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Sapphire HD7990 QuadFireX Review

Rating: 9.0.

We reviewed the AMD HD7990 ‘Malta’ Graphics card last month. There was no doubt that AMD were back in the high end game, challenging the GTX690 for top performance position. For those who missed the launch the HD7990 it is a dual GPU solution comprising 8.6 billion transistors, 4096 stream processors – capable of 8.2 TFLOPS of compute power.

The AMD HD7990 incorporates 6GB of GDDR5 memory and can support 5 monitors simultaneously. It has 48 lanes to deliver 96GB/s of intergpu bandwidth.

Since the product launched in April AMD’s partners have struggled to bring these cards to market. Nothing is more annoying that a paper launch, especially when the demand seems high for the new AMD flagship. Sapphire sent us their card last week and we have spent some time playing with the hardware in a QUAD CFx configuration, paired up with our AMD HD7990 reference sample.

Before we go any further regular readers may remember our short Quadfire article published at the start of the year. In this article we paired up two VTX3D HD7990’s in Quad Crossfire and it was an unmitigated disaster. At this stage, the HD7990 wasn’t an official AMD part, so driver support didn’t seem to get any priority.

With the release of the official HD7990 Malta in April, we had hoped that this would change. We are glad to report, that it has.

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As part of AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded campaign, the bundle includes access codes to eight of the latest and most exciting games, including BioShock Infinite, Crysis3, FarCry3, and TombRaider.

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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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