be produce with minimal profit, so it can compete with the HD6990.

08-03-2011, 09:04:58

silenthill
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

It will be interesting to see how the GTX590 stacks up against this. In all likelihood it will be faster, the question is how it will scale, and the pricing. If NVidia decide to make the cost similar to the HD6990, and I think I read somewhere that the GTX590 will be produce with minimal profit, so it can compete with the HD6990.
Produce with minimal profit, now thats a joke dont believe a word of that rubbish thats just what they want you to believe, they make tons of profit otherwise their COs wouldnt buy houses in LA worth 30 million $, mate the graphic market is known to be the biggest money making business in the computer industry.

08-03-2011, 11:59:09

wraithien
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post
go for XFX because their warranty service covers removal of the stock cooler. Also comes with life time warranty.
Not in the UK it doesn't you get the standard two year warranty the lifetime warranty is only in America I know of no card manufacturers (in the UK at least) which allow you to modify the card.

08-03-2011, 12:24:37

almighty15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wraithien View Post

Not in the UK it doesn't you get the standard two year warranty the lifetime warranty is only in America I know of no card manufacturers (in the UK at least) which allow you to modify the card.
Us brits always get shafted when it comes to warranties..

08-03-2011, 13:44:33

Aurus_OC
Yea I don't like how they treat Europe in terms of their warranties as well. Kind of disappointing to see that kind of warranty in Europa, compared to the US.

08-03-2011, 17:02:12

south side sammy
Hey 3D man.... forgot your name.... LOL.. The thing about the fan on the second card not spinning up. You look like a tinkerer. What if you made a "Y" connector for the fan power hook ups and plugged both fans into the top cards power slot........ completely by-passing the bottom one altogether ? I think that should make both fans spin at your preset fan speed.... ???

I haven't ran Xfire in many years but for a single card running in the 40% area..( fan speed ) kept the card at a constant temp while not driving you crazy from the noise. Think you might give the "Y" connector a try ?

08-03-2011, 18:18:19

warfox101
My guess is the 590 will cost around $900 to $1000 .US

Now if Nvidia prices to compete with AMD it will be a big win.

08-03-2011, 18:42:07

dipzy
Its amazing how tom's opinions are exactly like yours.

I reckon after AMD bought ATI and dropped the ATI brand, things have been going downhill for em. Having a poor cooler on a powerful card is just a silly mistake.

GTX500 series was a big leap from the previous GTX400 series cards, AMD(ATI) 6000 series not so much of improvement over the 5000 series

For me Nvidia cards have been very solid in terms of performance and drivers so im saving for the GTX590.

08-03-2011, 19:41:54

south side sammy
Sounds a little high. Isn't that card a lower performing GTX570x2 ? If so I think it would be priced about the same as the 6990. Maybe even 550. Doesn't matter to me, they're both high.

08-03-2011, 21:48:38

Game Over
Warranties are made to be broken.

@Tom, hell of a review. I was surprised at the FarCry2 results, Im still new to all this but never would have expected that.

Is it possible in CF to disable one of the cards and just run off of one for games like FarCry2 where this would be an issue, you know, without physically disconnecting anything, a desktop menue option to run only one card or 2 with just a click?

Not that I am considering this setup,but in general.

09-03-2011, 06:45:55

south side sammy
actually meant $650. can't see it being more than that but i'm sure they'll try.

12-03-2011, 03:29:09

tesla1776
@ Dipzy,

Its amazing how tom's opinions are exactly like yours.

I reckon after AMD bought ATI and dropped the ATI brand, things have been going downhill for em. Having a poor cooler on a powerful card is just a silly mistake.

GTX500 series was a big leap from the previous GTX400 series cards, AMD(ATI) 6000 series not so much of improvement over the 5000 series

For me Nvidia cards have been very solid in terms of performance and drivers so im saving for the GTX590.



Ummm yeah, Lets see...The improvement from the 5000 series to the 6000 series was 23% in frame rates, the scaling was very much improved (20%+) and improved tessellation and features. All with less shaders and less power usage. .....now lets see...those numbers were very close to another graphics cards manufacturers new lineup...oh yeah! it was Nvidia going from the 400 series to the 500 series.

As far as "things have going downhill for them" of course! this would explain their increased market-share.

Nice try.

12-03-2011, 14:56:44

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesla1776 View Post

@ Dipzy,

Ummm yeah, Lets see...The improvement from the 5000 series to the 6000 series was 23% in frame rates, the scaling was very much improved (20%+) and improved tessellation and features. All with less shaders and less power usage. .....now lets see...those numbers were very close to another graphics cards manufacturers new lineup...oh yeah! it was Nvidia going from the 400 series to the 500 series.

As far as "things have going downhill for them" of course! this would explain their increased market-share.

Nice try.
Fight Fight Fight ;-)

12-03-2011, 15:18:15

dipzy
people have different experiences and opinions about videos cards, What i mentioned before was mine

12-03-2011, 15:18:23

south side sammy
I don't want to get in the middle of this but........... I will say that I am very disappointed with both camps as far as performance is concerned. They. like the CPU makers seem to be intentionally holding back to a degree. The only way to have substantial gains is to over clock any more. Not something, I think, most people can do or do successfully. Why has it taken SO LONG for a manufacturer to break the 1Ghz barrier ? Just one has done it ( Gigabyte ) straight out of the box and the newest stuff still hasn't done it. Why ?

13-03-2011, 12:14:30

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by south side sammy View Post

I don't want to get in the middle of this but........... I will say that I am very disappointed with both camps as far as performance is concerned. They. like the CPU makers seem to be intentionally holding back to a degree. The only way to have substantial gains is to over clock any more. Not something, I think, most people can do or do successfully. Why has it taken SO LONG for a manufacturer to break the 1Ghz barrier ? Just one has done it ( Gigabyte ) straight out of the box and the newest stuff still hasn't done it. Why ?
Well its hard to make graphics cards that exceed it due to heat and nano metre restrictions on circuitry. Also cost is factor making cards like that would cost alot more.

Also had an XFX 5970 black edition and sucked so hardly chopping at the bit to use this.

13-03-2011, 16:09:59

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by south side sammy View Post

I don't want to get in the middle of this but........... I will say that I am very disappointed with both camps as far as performance is concerned. They. like the CPU makers seem to be intentionally holding back to a degree. The only way to have substantial gains is to over clock any more. Not something, I think, most people can do or do successfully. Why has it taken SO LONG for a manufacturer to break the 1Ghz barrier ? Just one has done it ( Gigabyte ) straight out of the box and the newest stuff still hasn't done it. Why ?
"Beat" the opponent by so many %, if the margin is too big, cut it back and keep it for next year, or a quick next gen release.

Sound familiar.

570=480, 580=480+the balance of the cores.

Switch the cooler and no-one shouts foul. There is no big story between 4xx and 5xx. A few years ago people would be crying "re-brand".

16-03-2011, 23:48:23

SadButTrue
Quote:
Originally Posted by OEOTS View Post

I can understand it gets frustrating, that doesn't mean you shouldn't say anything about it though.

and yup, that's mine, ESP '06 model Signature model, best guitar I've ever owned. Sound good through my VH4S too
meh. I'd be impressed if I didn't own a pre-CBS Stratocaster; sn50006, produced in Nov. 1960 according to the books.

j/k mate. Just so long as you love it and play the heck out of it it makes no difference, does it? Maybe we could jam the next time you're in Lakefield, ON, Canada.

17-03-2011, 13:04:20

OEOTS
hehehe, very nice,

personally the problem that I have with the Strats is that first volume button placement, just killed it for me (when playing something with mutes at least). But I do really love the smoothness of the neck on the Strats. And I'll remember to give you a heads up if I'm ever heading that way

19-03-2011, 04:58:57

w3bbo
Nice review Bry.

Disappointing results though

22-03-2011, 08:09:14

Goggle Eye
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

Warranty depends completely on the manufacturer. While I'll personally recommend MSI because of the Twin Frozer III coolers. If you're going to use custom water cooling or Arctic Cooler VGA coolers; go for XFX because their warranty service covers removal of the stock cooler. Also comes with life time warranty.
Asus Asus, I had water blocks on two Asus 5970, Both cards went down. To much over clock. I installed the original heat sinks. RMA to Asus, they returned two 6950 HD GPU. No complaints at all. Watewr Cooling the 6950 installing them on a Asus Maximus 4 Extreme with Intel 975- I-990 Extreme CPU.

28-03-2011, 11:56:05

Godsmack
After all the tests and benchmarks I have seen in many sites I can say that AMD still beaten Nvidia.

HD 6970 perform the same or less a little bit from GTX 580 and coast $160 less and if you get CF you will get the same or better a little bit from GTX 580 SLI.

When you com to the dual GPU the HD 6990 beaten the GTX 590 at 80% of the tests and they are the same price.

The HD 6950 coast the same like GTX 560 and give performance near or equal to GTX 570.

It's obvious that AMD walking on the right way and still having control since the HD 4000 series.

28-03-2011, 18:56:29

Godsmack
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

Warranty depends completely on the manufacturer. While I'll personally recommend MSI because of the Twin Frozer III coolers. If you're going to use custom water cooling or Arctic Cooler VGA coolers; go for XFX because their warranty service covers removal of the stock cooler. Also comes with life time warranty.
I heard that XFX warranty for HD 6990 will not cover removal of the stock cooler
Reply
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