Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
I suppose the simple question to answer is if you're going to spend $1,000 on a new video card, do you buy a GTX TITAN or the new HD 7990? Unfortunately it really feels like the answer to that question isn't so black and white. I think hands down you could say with confidence that the HD 7990 is clearly the faster video card - it's consistently faster, and at times it's up to 20% faster. When you're talking about dollar for dollar performance, that's a serious difference for the same money.
But... and this really is a big but, I understand the appeal in having just a single GPU solution in your system. The GTX TITAN is damn fast and really anything you throw at it, it handles extremely well, especially when you throw overclocking into the mix. CrossFire is also not perfect and that is extremely obvious under Nexuiz, which uses one of the most recent game engines. Considering it's probably the one game that would benefit so much from the technology, it's always disappointing to see dual GPU AMD solutions perform like single GPU solutions. This isn't an issue for NVIDIA, as the GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI setups have shown strong gains, and the GTX TITAN SLI performance is just insane under the extremely intensive game.
While we can't generally comment on the "bundle" in a review that consists of just a reference card, the bottom line is that the game bundle that is going to be seen on the HD 7990 is just truly insane - a massive amount of games are being offered in the form of Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon, Crysis 3, BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Dues Ex Human Revolution. This just adds an immense amount of value to the product. The bundles that AMD are offering lately are just truly awesome and the BioShock Infinite inclusion with the HD 7790 is something that really stood out for us, as it truly impacts the value of the product, in an extremely positive way.
The cooler is fantastic, but we always expected that it would be. AMD made a big deal in its press kits about it and it really didn't disappoint. We're not surprised, though, as we know from the past that multi fan setups tend to perform extremely well, as they're able to push a lot of air at low noise levels.
Outside of the performance and the cooler, the one area that really stands out is the I/O. The inclusion of four mini DisplayPort connectors is appealing to anyone who is on the multi monitor bandwagon and wants to make use of the technology. The lack of multi DisplayPort options from both AMD and NVIDIA recently is the main reason that I still personally use a HD 6970, which offers four mini DisplayPorts. It's a technology that I'd love NVIDIA to embrace more and AMD to offer more on other models.
Overall this is a very fast video card that performs exceptionally well. It's hard to say that a $999 video card is good value because... well, it's a $999 video card. But the performance of the model against NVIDIA's $1,000 option and the massive games bundle that AMD is bundling means that you're really going to see a lot of bang for your back.
At the end of the day it's pretty simple. If you have $1,000 to spend and you want the fastest single video card solution on the market, the AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB is hands down the winner. If you're not interested in the dual GPU side of things, then the GTX TITAN is going to continue to be the video card for those who have this level of money to spend.
Finally before we finish off; availability is the last thing that needs to be mentioned. Stock is due to hit etailers in the next two weeks. With partners still not quite having stock, it's fairly safe to assume that for at least the next few weeks or possible months, you're going to just see reference design cards with a different sticker on it. What's going to be the most interesting, though, is true availability - and that we won't know for a couple of weeks. Are companies going to get just a handful of this model or will we really see some good stock levels? If the past is anything to go by, it's probably fairly safe to assume that stock is going to be on the light side.
With no solution coming out any time soon that is going to beat this new AMD model in a single card form, it's fairly safe to purchase the HD 7990 knowing that it's still going to have a fairly long life.