It’s been a long while since we’ve last seen a $700 graphics card, but AMD revives that tradition with its Radeon HD 6990 dual-GPU offering. Fortunately, the card has proven that its high price-tag is well-earned, as it storms past every other single and dual-GPU graphics card on the market, and introduces other useful features to boot.
Of all the games we test, it might be this one that needs no introduction. Back in 1998, Blizzard unleashed what was soon to be one of the most successful RTS titles on the planet, and even as of today, the original is still heavily played all around the world – even in actual competitions. StarCraft II of course had a lot of hype to live up to, and it did, thanks to its intense gameplay and superb graphics.
Manual Run-through: The portion of the game we use for testing is part of the Zero Hour mission, which has us holding fort until we’re able to evacuate. Our saved game starts us in the middle of the mission, and from the get-go, we build a couple of buildings and concurrently move our main units up and around the map. Total playtime lasts about two minutes.
StarCraft II for all intents and purposes hasn’t proven to be the best gauge for GPUs, as is proven in the above charts. An obvious ceiling is hit, and even at 2560×1600, almost all current-gen GPUs can handle the game just fine. For those die-hard graphics nerds running a super-high resolution, the HD 6990 will certainly be able to feed your appetite for most forced anti-aliasing modes.
RTS titles that have superb graphics and are easy to benchmark aren’t too easy to come by, but we’re currently evaluating a couple of options and plan to replace StarCraft II in the near-future. We’re expecting to announce its replacement in late March or early April.