AMD Radeon HD 6990M, the new fastest mobile GPU

Adam Smith

July 12, 2011
Radeon Graphics

AMD has launched a new mobile graphics chipset which it claims offers the fastest frame rate possible on a notebook, the HD 6990M.

This comes less than two weeks since Nvidia announced the same thing with its GTX 580M GPU, meaning we’ve got the usual tit-for-tat battle between the two graphics giants.

AMD reckons that the HD 6990M has been measured to be up to 25% faster than any other current top-of-the-line mobile graphics solution, and of course it can be doubled up on with CrossFire (just as Nvidia’s cards can with SLI).

The 6990M boasts Eyefinity to deliver a picture to up to six displays, and AMD app acceleration technology which improves streaming and video quality. Stereoscopic 3D is also on offer with HD3D tech.

So, what about those all important stats? We’re talking a clock speed of 715MHz, 1120 stream processing units and 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 900MHz.

The 6990M has a texel fill rate (bilinear filtered) of 40 Gigatexels/sec and a pixel fill rate of 22.88 Gigapixels/sec, a throughput of 715 million polygons per second and a rated computing power of 1.6 TeraFLOPS. Or to put it another way, it’s pretty snappy.

AMD has undertaken a series of comparative test against Nvidia’s GTX 580M with the results seemingly indicating that over a number of benchmarks the 6990M is around 10% faster on average, perhaps a bit more.

However, this isn’t independent testing, and we’ll have to wait for some more thorough benchmarking before we really know where the card stands.

We’re betting that realistically there isn’t going to be much between them, and it’ll vary one way or another depending on the game engine, as ever.

Alienware, which was also pimping the GTX 580M in its top-of-the-range M18x gaming notebook, is taking the HD 6990M on board as well.

Arthur Lewis, Vice President and General Manager for Alienware, commented: “At its core, the Alienware brand is about pushing the limits and finding new extremes in gaming performance.”

“By offering two AMD Radeon HD 6990M graphics processors in our flagship M18x laptop, Alienware and AMD have come together to provide gamers the ultimate mobile experience.”

Of course, with cards of this performance level in your notebook, battery life is likely to take a hammering when playing those cutting-edge games at cutting-edge visual details.


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