Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7790 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7790
Reviewed by
James Wright
on
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7790 Review The card handles 1080p well, although when it got to higher resolutions, it did struggle. Ideally the card should be used at a resolution of 1080p with some tweaking of the settings to get that perfect frame rate.
Rating:
4.25

Design 9.0
Features 9.0
Performance 7.0
Value 8.5
Distributor: Gigabyte
Review Date:
April 2013
Reviewer:
James Wright

8.5


Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7790

Being a gamer can be expensive, especially that every few months or so, a new CPU or GPU is released. Thankfully AMD have come to the rescue with their new entry-level gaming card, the Radeon HD 7790 which boasts a core speed of 1000Mhz (overclocked to 1075Mhz with the Gigabyte model), 1GB of GDDR5 RAM and is based on the 28nm GCN architecture.

It's great value for money and performance.

 

 

Add in PCI Express 3.0 and faster GPU to CPU communication and this card definitely has many tricks up its sleeve for the gamer, including overclocking abilities and 1080p support which challenges similar NVidia Cards. Then you have AMD Eyefinity which allows for additional screens and AMD EyeSpeed for improved video playback and this card definitely is more than meets the eye.

A full list of specifications can be found at the end of this review.

Card Highlights

  • Architecture - Graphics Core Next

  • Stream Processors - 896

  • Engine Clock (Reference) - 1Ghz

  • Bit-interface / Memory Type - 128bit / 1GB GDDR5

  • Memory Data Rate - 6.0 Gbps

  • Typical Power Draw - 85W

  • Maximum Displays 6

In terms of design, the card measures at 20.1cm x 3.7cm x 3.7cm and is quite small in terms of a GPU. On the back of the card, it supports a variety of connections that include Dual-link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI plus 2 mini DisplayPorts. The card needs a power supply of a minimum of 450 watts and comes with a very unusual cooling system dubbed Triangle Cool which is a 100mm fansink. This technology is meant to assist in dissipating the heat more efficiency than other fans and is super quiet, even while gaming.

Box Contents

  • HD 7790

  • Driver CD

  • Installation Manual

  • Dual Molex to 6-pin adapter

It's also a very light card in terms of weight when compared to other gaming cards. Installation is simple, you simply slot it into a spare PCI 3.0 slot, connect the power via the included 6-pin PCI express power cable and wait for your PC to either install the drivers or prompt the user. This whole process should take no more than 5 minutes. Like most gaming cards, it does support crossfire which allows the user to connect an additional card to it for more gaming power.

Test System Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-3960X Processor

  • Kingston KHX 1600C9D3K4/16GX Memory

  • ASUS P9X79 Motherboard

  • Cooler Master M2 520W Silent Pro Power Supply

  • Cooler Master X6 CPU Fan

  • Kingston 240GB SSDNow 200 Hard Drive

  • Seagate Barracuda 1TB (600 MBps - 7200 rpm)

  • LG CH12LS28 12X BD-R Blu-ray DVD Combo Drive

  • Windows 7 64 ultimate

When it comes to testing, we tested games on the "high" setting and the results were quite interesting as the card produced some exceptional results. Let's have a look at 3DMark 11, one of the world's most definitive benchmark programs and some games of course!

3DMark 11 (Performance Preset)
Score: 6112

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Compared to other cards, 6112 is very good, especially considering how powerful this program was. At times it was silky smooth to watch.

Metro 2033 (High - 1920 x 1080)

26 Frames Per Second

Set in the shattered subway of a post apocalyptic Moscow, Metro 2033 is a story of intensive underground survival where the fate of mankind rests in your hands. In 2013 the world was devastated by an apocalyptic event, annihilating almost all mankind and turning the earth's surface into a poisonous wasteland. At 26 frames per second, it did make Metro 2033 a little hard to play but by playing with the resolution or detail level, we did get it to an acceptable 50 frames per second.

DiRT 3 (Ultra - 1920 x 1080)

69 Frames Per Second

DiRT 3 will boast more cars, more locations, more routes and more events than any other game in the series, including over 50 rally cars representing the very best from five decades of the sport. What can we say... almost 70 frames per second for silky smooth flawless gaming.

Battlefield 3 (Ultra - 1920 x 1080)

35 Frames Per Second

Battlefield 3 leaps ahead of its time with the power of Frostbite 2, the next instalment of DICE's cutting-edge game engine. This state-of-the-art technology is the foundation on which Battlefield 3 is built, delivering enhanced visual quality, a grand sense of scale, massive destruction, dynamic audio and incredibly lifelike character animations. At 35 frames per second, the game was playable but with more tweaking, we pushed this considerably higher.

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (High - 1920 x 1080)

51 Frames Per Second

Heart of the Swarm picks up the story of StarCraft II where the 2010 release, Wings of Liberty, left off, focusing on Kerrigan's quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. Over 50 frames per second... that's called gaming!

Tomb Raider (High with TressFX- 1920 x 1080)

36 Frames Per Second

Tomb Raider is an Action-Adventure game that introduces players to the origin of one of the most identifiable video games icons of all-time, Lara Croft. The game features a blend of survival, stealth, melee and ranged combat, and exploration gameplay as a young Lara Croft is forced to push herself past her know limits to survive and unravel the dark history of a forgotten island.

Lara never looked better than this, especially with the TressFX hair technology which made Lara look real. 36 frames per second was good but it did slow down in the outdoor areas. We had to drop the detail or the resolution to make it truly playable.

Bioshock Infinite (High - 1920 x 1080)

34 Frames Per Second

In this first-person shooter set in 1912, the player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who is sent to Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so they may escape from a city literally falling from the sky. At almost 35 frames per second, the new Bioshock looked amazing at 1080p.

Final Thoughts?

Given the affordable price of the AMD Radeon HD 7790 (Under $200AUS - April 2013), the card does perform quite well for a gaming card, provided you lower the detail or the resolution on some games.

Certain games such as Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite run like a charm and we'll never get tired of seeing Lara Croft's realistic hair detail thanks to the TressFX Hair technology.

The card handles 1080p well, although when it got to higher resolutions, it did struggle. Ideally the card should be used at a resolution of 1080p with some tweaking of the settings to get that perfect frame rate.

Apart from gaming, Windows 7 looked spectacular as did playing our Blu-ray movies through the card. Photos looked sharp with realistic colours and all in all, this card is a winner, considering its excellent price range!

Specifications

  • 1000MHz Engine Clock
  • 1GB GDDR5 Memory
  • 1500MHz Memory Clock (6.0 Gbps GDDR5)
  • 96GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
  • 1.79 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power
  • GCN Architecture
    • 14 Compute Units (896 Stream Processors)
    • 56 Texture Units
    • 64 Z/Stencil ROP Units
    • 16 Color ROP Units
    • Dual Geometry Engines
  • 128-bit GDDR5 memory interface
  • PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface
  • DirectX® 11.1-capable graphics
  • OpenGL 4.2 support
  • Partially Resident Textures (PRT)
    • Ultra-high resolution texture streaming technology
  • Image quality enhancement technology
    • Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing
    • Adaptive anti-aliasing
    • Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA)
    • Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing (EQAA)
    • DirectX® 9/10/11 Super-Sample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA)
    • 16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering
  • AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology2
    • Up to 6 displays supported
    • Independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
    • Display grouping
      • Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
    • Discrete Digital Multi-Point Audio (DDMA)
  • AMD App Acceleration3
    • Supports OpenCL™ 1.2, DirectCompute 11 & Microsoft C++ AMP
    • Double Precision Floating Point
    • AMD HD Media Accelerator
      • Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
        • H.264
        • VC-1
        • MPEG-2 (SD & HD)
        • MVC (Blu-ray 3D)
        • MPEG-4 Part 2 (DivX/Xvid)
        • Adobe Flash
        • DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
        • WMV HD
      • Video Codec Engine (VCE)
        • Multi-stream hardware H.264 encoder
        • Full-fixed mode: 1080p @ 60 FPS encoding
        • Hybrid mode: Stream Processor-assisted encoding
      • Enhanced Video Quality features
        • Advanced post-processing and scaling
          • Deblocking
          • Denoising
          • Automatic deinterlacing
          • Mosquito noise reduction
          • Edge enhancement
          • 3:2 pulldown detection
        • Advanced video color correction
          • Brighter whites processing (Blue Stretch)
          • Independent video gamma control
          • Flesh tone correction
          • Color vibrance control
          • Dynamic contrast
          • Dynamic video range control
  • AMD HD3D technology5
    • Stereoscopic 3D display/glasses support
    • Blu-ray 3D support
    • Stereoscopic 3D gaming
    • 3rd party Stereoscopic 3D middleware software support
  • AMD CrossFire™ multi-GPU technology6
    • Supports dual-GPU performance scaling
  • Cutting-edge integrated display support
    • DisplayPort 1.2
      • Max resolution: 4096x2160 per display
      • Multi-Stream Transport
      • 21.6 Gbps bandwidth
      • High bit-rate audio
      • Quad HD/4K/UHDTV video support
      • 1080p60 Stereoscopic 3D
    • HDMI® (With 4K, 3D, x.v.Color™ and Deep Color)
      • Max resolution: 4096x2160
      • 1600p60 Stereoscopic 3D
      • Quad HD/4K/UHDTV video support
    • Dual-link DVI with HDCP
      • Max resolution: 2560x1600
    • VGA
      • Max resolution: 2048x1536
  • Integrated HD audio controller
    • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
    • Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats
  • AMD PowerPlay™ power management technology4
    • Automatic power management with low power idle states
  • AMD PowerTune technology with Boost4
    • Dynamic performance enhancement for games
    • GPU-managed automatic overclocking
    • Intelligent thermal/power management technology
  • AMD ZeroCore Power technology4
    • Ultra-low idle power when the connected display is in power saving mode
    • Efficient low power mode for desktop work
    • Secondary GPUs in an AMD CrossFire™ technology configuration power down when unneeded
  • AMD Catalyst™ graphics and HD video configuration software
    • Software support for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows 8
    • AMD Catalyst™ Control Center - AMD Catalyst™ software application and user interface for setup, configuration, and accessing features of AMD Radeon products.
    • Unified Graphics display driver - AMD Catalyst™ software enabling other PC programs and devices to use advanced graphics, video, and features of AMD Radeon™ products.
 





 
 



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