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AMD Radeon HD 6990: Build by Enthusiasts for Enthusiasts

Take a closer look at AMD Radeon HD 6990 and you will probably notice that more is actually never enough. The hero of our review has an extra feature on almost every square mm of its surface.

The manufacturer decided to install Dual-BIOS switch for enthusiast community. If the switch is in Position 1, it allows hardware overdrive options such as clock speed increased to 880 MHz and an alarmingly high 1.175 V voltage bump. Please remember, that warranty provided by the manufacturer does not cover damages from overclocking activity. A thing to keep in mind when you are "burning" your $699 performance investment

Position 2 is a standard default position with factory supported voltage set at 1.12 V and 830 MHz clock speed for the GPU part

In order to understand, how this was possible to achieve, we need to dig a little deeper. After undoing quite a few screws and removing an enormous cooling system, we find ourselves staring at five chips. Some maybe confused as to why a dual chip graphics card has five chips installed. Actually, this is AMD engineers’ latest attempt to ensure that despite high performance the power consumption remains on some sane level.

Essentially AMD Radeon HD 6990 is what AMD calls a 450W-capable graphics card. With the help of new-generation digital programmable Volterra regulators AMD addressed the issue of power draw and work temperatures of its VDDC components. Symmetric layout of major components is also important for efficient power transfer and heat output. While they may become a standard for a certain number of manufacturers, premium-class ASICs are employed to screen in high speed and low leakage cases.

A big gun needs big shells to fire and this means not one but two 8-pin power connectors onboard, which should supply enough juice for the rated 375W workload consumption. With such thirst those from the northern states may want to turn off their heaters as this much heat output is definitely going to keep you warm on a cold gaming night.

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