AMD claims 'fastest graphics card in the world'
Two Cayman GPUs, no waiting
AMD has unveiled a dual-GPU, easily overclockable, 3D-capable, DirectX 11–supporting consumer graphics card that it claims is "the fastest graphics card in the world".
"Packing more raw performance than any consumer graphics card ever created, the AMD Radeon HD 6990 provides the latest for the ultimate gaming advantage," crowed AMD graphics honcho Matt Skynner in an announcement modestly entitled "AMD Extends Graphics Performance Lead, Launches World's Fastest Graphics Card... AGAIN!"
$699 buys you one hefty PCIe 2.1 x16 chunk of graphics goodness
Seeing as how AMD has spent much of its energy recently promoting the low-power, integrated-graphics CPU/GPU mashups in its Fusion line, perhaps Tuesday's high-volume proclamation is meant to remind the bleeding edge of the graphics market that the company intends to battle hard for dominance in that sphere, as well.
If so, it appears that the Radeon HD 6990, formerly known as Antilles, may be an effective weapon. "Designed for the power gamer," the card "delivered a new single graphics card world record score of P11865 in the industry standard 3DMark 11 benchmark," according to AMD.
Spec-wise, the 6990 is impressive. A few of the gnarly bits: a stock engine clock running at 830MHz, overclockable to 880MHz; a memory clock of 1.25GHz; 4GB of GDDR5 memory, addressable at 5Gbps; a max of 320GBps of memory bandwidth; and a raft of processing muscle in its TeraScale 3 architecture, including – counting both Cayman cores – 3,072 stream processors, 192 texture units, 128 Z/Stencil raster operator units, 64 color raster operator units, and dual geometry and rendering engines.
Slap a cooling system (top) onto two Cayman VLIW4 chips, slip them into a case, and you have a Radeon HD 6990
The card also supports the various AMD technologies that one might expect: Eyefinity multi-display support for up to five displays, or six with DisplayPort 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport; EyeSpeed acceleration technology; HD3D stereoscopic 3D support; the UVD3 video-playback accelerator for HD video and Blu-ray 3D; and more.
The card is available immediately at a suggested retail price of $699, but make sure your system has the juice it needs to support it: according to Anandtech, their test system running an overclocked 6990 sucked up as much as 684 watts.
And then there's noise. As Anantech explains: "The Radeon HD 5970 was a loud card, the [Nvidia] GTX 580 SLI was even louder, but nothing tops the 6990."
Still, if you're playing Crysis on a loaded system with an overclocked AMD Radeon HD 6990, who really cares about a measly 60 or 70 dBA? ®
...any old shitty card can run white text on a black background.
What happens when dust craps out the fan?
Why, then everyone knows you're the retard who would spring $700 for a penis extension GPU but is too cheap to spend $20 on a PC vacuum and too lazy to spend two minutes every six months using it.
Oh, and you get your PC's picture put on El Reg for free next time there's a Disgustingly Grotty Computer compo.
not quite fair...
I see where you're coming from, but you're being a little misleading on your use of figures there, but in any case the issue is that the corresponding sounds in the room have to go up to compensate for the extra noise.
say you were at 40dBSPL with your computer fans, and playing battlefield with your speakers set to a max 75dB SPL, that'll let you hear footsteps in the game which are 35dB lower than the gunshots, say, which are the loudest sounds.
Up your fan noise by adding an industrialheatingelementcumgraphicscard, and you're at 70dBSPL noise floor, which means you can only barely hear the gunshots anymore, and the footsteps are long gone... so you keep getting knifed. In order to hear the footsteps again, you turn up your speakers by 30dB to get the footsteps above the noise floor, bringing you to gunshots 105dB SPL...
Realistic some might say, lol... but even soldiers want to wear earplugs at those kinda volumes!
Also, people don't realise how loud 85dB sustained volume actually is (that's a louder sustained volume than a lot of drumkits) - it's well above the level of hearing loss whatever H&S documents say... it's a volume you have to really shout over. If you ever go into a small studio room with a level meter, and turn up the speakers until you hit 85dB, you will find it incredibly uncomfortable. It causes 24 hour temporary hearing loss after only a minute or two, and if you work at that level regularly, you will permanently lose high frequency hearing even if it doesn't show on the crappy hearing tests which stop at 8kHz generally. The only engineers who work close to 85dB and above are those who have already lost a chunk of their hearing... most of us work lower than this most of the time - frankly, I'd do a lot of proper work at 70dBSPL, lol (though sadly as I get older I'm having to go louder... :-/ )
The grenade just seems appropriate...
"If so, it appears that the Radeon HD 6990, formerly known as Antilles, may be an effective weapon."
Looks like this is merely the thin end of the Wedge.
Wish I had your skills at casting aspersions on a persons intelligence.
"The gaming industry aren't going to release games that require DX10/11 until the vast majority of users can run them. Until then, they have to develop games for DX9 and add extra features for DX10/11. It's simple economic sense."
That's your opinion, not entirely invalid I may add.
However I see it more like this
The gaming industry aren't going to release games that require DX10/11 until the cash cow that is the console market has the hardware to provide a DX10/DX11 level experience. Until then they will continue develop for the console market and pass on shoddy ports of 6 hour long games with awful control schemes made for those of low attention span to PC gamers at full price. It's simple economical sense motivated by greed and a blatant disregard of the PC gamer.
Now whilst it may make economical sense for developers to create console games and port them to the PC. It doesn't make economical sense to purchase a card such as this to play those ports. This card is overkill for gaming unless one wants to play across six screens because there are, and will be no games created to take advantage until consoles support DX10/11. By then cards from AMD and Nvidia will be another magnitude higher in performance terms and performance such as that provided by the 6990 would be considered entry level. Considering MS develop both the DX API and Xbox, I would be surprised if MS are in a hurry to take the DX API to the next level.
Now if you can reply without insulting me I might just read what you write.