PowerColor HD6990 LCS Review
Published: 17th July 2011 | Source: PowerColor | Price: £619 |
When we first reviewed the HD6990 back in March we found it to be an absolute powerhouse of a card. Amazing performance let down enormously by a truly woeful cooler that made a hell of a lot of noise but didn't really do the cooling part well.
Since then we've seen the GTX590 which was around the same power but with infinitely better cooling, and now we've got the PowerColor HD6990 LCS. All the power of the HD6990 but with none of the noise.
Of course the main benefit we've seen from the switch to liquid cooling, heat and noise aside, is the ability to really clock this card hard. It seems to find itself free from the shackles once you head towards the 1GHz mark and the benchmarks back this up.
In the tests that it was behind the GTX590 it's now much closer and, driver issues with Unigine notwithstanding, the tests that it had a lead in that lead is now healthy.
The inclusion of a factory fitted EK Waterblock is a good one. It would be tempting to fit some generic block to try and keep the profit margin up there, but by using the EK we have one of the premier water-blocks, with all the safety and worry-free ownership that a manufacturer fitted block and the subsequent retention of the warranty gives.
In fact the only setup that consistently beats the PowerColor is a GTX580 SLI one. Therein lies the main decision to be made. Because the HD6990 is already an expensive card the water-block fitting pushes the PowerColor into the price realms of a GTX580 setup. So if you've already got a water-loop and want a card, this is clearly the chappy. If you're just looking for the ultimate performance then it's tough to look past the GTX580 SLI.
Either way if you've got a mattress stuffed full of fifty pound notes and are wondering what to spend it on, the PowerColor HD6990 LCS is a mighty powerful card that fixes all of the problems of the reference design and an easy winner of the OC3D Gold Award.