In the springtime of 2013 when AMD launched ‘Malta', the Radeon HD 7990 was the fastest graphics card in the world and weighed in at a whopping £800. Now as the year draws to a close and there have been a spate of new launches, what is the current situation?
There is no magic benchmark.
Not for graphics. Not for processors. Not even for hardcore technology news and reviews sites.
But if there was an award for longevity, then the folks over at Futuremark would certainly be in for a shout at claiming the number one spot. Their latest creation, named simply 3DMark, does a pretty good job of lining up the various cards on offer into some kind of sensible line-up. Sure, there is a little bias in the multi-GPU set up area, but the nVidia and AMD driver teams do work long hours to achieve the kind of ‘pick up for a second chip' that 3DMark sees early on.
That lead-up is there for one reason only, to say that if 3DMark were the only benchmark on the planet, then the Radeon HD 7990 card would comfortably sail past the GTX Titan, GTX 780 Lightning and the Radeon R9 290X (no matter which mode you choose).
Here's a little graphic to show you how the Radeon HD 7990 did in the KitGuru Labs and a snapshot of the kind of price it commands in the general market today. Remember, this kind of Google snapshot changes all the time, but it was accurate for the XFX version at 3pm on Saturday 26th October:-
That's the background – alongside a summary of what this card is all about and the current pricing. So what's the fuss about? Check this out this card at just over £370:-
KitGuru says: With the Radeon HD 7990 at something like £80 less than the Radeon R9 290X, you would have to look seriously at a faster, quieter card for significantly less money. The only balance-point to consider is that new games will require a driver update for maximum throughput.
Comment below, in the KitGuru forums or join us online over at Facebook.