The long-awaited Radeon HD 6990 (Antilles) finally arrives! Lets take a look at some reviews to see how this dual-GPU beast performs.
First up is AnandTech, they write it's the fastest single-card solution on the market but notes that the Radeon HD 6950 in CrossFire may be a better pick because the performance between the two is almost identical. The Radeon HD 6990 is a little faster in some games, but it's a lot hotter, noisier, and more expensive than the Radeon HD 6950 CF.
The site only recommends the Radeon HD 6990 for three niche categories; Quad-CrossFire, 5x1P Eyefinity and cases that don't have room for two VGA cards.
Dual-GPU cards have always been a niche product, but the 6990 really takes this and runs with it. There’s no significant power/noise savings to be found by consolidating 2 GPUs on to a single card, and as we said earlier with the dual-exhaust cooler the 6990 is effectively 2 video cards on one PCB. This isn’t a bad thing – the 6990 is the world’s fastest video card after all – but it drives the card in to some very specific niches. If you fall in to these niches, then the 6990 is certainly the card for you. At 22% faster than the 5970 it isn’t a massive performance boost, but it certainly has earned its place.
The Tech Report tells a similar tale, they note that two Radeon HD 6970 offer a more attractive deal in terms of price, performance, and acoustics.
We just hope the 6990 isn't quite as difficult to find over the next year as the Radeon HD 5970 was during much of its run. We do believe TSMC's 40-nm supply problems are behind us, so we're optimistic on that front.
Having said that, we can't help but notice that AMD does offer a more attractive solution in terms of price, performance, and acoustics in the form of dual Radeon HD 6970 cards. You must really covet slot space—or have designs for a dual-6990, four-way CrossFireX rig—if you pick the 6990 over two 6970s. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The third review comes from Legit Reviews, they write it's the fastest video card on the planet but also note it may be wiser to get the Radeon HD 6970 in CrossFire.
When it comes to pricing the MSRP of the Radeon HD 6990 is $699, which makes it rather pricey and too expensive for the average consumer. What we thought was interesting is that you can get an MSI Radeon HD 6970 2GB video cards for $319.99 after rebate from Newegg. This means you can run a pair in CrossFire for roughly $640, which is $50 less than the Radeon HD 6990. If you never plan on adding in another Radeon HD 6990 to your system you might be better off buying two Radeon HD 6970 video cards and saving a few bucks. If you go back and look at our performance numbers the Radeon HD 6970 CrossFire setup did very well in the benchmarks and were often faster than the Radeon HD 6990 at its default speed of 830MHz as they were clocked faster. The only downside to the Radeon HD 6970 Crossfire setup is that is used more power.