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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.


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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  • John

    well thats a lot of cash for that system lol. Interesting to see the staggering power demands.

  • Ben

    my friend still cant buy one HD7990 never mind two, no stock anywhere. any ideas when they might be available?

  • Eran

    More positive than the article in January, I read that and thought AMD weren’t supporting quad cf at all. I guess at that stage the HD7990 wasn’t official.

  • Rt23ds

    Good information on the power demands, I think a lot of people think every gaming system needs a 1000W PSU.

  • Just-A-Passerby

    LOL, I was jockingly expecting the ‘MUST HAVE’ tag and you didn’t disappoint me at all.

  • Alex

    @just a passerby. you should look at the more ‘budget’ oriented articles. people who want the fastest system and the most powerful computer would consider this a must have. I want a HD7990 and am saving up for it. due to the power with 3 monitors. Nothing is faster.

    These reviews are hardly designed for people who struggle to afford a GTX650.

    good review.

  • Just-A-Passerby

    I think ‘Worth Buying’ tag is more appropriate, not ‘Must Have’ but I was jokingly expecting it.
    So internet denizen nowadays can decide what others should read, eh?
    As cocky as a person can be, you fit the word perfectly. Maybe you’re born to have that personality.

    I don’t need a graphic card as I don’t do gaming but I do fond reading hardware reviews. Also there is no such a thing ‘nothing is faster’, such thinking is a retardation to technology advancement. Well, of course if you had written it as ‘for now, nothing is faster in the market’, I would agree, but never forget engineering sample of next gen do exist (to be fair quadxfire/ quadsli it) and of course even you will struggle to afford it right now :).

  • Kilobit

    You can feel free to give me those HD 7990s, I will gladly take them off your hands,besides I need to upgrade from my 2 Sapphire ATI Radeon 2gb HD4850x2s I have in quad-CrossfireX.

  • Kevin dang

    I am a nvdia fan boy and always been using nvidia video card but it seems to me nvidia release so many card and deliver no real difference between them gtx 780 then gtx 790 keep releasing stupid model and all nvidia fan boy keep buying ghem but o well might as well get the this hd 7990 because i know it beats all other-cards….Wow what a good article I just bought a sapphire 7990 will get another one when the price drop so I can cf these bad boys thankyou so much for the great article cf wins sli lose