AMD HD7990 Malta Review

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The battle for the title of ‘world’s fastest graphics card’ has been hotly contested for as long as I can remember. This week AMD are releasing their official HD7990 ‘Malta’ graphics card – a dual GPU solution comprising 8.6 billion transistors, 4096 stream processors … capable of 8.2 TFLOPS of compute power.

Today we test the HD7990 against the two fastest graphics cards from Nvidia, the GTX690 and the GTX Titan.

AMD are making no hardware compromises with this HD7990 Malta graphics card, it ships with 6GB of GDDR5 memory and can support 5 monitors simultaneously. It has 48 lanes to give 96GB/s of intergpu bandwidth.

This is a card designed from the ground up to cope with the very highest image quality settings and resolutions and today we will test a variety of Direct X 11 games at 2560×1600 and 5760×1080 resolutions.

Regular readers may remember our multiple reviews of the VTX3D HD7990 back at the end of 2012, but this is a completely new, official design by AMD. The clock speeds are significantly higher as well.
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Before we go any further, I need to comment on AMD’s reference coolers.

I have lost count of how many times I have asked AMD to shift their reliance on a small, single fan to cool their high end reference graphics solutions. Partners such as Sapphire generally fix these cooler concerns shortly after launch, but it always frustrates me. Why go to all the effort of launching an ultra fast, ultra expensive graphics card then outfit it with a shoddy, noisy cooler?

Thankfully AMD have apparently listened to critical feedback and the new HD7990 Malta is equipped with three, large axial fans, spanning the full width of the PCB. When we take the card apart later in the review we will see if AMD have incorporated a high grade heatsink implementation to partner with the quality fans.

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Above, a reference graph lifted from one of the AMD slides. We can see that the new HD7990 is basically two HD7970 GHZ Edition cards crammed into a single card. It is built around the 28nm manufacturing process with 8.6 billion transistors on the card. It is clocked at 1GHZ and has 4,096 stream processors. There are 256 Texture units and 64 ROP’s with a dual 384 bit memory interface. The memory is clocked at 1,500mhz (6.0Gbps effective).

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
AMD HD7990 Malta Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  • Stevie

    A lot of cash, but when factoring in the performance characteristics it seems good value compared to Nvidia parts.

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  • Denna

    It just shows how far ahead the Titan is – its single GPU and not really that far behind the Malta card.

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  • Andy

    Their partners ruined the launch by releasing a HD7990 many months ago. good improvement over their cards however but it seems so late to the game after Nvidia had the Titan out a while ago, and its single GPU.

    I dont buy any dual GPU cards as the driver profiles are so important to get the most from it. at least with the titan it will be 100% all the time.

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  • Indloon

    two titans in SLI would be much faster than this!

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  • Greg

    @ Indloon – of course two titans would be faster, but they would also cost £1,700! you would need two of these malta cards at the same price for that price analogy to be effective.

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  • Just-A-Passerby

    CF this and compare with the crash-happy-result-CF-unofficial-7990 test you reviewed before.

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  • Gareth

    I can’t help but not fall in love with this card every time I look at it, I see people talking about 2x titans in SLI are better, Obviously they would be better but the VRAM doesn’t stack that 12GB of power would = 6GB of effective Bandwidth on the cards sadly if you SLI….

    this 7990 has 6GB and is half the price… Also you know the 7970 has a better 3D graphics rating than the titan? oh you didn’t know that? did you know that 2x 7970 in CF has more Power than a 690? same thing Duel GPU (expensive one) vs 2x single GPU’s will Always lose.

    But its always in AMD’s favor since they don’t put 200-300% markups on all there cards thats why I buy AMD.

    G

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