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AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPU is the fastest for Notebook

Zoom H2n Portable Digital Recorder Priced as $199; releasing in September

Just two weeks after the release of the accelerator NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M, claiming to be the highest performing mobile GPU, this solution a worthy competitor in the form of models of AMD Radeon HD 6990M. AMD has since counterpunched with the AMD Radeon HD 6990M, its new, most high-end laptop graphics card, which the company now claims, as Nvidia did weeks ago, is the “fastest notebook GPU.” This time, the edge indeed seems to belong to AMD. The company boasts a 25 percent improvement over the next-fastest notebook GPU. According to slides from AMD showing head-to-head performance benchmarks versus the GeForce GTX 580M, that statement seems to hold true.

The 6990M promises fast frame rates and better image quality. The GPU will also support up to six displays, App Acceleration technology, and more. Alienware will be using the new GPU as will Clevo and Eurocom among other computer firms.

“There’s always been a belief that when it comes to mobile computing you need to make performance compromises. Today AMD demolishes that myth,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, GPU division, AMD. “The AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPU, which not only packs AMD Eyefinity technology with unprecedented specs, also provides full Microsoft DirectX(R) 11 and Stereo 3D support. Bottom line, this processor is epic and it’s here — now.”

If you were hoping to see a truly crazy mobile GPU running off the Cayman architecture, we’re unfortunately not getting that. Unlike the desktop 6990, we’re also not talking about a dual-GPU in a single card solution. Instead, the HD 6990M will be a full Barts core, with all 1120 shaders enabled. (The closest desktop equivalent is the HD 6870, which comes clocked at 900MHz, 25% higher than the 6990M.) Besides the now-standard DX11 support that AMD has been shipping since the first HD 5000 parts, 6990M also includes HD3D (stereoscopic 3D), OpenCL 1.1, and DirectCompute 11 support. AMD groups many of the features under the umbrella of “AMD App Acceleration”, though there’s technically nothing new here as all the 5000M and 6000M DX11 parts use the same drivers and support nearly the same features.

With the launch of the AMD Radeon 6990M GPU and the recently launched AMD A-Series Accelerated Processors (APU), company is pushing graphics capabilities to the limits for a wide range of notebook form factors and price points while enhancing the experience through technologies like AMD CrossFireX™ and Dual Graphics(2,3) (using a combination of AMD Radeon GPUs or an AMD Radeon™ GPU and an AMD APU).

The HD 6990M will be shipping with impressive specifications including a whopping 1120 Stream Processors with a clock speed of 715 MHz, bringing the compute power to 1.6 TFlops. This is paired to 2GB of GDDR5 memory at 900 MHz, making for memory bandwidth of over 115 GB/sec.

As for the question of who actually takes home the mobile gaming performance crown, we hope to have both GTX 580M and HD 6990M notebooks for testing in the coming weeks. On paper and using our previous 6970M and GTX 485M results, it looks like the 6990M should come out on top, but with various driver updates in the past several months we’re not ready to declare an official winner. If you’re looking for more than a few slides and potentially biased game selections, stay tuned: we’ll provide our usual in-depth look at real-world performance as soon as we can get hardware into our labs. Our money is still going to be on whoever can come in at a lower price point, and if recent history is any indication, that will likely be AMD with the 6990M.

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