Club3D quadfire Radeon HD 7990 tested: freakishly fast, not terribly stable

Christmas is generally a time when we give ourselves over to excess, and in that spirit I've got my hands on possibly the most excessive graphical combination on the planet. Yes, my poor tech-whipped test rig is now playing host to a pair of Club3D HD 7990s in quad CrossFireX configuration.

That's four GPUs working in unison to create some of the most freakishly fast benchmark numbers I've ever witnessed.

Now, it has to be stressed that even Club3D haven't tested this configuration, and thanks to the joys of AMD's CrossFireX drivers it's not the most stable setup I've ever used. In fact I struggled to get through even half my usual gaming benchmarks.

That's a real shame as from the synthetic Heaven 3.0 benchmark numbers there's a huge amount of potential in this setup if AMD could sort its drivers out.

Running the quadfire rig at 2560x1600, with 4x Anti-aliasing and EXTREME tessellation settings, I was hitting 125FPS. By comparison a pair of GTX 680s will hit 72FPS on the same settings. Sleeping Dogs - not a great game, but an intensive benchmark - running on EXTREME settings delivered 90FPS.

In a word. Damn.

Sadly though Max Payne 3 didn't recognise the second card, and Batman:Arkham City and DiRT Showdown refused to boot at all, completely crashing the system.

So while it's quick in a few benchmarks the drivers are none too stable. And when you're dropping £1,400 on a pair of graphics cards you kinda want to know they're going to work.

But hey, surely no-one's ever going to be crazy enough to build this system - I just had to satisfy my own techy curiosity and wanted to share...

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.