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Radeon HD 6990 revealed in KitGuru Lab

Although we’re not allowed to tell you the results of our in-depth testing, we have been told that ‘sneak peak’ images and a little info are allowed to be revealed just prior to the launch of what is certain to be the fastest graphics card the world has ever seen. So, without further preamble, KitGuru can lift the skirt and show off a little leg. Cue the Burlesque tunes.

The graphics market has been very strange of late. While nVidia has released card after card into the high-end, capturing the plaudit of World’s Fastest GPU in the process, it hasn’t even begun to approach the title of World’s Fastest Graphics Card.

From the time AMD’s engineers unveiled the Radeon HD 5970 back in November 2009, it has remained the king of the hill.

Until now.

Within a matter of days, the global gaming community will resonate to the sound that the king is dead – long live the king.

So why do you need such an awesome amount of power for gaming?  Well, key to this is the continuing advance of EyeFinity with its ability to deliver multi-screen gaming from a single graphics card.

Independent testing has shown time and again, that if you take 2 equally matched gamers and get them to play each other on identical systems, across a variety of games – then the system with 3 screens tends to win. You can swap the subjects back and forth between the two set-ups, but the additional peripheral vision gives enough of an advantage as to skew the results in favour of the person with the most screens.

While it’s a fact that EyeFinity has proven benefits while increasing the immersiveness of games, there has been one challenge. In order to get additional space at the back of the graphics card, many EyeFinity products utilise a version of Displayport. Unfortunately, sales of these screens has not kept pace with the sale of EyeFinity.

So, the question for AMD scientists and marketing folks was ‘How to increase the monitor options available?’

Enter the partners. With the launch of the Radeon HD 6990, Sapphire, XFX and others will be offering simple adapters to help convert the various monitor options to the new cards. It looks a little like this.

EyeFinity partners offer more conversions than the Spanish Inquisition

To create the World’s Fastest Graphics card, you need to take two burly GPUs, strap them down to a multi-layer PCB and then provide enough juice for them to truly get their rocks off.

Double trouble for any single GPU cards who want to get inside Radeon's ring

Juice. For people who want the juice and need the juice, there has to be the juice.

As designs get more efficient, each generation of graphics card is able to do more with less. Alternatively, they can do very much more with the same. If you see what we mean.


Let’s honest, in the final analysis for single screen gaming the GTX570/580 and Radeon HD 6950/6970 cards more than hold their own in most situations. But that’s when you’re dealing with regular resolutions from 1920×1080 to 2560×1600.

The AMD Radeon HD 6990, in single or CrossFire formation, looks to be the tool of choice for a new generation. One that thinks in terms of wrap-around-gaming, where resolutions begin at 5760 x 1080.

In a recent exclusive interview with KitGuru, AMD’s John Byrne confirmed that the company has no intention of slowing down development work on the ultra-high-end graphics processors just because the market itself has moved much more into the mainstream.

The AMD Radeon HD 6990 CrossFire is a mind blowing concept in its most basic form. Does the 6990 come with a chastity belt, long cold shower and a manual of clean thoughts? KitGuru suspects not.

KitGuru says: You can never have too much graphics grunt. Bring it on!

Comments below or in the KitGuru forums.

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  • isaak

    when do we see performance… sounds like its really promising!

  • Tim

    Now, thats what im talking about !

  • Seth

    Be afraid, be very afraid. can we see the CFx results :p ?

  • JohnP

    “ultra-high-end graphics processors” ???

    Thats just two 6950 strapped on a single FSB, you don’t call two medium-end processors Ultra High End….How do they think ? Medium + Medium = Ultra High ? Funny stuff….

  • Barrister

    Credit card is ready, 5970 is held in ebay for an auction soon too 🙂

  • k0Rn

    @ JohnP. FSB, PCB? WTF? whats a few abbrevs between friends :p

    looking forward to this card, should be very nice.

  • JohnP

    Sorry Korn my bad, ment PCB

  • Netherlands boy

    This needs released, last week. too long to wait for the new high end board from AMD.

  • Firestarter

    And still they use the undersized fan that makes a racket and has a hard enough time cooling a 6970. sighs.

    AMD get in new friggin fans already, these cards take months for partners to ‘fix’. heres a thought, release the card with a proper cooling system in the first place.

  • Garry

    Im interested in the retail price. cause the gtx580 is still around 380. this needs to be ideally 400 inc vat in uk. can they do that though? doubt it.

  • JohnP

    @ Firestarter
    Just like the 5970 you can certainly expect a very nice amount of noise from these cards…

    I’d choose a single GPU card like the GTX580 over a dual GPU card anyday of the week.

  • Luay

    5760×1080 and above have never been plug ‘n play. This card solves half the problem. the other half is the displays. Try solving the problem of having 50M of cables for data and electricity connecting everything then we’ll talk.
    How about developing a 3-display mount that acts a a single data and electricity port , to be connected to the card, and send the data and electricity to the displays? I call patent on this one!

  • Jerry

    My biggest problem with these cards is that the total fps power delivery is always tied into the driver profile, so if amd cock up or a new game is out and the drivers aren’t updated, you send up with single GPU performance with double the noise and twice the power drain.

  • Thomas

    ill be buying this, dont care who whinges about it in here 😉