Like I just said in our Total Performance Rating graph, the Sapphire HD 6990 4GB doesn't really shock us when it comes to performance. Without the card I could probably quite easily emulate results similar to what we've got here today with the HD 6970 in CrossFire slightly down clocked.
So what? We're left a little disappointed? Not at all; the thing is when you slot that single card into that single PCI-E slot it all comes together. The amount of performance coming out of a single card is just crazy, so crazy, and that's what makes the card so appealing.
I loved the HD 5970 2GB; sure it had problems, especially at launch, but it was great to have that amount of power on offer from a single card. That single card was able to handle my EyeFinity setup with no issue at all. I didn't want to have to use two cards, so much so that when I started having issues with my HD 5970 that I just threw in a HD 6870. I've been waiting months for a replacement to that and I've found it.
You know that the fanboys are going to come out now, though, and we're going to get into that "Fastest Single GPU" argument. Sure NVIDIA hold that with the GTX 580, but if you have the need for speed and you only want a single card, the HD 6990 4GB is the one to buy.
CrossFire scaling is excellent, the price is strong, the performance is fantastic, driver issues seem almost non-existent and connectivity is unreal. It's all made better by the fact that we haven't even flicked that little switch yet and made use of "AUSUM" mode.
AMD can loudly and proudly shout from the rooftops that they have the fastest video card in the world. Partners hope they're shouting it for a few months while NVIDIA no doubt hope to be shouting over them soon.
In the end, though, today the HD 6990 4GB is the Fastest Card in the World and for a lot of people that's all that matters.
We've got to give Kudos to AMD for making a card that again uses their top single GPU, the HD 6970, as the basis for the card. They haven't cut down stream processors or the memory bus width. Sure they've had to move the clocks around a little, but that's easy to overcome via overclocking.
Sapphire of course hasn't done much with the card due to the fact that it's only based on the reference design at the moment. It will be really interesting to see if Sapphire hit it up soon though and attack it with the ATOMIC or TOXIC series. I suppose only time will tell. For now, though, I have to shake the nerd chills as you do get quite giddy with the amount of performance that's on offer from this card.