updated 08:05 am EST, Tue March 8, 2011
AMD launches Radeon HD 6990 dual-chip leader
AMD this morning rolled out its promised performance leader and at least temporarily the fastest single-board video in the world. The Radeon HD 6990 combines the equivalent of two Radeon HD 6970 chipsets in one and carries 3,072 stream (visual effect) processors, 192 texture units and a large 4GB of total video memory. AMD has only had to slightly detune the clock speeds to an 830MHz core and 1.25GHz for RAM, down from 880MHz and 1.38GHz.
The card is also uniquely factory-ready for overclocking; it has dual BIOSes and lets users push past official clock speeds and voltages while having a fallback to defaults if they want it. AMD won't cover damage from excessive overclocks but isn't turning to third parties to make factory overclocks an option.
Eyefinity support is built-in and supports at least five displays out of the box, and six for those using newer DisplayPort 1.2 hardware.
AMD has claimed a record-setting 11,865 points in the synthetic 3DMark11 test compared to 9,213 for an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580. Early benchmarks in real-world tests have given it the edge in most games as well, although games with very intensive graphics shader effects, such as Civilization V, still favor NVIDIA's single-chip hardware. The GeForce GTX 590 also has yet to drop and could outperform the 6990.
AMD is launching the Radeon HD 6990 today and should already have it available through third parties such as ASUS and Sapphire. Getting the dual-chip technology commands a premium and puts the official price at $699.