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Performance Summary

Here is a table with the results of today’s tests.

Let’s move on to the summary diagrams.

The first pair of summary diagrams concerns with the main topic of this review. They help compare the AMD Radeon HD 6990 with the new dual-processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 card. Since AMD’s flagship came out earlier than Nvidia’s, the performance of the Radeon HD 6990 at a GPU clock rate of 880 MHz is the baseline. The performance of the GeForce GTX 590 is shown relative to it.

Neither card can boast overwhelming advantage over the other. The AMD Radeon HD 6990 is faster in 3DMark 2011, BattleForge: Lost Souls, Aliens vs. Predator (2010) and F1 2010, and also a little ahead of its opponent in Crysis, Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead 2: The Sacrifice, Just Cause 2 and Sid Meier’s Civilization V. In its turn, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 is ahead in 3DMark Vantage, Unigine Heaven, Resident Evil 5, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, Borderlands, Lost Planet 2, Mafia 2, StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty (at the high-quality settings) and in Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2. It also has a small advantage in Metro 2033: The Last Refuge. Thus, each card has 9 wins and the rest of the games/benchmarks are draws. If you want exact numbers, the GeForce GTX 590 is 1.6 to 6.8% ahead of the Radeon HD 6990 in the FSAA-less mode and 12.1 to 16.8% ahead in the FSAA mode. This is pure mathematics, though.

The next two pairs of summary diagrams show how faster the Radeon HD 6990 and the GeForce GTX 590 are against the Radeon HD 6970 and the GeForce GTX 570, respectively.

The dual-processor Radeon HD 6990 is an average 59-71% faster than the single-processor Radeon HD 6970 when we don’t use FSAA and 69 to 72% faster with FSAA. The GeForce GTX 590 is 52-66% and 66-78% faster than the GeForce GTX 570 in the FSAA-less and FSAA mode, respectively. You can see the details in the diagrams, so I can only add that the advantage of the dual-processor cards over their single-processor cousins depends on the efficiency of the CrossFireX and SLI technologies.

The last two pairs of summary diagrams compare the dual-processor Radeon HD 6990 with the CrossFireX configuration of two Radeon HD 6970s and the dual-processor GeForce GTX 590 with the SLI tandem of GeForce GTX 570s (the dual-card tandems are the baseline).

So, the dual-processor cards are overall close to the dual-card tandems in performance. And while I have no other questions about the Radeon HD 6990 and the Radeon HD 6970 CrossFireX, I wonder how faster a SLI configuration of two GeForce GTX 580s will be in comparison with the GeForce GTX 590. Considering the difference between the GTX 580 and GTX 570 and the efficiency of SLI technology, I suppose that a GeForce GTX 580 SLI tandem is going to add 5-7% to the performance of the GeForce GTX 570 SLI you can see in the diagrams.

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