AMD Radeon HD 6990 - The New King of Graphics

A Closer Look at the Radeon HD 6990

A Closer Look at the Radeon HD 6990

As we mentioned earlier, we got hold of an ASUS card to evaluate this new monster graphics card, which should represent what the other partners have as well. The ASUS EAH6990 card is based on AMD’s reference design and it measures 12-inches long and weighs over 1kg. Needless to say then, it’s a giant amongst graphics cards.

The first thing you’d notice about this giant card is its new cooler design, which is markedly different compared to the Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950. The most notable change is the location of the fan. In place of the traditional rear blow fan design, the Radeon HD 6990 now has a cooler with a centrally-mounted fan in between the two GPUs.

With this new cooler design, AMD has also redesigned the heatsink and have also used employed the use of an exotic kind of thermal paste, which they claim is 8% more effective. In place of the single giant vapor chamber cooler of the Radeon HD 5970, the Radeon HD 6990 has a segmented heatsink design with each GPU having its own vapor chamber cooler. According to AMD these changes in the cooler design will enable cooling duties to be more efficiently distributed between the two GPUs and other crucial components such as VRM and memory.

And as befits an ASUS card, the EAH6990 also comes with the usual ASUS suite of software such as Voltage Tweak, ASUS Smart Doctor and ASUS Gamer OSD. Here’s a look at AMD’s latest flagship card.

The Radeon HD 6990 on top, followed by the Radeon HD 5970 and HD 6970.

The AMD Radeon HD 6990 comes with a single dual-link DVI ports and four mini-DisplayPorts (1.2). To accommodate for multi-monitor setups, AMD has insisted all partners bundle the boards with a variety of DVI and HDMI adapters to make full use of the DP connections.

The Radeon HD 6990 draws its power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors and AMD recommends a PSU rated for at least 750W. For CrossFireX configurations, AMD recommends a PSU rated for at least 1000W.

Lying beside the CrossFireX connector is the BIOS switch. You have to be in OC mode to be able to overclock the card. However, putting the card into OC mode alone voids warranty, more on this in our conclusion.