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AMD Announces Dual-GPU Radeon 7990 for $999

By Wesley Fenlon

The new fastest graphics card on the block costs a cool thousand, but AMD looks to have made some nice improvements to its dual-GPU implementation.

It's taken AMD a few months to plan its counterattack to Nvidia's fastest graphics cards, the dual-GPU GTX 690 and monstrous single GPU GTX Titan. But now that response is here in the form of the Radeon 7990, a dual-GPU card that essentially slaps together two of the (already speedy) 7970GEs, which sell for at least $400 by themselves. AMD's press release proudly proclaimed this was the card EA used to premiere Battlefield 4, and that it's the only one around that can run Crysis 3 and Tomb Raider at 4K resolution.

AMD's hailing the new 7990 as the world's fastest graphics card thanks to its count of 2048 stream processors per GPU, 950MHz core clock, and 6GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6GHz. Total, the 7990 is packing about 8.6 billion transistors. None of this comes cheap, of course--the 7990 will launch online in a couple week at $999.

Anandtech has some great analysis of the new card that digs into the advances AMD has made with dual-GPU tech. It's important to note that this technically isn't the first 7990 model to hit the market--ASUS and PowerColor released their own versions before AMD, but it looks like this will be the one to get. Writes Anandtech:

"AMD’s 7990 has an official TDP of just 375W, which although common for official dual-GPU cards, is quite a bit lower than the TDPs of the unofficial 7990s. As the GPU manufacturer AMD has the ability to do finely grained binning that their partners cannot, so while Asus and PowerColor have essentially been putting together cards that really are two 7970s on a single card – right down to the TDP – official 7990s get the advantage of AMD’s binning process, significantly reducing power consumption. The end result is that while an unofficial 7990 would be a 450W+ part, AMD can deliver the same or better performance while consuming much less power, putting the 7990 within the all-important 375W envelope that OEMs and boutique builders look for."

Two other important things to note. One: AMD's new power technology, which they've dubbed ZeroCore, can turn off a slave GPU when not in use. So for your normal day-to-day, the 7990 can shut off one of its GPUs and bring its idle power consumption down to about 20 watts. And that other important thing: AMD is giving away a ton of games with this card.

Your $999 will also buy you copies of BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, Far Cry 3, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex Human Revolution. If spending a grand on a graphics card leaves you too poor to buy anything else for a month, at least you'll have plenty of games to play.