AMD Radeon HD 6790 Review: More Mid-Range Might

Test Setup And Benchmarks

All of the competing cards are included in our benchmarks: AMD's Radeon HD 5770, Radeon HD 6850, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 550 Ti, and GeForce GTX 460 768 MB. The GeForce GTS 450 is also included as a baseline.  

Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)
Overclocked to 4.0 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled, Turbo Boost disabled.
Motherboard
Asus P8P67 Pro, Intel P67 Chipset
Memory
OCZ PC3-16000, 2 x 2 GB, 1338 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-20-1T
Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Graphics CardsNvidia GeForce GTS 450 1 GB
783/1566 MHz Core/Shaders, 902 MHz Memory (3608 MHz effective)

Nvidia GeForce GTS 550 Ti 1 GB
900/1800 MHz Core/Shaders, 1025 MHz Memory (4200 MHz effective)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 768 MB
675/1350 MHz Core/Shaders, 900 MHz Memory (3600 MHz effective)

AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB
850 MHz Core, 1200 MHz Memory (4600 MHz effective)

AMD Radeon HD 6790 1 GB
840 MHz Core, 1050 MHz Memory (4200 MHz effective)

AMD Radeon HD 6850 1 GB
775 MHz Core, 1000 MHz Memory (4000 MHz effective)
Power Supply
ePower EP-1200E10-T2 1200 W, ATX12V, EPS12V
CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper TX 2
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX
DirectX 11
Graphics Driver
GeForce GTX 550 Ti: 267.59 BETA
GeForce GTS 450 and GeForce GTX 460: 266.58 WHQL

Radeon HD 6790: Catalyst 11.4 BETA
Radeon HD 5770 and 6850: AMD Catalyst 11.2 WHQL
Games
Crysis 2
Very High Quality setting, No AA, 60 second gameplay, FRAPS
Just Cause 2
Medium Quality Settings, Textures High, all options enabled except vsync, No AA / 16xAF, Bokeh filter and GPU water disabled (for Nvidia cards), Concrete Jungle Benchmark
Bulletstorm
Highest Settings, No AA, 60 second sequence, FRAPS
F1 2010
Ultra High Settings, No AA, Steam version, in-game benchmark, DX11 Rendering
Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark
Texture and Shadow quality set to medium, 8x AF, SSAO off, Dx11 tessellation off, Dx11 advanced shadows off, 0x AA
Metro 2033
DiectX 11, Medium Detail,  4x AF, tessellation enabled, advanced PhysX disabled.
Lost Planet 2
Medium settings, motion blur enabled, built-in benchmark test A
H.A.W.X. 2
Highest settings, DirectX 11 tessellation enabled, built-in benchmark
3DMark Vantage
Performance Preset, 1680x1050
Unigine Heaven
Highest settings, no AA, 16x AF, 1680x1050
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60 comments
    Your comment
  • rohitbaran
    Wow. Great card for the price, considering what nVidia has for the same segement.
    2
  • tacoslave
    I think the 550ti is the most useless release this year and yes even though the 6790 card draws more power than i would like its still miles ahead of the 550 ti. As for the gtx460 768 i think it would be stupid to take it off the market its nvidia's new 8800gt and only competition for amd 6790.
    4
  • compton
    The best part of 6790 appears to be the bitchin' CF scaling, if nothing else. Depending on where prices end up, it still would be hard to recommend when a few dollars more can get you the 6850.
    1
  • plznote
    Should be a bit cheaper imo.
    2
  • compton
    I would hope that prices end up around $139 or so, without rebates. Still the 5770 and 460s are the value kings, so I'm glad to see AMD not over pricing them. nVidia could take a lesson.
    0
  • Anonymous
    error with 6970 min fps f1 game at 1920 x 1080 res
    1
  • Trueno07
    Wow, nice card for the money, and very competitive. Good job AMD...
    0
  • dragonsqrrl
    rohitbaranWow. Great card for the price, considering what nVidia has for the same segement.

    Nvidia no longer has anything in this segment. Well, maybe the GTX460 768, but on average it's still priced above $150. The GTX550Ti underwent an expected below MSRP price drop soon after launch, and the average price is now around $130, probably where it should've been to start.
    tacoslaveI think the 550ti is the most useless release this year and yes even though the 6790 card draws more power than i would like its still miles ahead of the 550 ti. As for the gtx460 768 i think it would be stupid to take it off the market its nvidia's new 8800gt and only competition for amd 6790.

    Again the GTX550Ti doesn't directly compete with the HD6790 and has underwent a pretty significant price drop in the short time since its launch. The GTX560 is set to replace the GTX460 768 and compete directly against the HD6790 at the $150 price point.
    0
  • bombat1994
    Nvidia fail at the mid range segment. the only good card they have released recently was the 460. the 450, 550, failed hard. this card will be good if the companies can lower the the power usage. good job ati
    1
  • ivan_chess
    On the final graph, why is the 6790 listed below the 460? According to the graph it should be above it.
    0
  • turboflame
    The HD6790 is only a good counter to the GTX 550 purely because the GTX 550 isn't worth buying either.
    0
  • danbfree
    6850's are $145-150 after rebate, $165-170 without on Tom's sponsor site, Newegg... seems like worth the extra bit more to me!
    0
  • SteelCity1981
    The Geforce 550 Ti is an Nvidia sales gimmick too fool people into buying a next gen card that's in production.
    0
  • memadmax
    An 11 watt power difference between the Nvidia and ATI card will hardly drive me away from the ATI card given the performance difference.....
    0
  • rolli59
    Will be a great buy after the prices settle.
    0
  • C 64
    Nice card - I wonder will there be a passive cooled version like the 5770 has. This would definitely made me save money for an upgrade.
    Silent yet still quite powerful => BUY!
    0
  • mattmock
    "...any screen size not divisible by eight suffers a performance penalty. This is something that will likely be patched in the future."
    Considering that it has been over a month since bulletstorm was released and it is only an 8 hour game, I think it is time to change this line to
    "...any screen size not divisible by eight suffers a performance penalty. This is something that is unlikely to patched in a reasonable timeframe."
    0
  • henydiah
    i still use vga on board... i want buy it
    0
  • Anonymous
    ct1615funny Tom's loves this card but anantech (said it came up short) and hardware secrets both said pass on it.


    And Guru 3d came up as a go! Recommended!
    2
  • henydiah
    yeach and nice with crosfire
    1