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"All Inclusive": Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 2x2 GB Super Graphics Card Review
AnandTech's testing also shows that CrossFire scaling is nowhere near the quality of SLI at the moment with HD7970 series.
"Unfortunately we’re going to have to put AMD out of the running here; as we’ve seen in games like Crysis and Metro the 7970 in Crossfire has a great deal of potential, but as it stands Crossfire is simply too broken overall to recommend."
GTX690 will use less wattage, run quieter and overclock better than HD7990 - this begs the question of what the point is in the HD7990? AMD would need to undercut GTX680 by $150-200.
Also, HD6990 was one of the loudest videocards ever, and HD7970 chip consumes at least as much power, if not slightly more than the HD6970. Thus, AMD will have a difficult time pushing HD7990 at 925mhz clocks, nevermind 1000mhz clocks, which guarantees defeat against the 690.
AMD should release an HD7980 with 1150+mhz clocks or launch HD7970 1.5GB for $399. That would benefit the high-end GPU market much more than the HD7990.
On a final note, with 3x DL-DVI ports, I feel like GTX690 would have been the perfect card for multi-monitor gaming, and yet NV only gave 2GB of VRAM per GPU. I feel that's a significant oversight for a card that costs $999. In that particular instance, unless space constraints are an issue, I still feel that GTX680 4GB SLI setup will be the way to go, even if it costs $100 extra.
I love all the nVidia fanboys coming out and boasting how much more efficient GK104, you would think there was a huge difference, but it's usually in the range of a few W's, and a lot of these are the same people who ignored power usage completely when Fermi first came out. I think power use is valid to look at, but the difference has to be bigger than this, before I start complaining.
HD 6990 was a bit of a special card, yes it was loud, but it was also made to last, especially because you could easily overclock it, and it could easily run 6970 speeds and support 450W, I don't think I have to remind anyone what we saw with 590 when it came out.. 7970 has a similar TDP to 6970, but overall it will consume less power, thanks to the 28nm process, will it come as a 1GHz or even 925MHz card? Of course not, it will be downclocked exactly like the two GK104's have been clocked down to fit the power limit, I'm guessing 875MHz or so, but at the same time you'll likely see a card designed to take a beating, and with the dual bios switch. 690 is a great card, but really so will 7990 be, if they follow the 6990 formula, but most people won't care, as most people don't touch dual GPU cards. Personally if I was getting a card today I would go with a 7870 or two, and currently nVidia has nothing in that price range. I will give nVidia this though, they use three DVI ports, ensuring no screen tear in a 3 screen setup, and that's something you'll only get with custom made AMD cards at the moment, although AMD's cards will support more screens at the same time.
I am no NV fanboy as many continue to claim here. They just hate it when I state facts and call me an NV fanboy.
In Battlefield 3, GTX690 draws 150W less than HD7970 CF and overall in games has smoother feeling:
Also, GTX680 vs. HD7970 -- it takes 1050-1070mhz for HD7970 to catch up to a stock GTX680. Once both are overclocked on air, their performance is roughly equal but HD7970 draws 100-120W more power at 1200-1250 mhz @ 1.25V that's necessary to match an overclocked 680.
It's not a few watts either. The reference 7970 blower is loud and unacceptable for overclocking. This means a decent 7970 needs to be an after market version such as Sapphire Dual-X or MSI Lightning. Good luck using 2 of those in CF in your case dumping all that heat. Also, that means whatever price advantage $450 7970 had over $500 GTX680 is eroded by these more expensive after market 7970s.
I think 2x 7850s are CF are a better deal than 2x 7870s. 7870's pricing right now makes no sense since it's only $50 less than 7950, a card that clobbers it once it's also overclocked. 7870 was a good card until AMD dropped the price on 7950 to $399.
At the moment $400 7950 OC is a great high-end value with $250 x 7850 CF taking the cross-fire bang for the buck. Expect 670 to overclock to 680's speeds and consume less power, making 7950 yesterday's news. I would hold off on any purchases right now since 7950 should have more price cuts once 670 launches next week.
GTX670 with factory OC = 680
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