CHIP DESIGNER AMD has released its top-of-the-range Radeon HD6990M mobile graphics card, which it claims is the world's fastest single GPU mobile board.
AMD's Radeon HD6990M will only see action in those back-breaking gaming desktop replacement machines that weigh as much as a sack of potatoes. Nevertheless for that weight you get undeniable graphics power with a DirectX 11 supporting GPU running at 715MHz that has 1,120 stream processor units and 56 texture units.
Coupled to AMD's mobile GPU behemoth is up to 2GB GDDR5 memory that runs at 900MHz. The Radeon HD6990M also supports Crossfire, so two of these can be mated together if you want to bring your battery life down to the single digits.
Being fair to AMD, the Radeon HD6990 isn't designed to be in laptops that are used as laptops, however the firm has included its Powerplay power management technology that supports multiple GPUs. Alienware has already said that it will be stuffing two Radeon HD6990M GPUs into its range topping M18x laptop. Other original design manufacturers such as Clevo and Eurocom are opting for more sedate single Radeon HD6990M configurations.
While gaming is the obvious choice for AMD's latest and greatest, it does support up to six displays. There's OpenCL support and AMD's HD3D technology for stereoscopic 3D. Depending on laptop vendor choices the Radeon HD6990M can output through dual-link DVI, Displayport 1.2, HDMI 1.4a and even D-Sub.
We headed over to Alienware to spec up one of its M18x machines, but were disappointed to find that the Radeon HD6990M isn't a build-to-order option yet. The US web site does have it on offer as a $500 option, $700 less than a pair of Nvidia Geforce GTX580M GPUs.
Sadly editorial budget constraints and our inconsiderable physical prowess meant that we could neither afford nor carry one. µ