AMD’s Radeon HD7990 has been in the works for a long time and we’ve only seen third-party designs that break away with whatever reference design AMD will surely come up with. “Malta” is AMD’s codename for the reference HD7990 they’ve been working on and it could be launching in just two day’s time.
Specs haven’t exactly been an issue because we can figure out more or less that it’s a smashing of two Radeon HD7970 cores together, complete with their own memory at 3GB (or possibly unified, which would be a first, although not surprising) and a gigantic 768-bit bus. Compared to the GTX690, it’s a monster. But recent specification leaks have filled in whatever gaps we have left, thanks to Japanese site Hermitage Akihabara.
Clock speeds are now final at 1GHz, which puts it at the same TDP as the HD7970. The samples we’ve seen so far of Malta have used a dual-slot, triple-fan cooler so we can at least guess that it won’t be that much hotter than a single HD7970 when you compare temperatures. The numbers for the HD7970 have been mixed around though, both the texture fillrate and the pixel fillrate are wrong (should be 32GPixels/s and 128GT/s respectively) but because we’re so close to the launch we can probably attribute this to a simple editing error.
The 3DMark scores are good and appear rather competitive with both the Titan and the GTX690, although I have no context in which to view the results in, particularly because there’s no other information about clock speeds and the setup for the Nvidia GPUs. It would hurt AMD to be disingenuous at this point in time when it needs more support and sales, so one should take it with a pinch of salt until the reviews go live (supposedly) on Wednesday. When they do, be sure to check back for my analysis article on it and whether Malta is worth your time and money.
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