AMD HD 7990 Review; Malta Arrives

Author: SKYMTL
Date: April 23, 2013
Product Name: Radeon HD 7990
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Reported vs. Actual Framerate

All of our previous testing has led to these final results. So far, we have shown the framerate results from FRAPS and the displayed frame latencies as determined by capturing real-time information from the graphics card. With these two items in hand, determining visible onscreen performance is possible.

While runts (partially rendered frames) and dropped frames are effectively invisible, software based tools like FRAPS tend to count them anyways, artificially inflating framerate results. Basically, this means FRAPS may be reporting a certain framerate but once runted and dropped frames are taken into account, the actual displayed framerate can be significantly lower.

In the charts below, we have taken the raw framerate from FRAPS (listed as Reported) and then used FCAT to subtract the invisible runt and dropped frames in order to give a Actual Framerate. If a graphics solution is operating as it should, the Reported and Actual results should be perfectly aligned, thus indicating it isnít partially rendering any frames (or discarding them altogether). If the lines are misaligned, performance as determined by FRAPS is being artificially inflated and a gamer will never see the performance it reports.

With all of these things taken into consideration, we believe these tests represent what is ACTUALLY being shown onscreen at a given moment and thus give a definitive portrait of true performance. Please note however this is done on a 2560x1440 screen so the results canít be directly compared to the tests shown on the initial pages of this review.

These results are simply detrimental to AMDís hopes of laying claim to the title of fastest graphics card in the world. It seems like the HD 7990 is dropping or partially rendering a ton of frames in Crysis 3, Far Cry 3 and even some within some areas of Dirt Showdown. Ironically, in Assassinís Creed III, it is relatively well behaved.

Compare and contrast the HD 7990 to the numbers posted by the GTX 690 and youíll find a clear win in favor of NVIDIA. This goes to prove that while the HD 7990 is a fast solution according to FRAPS, a good portion of its rendered frames never make it to the screen, thus eliminating what was a considerable advantage.

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