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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Sapphire 100310SR Radeon HD 6990
Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 Appearance
Antilles Detailed Features
Antilles Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: 3DMark11
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
Overclocking and Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Sapphire Radeon 6990 Conclusion

VGA Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. The majority of benchmark tests used in this article are comparative to DX11 performance, however some high-demand DX10 tests have also been included.

According to the Steam Hardware Survey published for the month ending September 2010, the most popular gaming resolution is 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors). However, because this 1.31MP resolution is considered 'low' by most standards, our benchmark performance tests concentrate on higher-demand resolutions: 1.76MP 1680x1050 (22-24" widescreen LCD) and 2.30MP 1920x1200 (24-28" widescreen LCD monitors). These resolutions are more likely to be used by high-end graphics solutions, such as those tested in this article.

In each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.

A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.

Intel X58-Express Test SystemGPU-Z_AMD-Antilles-OC.gif

DirectX-9 Benchmark Applications

  • Mafia II
    • Extreme Settings: (Antialiasing, 16x AF, High Shadow Quality, High Detail, High Geometry, Ambient Occlusion)

DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications

  • 3DMark Vantage v1.02
    • Extreme Settings: (Extreme Quality, 8x Multisample Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, 1:2 Scale)
  • Crysis Warhead v1.1 with HOC Benchmark
    • Moderate Settings: (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, Airfield Demo)

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • Futuremark 3DMark11 Professional Edition
    • Performance Level Settings: (1280x720, 1x AA, Trilinear Filtering, Tessellation level 5)
  • Aliens vs Predator Benchmark 1.0
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, SSAO, Tessellation, Advanced Shadows)
  • BattleField: Bad Company 2
    • Extreme Settings: (Highest Quality, HBAO, 8x AA, 16x AF, 180s Fraps Single-Player Intro Scene)
  • BattleForge v1.2
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Auto Multi-Thread)
  • Lost Planet 2 Benchmark 1.0
    • Moderate Settings: (2x AA, Low Shadow Detail, High Texture, High Render, High DirectX 11 Features)
  • Metro 2033
    • Moderate Settings: (Very-High Quality, AAA, 16x AF, Advanced DoF, Tessellation, 180s Fraps Chase Scene)
  • Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Benchmark 1.0.4
    • Extreme Settings: (Maximum Quality, 8x AA, 16x AF, DX11 Terrain Tessellation)
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
    • Moderate Settings: (High Quality, Normal Tessellation, 16x AF, 4x AA)

PCI-E 2.0 Graphics Cards

Graphics Card Radeon HD6870 Radeon HD6970 GeForce GTX570 Radeon HD5970 GeForce GTX580 Radeon HD6990
GPU Cores 1120 1536 480 3200 Total 512 3072 Total
Core Clock (MHz) 900 880 732 725 772 830/880
Shader Clock (MHz) N/A N/A 1464 N/A 1544 N/A
Memory Clock (MHz) 1050 1375 950 1000 1002 1250
Memory Amount 1024MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5 1280MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5 1536MB GDDR5 4096MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 320-bit 512-bit 384-bit 256-bit
  • AMD Radeon HD 6870 (900 MHz GPU/1050 MHz 1GB GDDR5 - AMD Catalyst 11.4 Preview)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 (880 MHz GPU/1375 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst 11.4 Preview)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (732 MHz GPU/1464 MHz Shader/950 MHz 1280MB GDDR5 - Forceware 266.58)
  • AMD Radeon HD 5970 (725 MHz GPU x2/1000MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst 11.4 Preview)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (772 MHz GPU/1544 MHz Shader/1002 MHz vRAM - Forceware 266.58)
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 (830/880 MHz GPU/1250 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst 11.4 Preview)



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Sapphire 100310SR Radeon HD 6990Robert17 2011-03-16 19:30
Long ago I came to the realization that as I continued to build, re-build, and enjoy computers as a hobby, as well as for work, that one constant would be in play: continuous performance improvements. This is just another of those "wow" products. There've been many, but this kinda stands out in it's own way. 6990. Can't wait for the 18125's. Hope I'm around that long.
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# RE: RE: Sapphire 100310SR Radeon HD 6990Olin Coles 2011-03-16 20:28
At the rate we're seeing overlapping improvements we'll see something twice as fast in less than two years.
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# Here we go againCom-Tek Chris 2011-03-17 07:51
I just ordered mine on the Egg about 3 minutes ago. I'll make my own personal comments after giving it a whirl in my personal world. I might be eating my words from previous posted comments, lol, oh well, as life goes.

to be continued..............
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# 256bit?zac 2011-03-17 21:25
Is this 256bit? Or 256x2bit?
And if it is only 256-bit video frame buffer, why? Or how? previously all dual gpu setups had 2x the memory controller.
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# RE: 256bit?Olin Coles 2011-03-18 08:14
Like the I explain in the article, this product has two GPUs on one PCB. Each GPU offers a 256-bit memory bus to the video frame buffer. Having two GPUs won't make single 512-bit lane, but will double bandwidth to 2x 256-bit.
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# AMD 6990 reviewsJ.King 2011-06-27 22:03
Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I can tell ALL the 6990's are made in exactly the same place. IE the card's are all identical except for the stickers on the front. So why the price difference? This was true for the 6950's and 6970's until recently when a bait and switch was pulled by various manufacturers XFX comes to mind. The card's were changed (BIOS switch was removed and other less obvious changes) but the model number's remained the same and they were still being sold as reference.
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# RE: AMD 6990 reviewsOlin Coles 2011-06-27 22:09
You are mostly correct. There are some differences depending on what the partner pays for (cooling/BIOS/overclock), but the engineering is generally all done by the manufacturer. There are a few who receive the engineering and make their own PCB, but it's rare. As for pricing, you'll have to take that up with the brands and retailers.
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