Game on?

Ah, but what of performance? Given everything AMD has said about making a desirable card, offering the best experience above all other objectives, the performance is pretty damn impressive for a single-PCB/multi-GPU card.

AMD Radeon HD 7990

The first and perhaps most important thing to say is that it beats the GTX 690 and GTX Titan in our performance metrics almost across the board. The only place where Nvidia held sway was in the Batman: Arkham City test, where Nvidia generally performs better.

Even more impressive is the fact that it stays above both the Nvidia cards in terms of the minimum recorded frame rate, too - and that's always a good indicator of how smooth a gaming experience you're going to get out of your rig.

What this card doesn't do is beat a CrossFireX pairing of twin HD 7970 GHz edition cards. That setup is over £150 (about AU$235, US$225) cheaper, making the HD 7990 a bit of a tough sell. That's why we had all the talk from Devon Nekechuk about not going for the utilitarian option - if you're after sheer performance, that CrossFireX pairing wins.

Where they fall down is experience - when pushed to their limits, a pair of HD 7970 GHz cards make one hell of a racket - but they're blisteringly quick and smoother than this HD 7990. So, this HD 7990 doesn't win the performance battle.

Benchmarks

Peak platform power draw
100 per cent GPU: Watts: Lower is better

AMD HD 7990: 615
NVIDIA GTX 690: 528
NVIDIA GTX TITAN: 450
2X AMD HD 7970 GHZ: 700

DirectX 11 gaming performance
Batman: Arkham City: Frames per second: Higher is better

AMD HD 7990: 103
NVIDIA GTX 690: 109
NVIDIA GTX TITAN: 95
2X AMD HD 7970 GHZ: 99

Crysis 3: Frames per second: Higher is better
AMD HD 7990: 48
NVIDIA GTX 690: 42
NVIDIA GTX TITAN: 37
2X AMD HD 7970 GHZ: 55

DirectX 11 tessellation performance
Heaven: Frames per second: Higher is better

AMD HD 7990: 43
NVIDIA GTX 690: 42
NVIDIA GTX TITAN: 41
2X AMD HD 7970 GHZ: 47

DiRT Showdown: Frames per second: Higher is better
AMD HD 7990: 116
NVIDIA GTX 690: 66
NVIDIA GTX TITAN: 61
2X AMD HD 7970 GHZ: 117

Max Payne 3: Frames per second: Higher is better
AMD HD 7990: 57
NVIDIA GTX 690: 54
NVIDIA GTX TITAN: 42
2X AMD HD 7970 GHZ: 58