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Radeon HD 7730 Is Good, If The Price Is Right

AMD Radeon HD 7730 Review: A Harbinger Of The Kaveri APU?
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With our benchmarks out of the way, we can compile a chart of aggregate performance to get a better sense of where the Radeon HD 7730s sit in comparison to their predecessors and competition.

It comes as little surprise that the Radeon HD 7750 finishes today's story on top. Relative to the Radeon HD 6670 with DDR3 memory, the new 7730 (also equipped with DDR3) is more than 20% faster. The GDDR5-equipped model's lead is slightly smaller versus the Radeon HD 6670 GDDR5, but still in the double-digit percentage range. Nvidia's GeForce GT 630 and 640 show up in the middle, between old and new generations of AMD hardware.

At the end of the day, availability, pricing, and competition will determine the Radeon HD 7730's fate. At $90, the Radeon HD 7750 doesn't leave much room in the entry-level discrete space for cheaper options to maneuver, and we've never been able to recommend the GDDR5-equipped 6670 or GeForce GT 640 because they share that same price point. 

On the other hand, AMD's Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 consistently gets a recommendation in the $60 range. That $30 spread is a really big deal when you're talking about sub-$100 graphics cards. Nvidia's GeForce GT 630 GDDR5 suffers from sparse availability, but also deserves recognition in this segment.

So, what impact will the Radeon HD 7730 have on today's entry-level market? Sapphire tells us that the Radeon HD 7730 with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory will be available in North America for $70. If so, that'll become a true spiritual successor to the Radeon HD 5670 GDDR5, with better sub-$80 performance than we've ever seen before. Cross your fingers; this is what we're hoping to see happen.

As for the Radeon HD 7730 with 2 GB of DDR3, Sapphire is anticipating an $80 price point. Let's be clear: despite the extra gigabyte of memory, less bandwidth means this board is slower than the GDDR5-equipped card. We might have been alright with a $60 Radeon HD 7730 sporting 1 GB of DDR3, but at just $10 cheaper than a Radeon HD 7750, this card is not a viable option. In fact, it'd be downright uninformed to pay for the 2 GB DDR3 model when the faster card didn't exhibit any symptoms of its 1 GB on-board GDDR5 bottlenecking performance.

Bear in mind that neither card is yet available on Newegg or TigerDirect, and a few dollars of mark-up can quickly drown a value-oriented offering. If the Radeon HD 7730 GDDR5 card shows up for $80 instead of $70, it would be too close to the $90 Radeon HD 7750. Until these cards show up in the U.S. and we size them up on store shelves, we can't give you concrete guidance. But you can bet that we'll be updating Best Graphics Cards For The Money with definitive recommendations once we start seeing availability. 

Update, 8/8/2013: We're disappointed. Sapphire called to let us know that its original information was incorrect and the GDDR5-based Radeon HD 7730 will not be available in North America. The 2 GB DDR3 version of the the card is now available on Newegg for $75. But with a mere $15 separating it and the GDDR5-equipped Radeon HD 7750, we cannot recommend the 7730. Expect to read more about this in next month's Best Graphics Cards For The Money.

Otherwise, we're coming away with some useful information. Mainly, as we suspected, AMD's GCN architecture is as solid of a step up from its VLIW designs in the entry level as it was in higher-end GPUs. This bodes well for the upcoming Kaveri-based APUs, even if they were delayed until 2014. It's very likely that those chips will sport specifications similar to the Radeon HD 7730. And so, this graphics card may be the closest thing we can get to a crystal ball for predicting the performance of AMD's next-generation APU.

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  • 18 Hide
    designasaurus , August 4, 2013 10:21 PM
    Quote:
    Just look at that performance difference between DDR3 and GDDR5. AMD sure needs to implement GDDR5 in Kaveri in order not to waist all that GPU potential.


    Your comment, while being perfectly accurate, actually made me notice something interesting. Take a look at the charts, and you'll see that the GCN 7730s are less affected by the switch from DDR3 to GDDR5 than the VLIW 6670s! That means GCN is leaving less performance on the table if it's paired with slower memory, which is ideal for the situation an APU is usually in (PS4 aside).
  • 13 Hide
    rmpumper , August 4, 2013 10:00 PM
    Just look at that performance difference between DDR3 and GDDR5. AMD sure needs to implement GDDR5 in Kaveri in order not to waist all that GPU potential.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    rmpumper , August 4, 2013 10:00 PM
    Just look at that performance difference between DDR3 and GDDR5. AMD sure needs to implement GDDR5 in Kaveri in order not to waist all that GPU potential.
  • 1 Hide
    MrPintar14 , August 4, 2013 10:20 PM
    Typo on second page, both 7730 GPUs say DDR3 but the second one should say GDDR5
  • 18 Hide
    designasaurus , August 4, 2013 10:21 PM
    Quote:
    Just look at that performance difference between DDR3 and GDDR5. AMD sure needs to implement GDDR5 in Kaveri in order not to waist all that GPU potential.


    Your comment, while being perfectly accurate, actually made me notice something interesting. Take a look at the charts, and you'll see that the GCN 7730s are less affected by the switch from DDR3 to GDDR5 than the VLIW 6670s! That means GCN is leaving less performance on the table if it's paired with slower memory, which is ideal for the situation an APU is usually in (PS4 aside).
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , August 4, 2013 10:26 PM
    At the right price, this looks like a real winner, especially the GDDR5 version. If a $90 HD7750 is too rich, an HD7730 for $65 looks like it is still capable of playing most games, especially at 720p resolutions where a lot of HTPC cards operate.
    The "secret sauce" that could really catapult this one would be if some of its disabled pieces might be able to be switched on.
  • 0 Hide
    ET3D , August 4, 2013 11:04 PM
    Regarding Kaveri, it looks from this that CGN means better performance with DDR3, but also higher power consumption. If AMD wants to keep to the same power envelope it might have to reduce GPU clock speeds, which will eat into the performance advantage. In the end, it feels from this that Kaveri will offer only a minor performance boost.

    Hopefully AMD has done more power optimisations and that won't be the case.
  • 0 Hide
    17seconds , August 4, 2013 11:06 PM
    There it is, F1 creeping its way back into the test suite.
  • 1 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , August 5, 2013 12:10 AM
    I'm a little dissapointed if this is what we can expect from Kaveri. I was hoping for something that would come closer to matching the APU in the Xbox One. I want to build a small HTPC for gaming in my living room, and an APU would have been ideal for that since the smaller HTPC cases don't have room for large discrete graphics cards. I don't know, maybe Kaveri could still be useful if they actually get Hybrid Crossfire working properly, a Kaveri APU paired with a discrete 7730 and DDR3 2133 might just work out for my purposes.
  • 3 Hide
    slomo4sho , August 5, 2013 12:27 AM
    I don't see why manufacturers continue to utilize this ram in newer products... Just get rid of DDR3 already...


    Also, how is this Cape Verde GPU a "Harbinger Of The Kaveri APU"? It is a trimmed down 7750 and since a 7750 can provide no real insight into the performance of upcoming Kaveri APUs then how does this entry level card provide any better insight?
  • 0 Hide
    army_ant7 , August 5, 2013 12:39 AM
    On page 10, does the reference HD 7750 really have a load temp of 97C?
    (73C + 24C ambient = 93C)

    Anyway, the GDDR5 HD 7750 looks like a viable game-enabler for PC gamers on a budget. Also, it's a nice refresh for that price point's options. I do hope it sells for around $60 or less. :-D
  • 2 Hide
    sarinaide , August 5, 2013 12:40 AM
    Quote:
    I'm a little dissapointed if this is what we can expect from Kaveri. I was hoping for something that would come closer to matching the APU in the Xbox One. I want to build a small HTPC for gaming in my living room, and an APU would have been ideal for that since the smaller HTPC cases don't have room for large discrete graphics cards. I don't know, maybe Kaveri could still be useful if they actually get Hybrid Crossfire working properly, a Kaveri APU paired with a discrete 7730 and DDR3 2133 might just work out for my purposes.


    I have found a Trinity based APU more than enough for a HTPC. I would not have banked on Kaveri matching the XB1 and PS4's custom build silicon as in the name the APU designed for MS and Sony was of custom design and the hardware was always going to scale beyond that for desktop parts. If you offered me HD7730-7750 performance on a Kaveri I would be very pleased with that. What hasn't been brought to light is that the Spectre IGPU on Kaveri features around 512 Stream Processors and increased ROP's and compute units so it may very well be a potent iGPU.

    Dual Graphics has improved with Catalyst 13.8 to the point it is now playable, if a Richland can DG with the HD7730's that would be tremendous fo gaming under $200 for chip and card.

  • 7 Hide
    sanilmahambre , August 5, 2013 1:29 AM
    They should have only introduced the DDR5 version and scrap the DDR3
  • 0 Hide
    animadvert , August 5, 2013 1:30 AM
    Wouldn't it be cool if the DDR3 version was made because in hybrid crossfire, with a kaveri APU, the hUMA architecture allows the CPU and integrated graphics to use the 2GB of dedicated Vram as well? Maybe it's AMD's secret super weapon? That way a system with 8Gb of DDR3 now has 10 Gb :0. Or at the very least maybe it'll sync better with the integrated graphics, since memory isn't added together in crossfire?
  • -3 Hide
    hannibal , August 5, 2013 1:50 AM
    If Kaveri is even near the performance of 7730, it will blow Hasvel GPU put out of the sky! But as it has been said they have to reduce the clockspeed, so the difference would not be so huge, but as it allso has been said Trinity allready is very good and if the CPU will get even better, the Kaveri will be a great HTPC CPU. It may even be reasonable good all around CPU and that is a big deal. Ofcource if you want good gaming rig, you need something much, much more powerfull, like 3 way Titan and so on, but that tould cost near 5000$ without desent monitor (4K monitor +5000$) so they are not exacly in the same league :-)
    All in all, not a bad budget card!
  • 1 Hide
    sarinaide , August 5, 2013 2:49 AM
    Quote:
    If Kaveri is even near the performance of 7730, it will blow Hasvel GPU put out of the sky! But as it has been said they have to reduce the clockspeed, so the difference would not be so huge, but as it allso has been said Trinity allready is very good and if the CPU will get even better, the Kaveri will be a great HTPC CPU. It may even be reasonable good all around CPU and that is a big deal. Ofcource if you want good gaming rig, you need something much, much more powerfull, like 3 way Titan and so on, but that tould cost near 5000$ without desent monitor (4K monitor +5000$) so they are not exacly in the same league :-)
    All in all, not a bad budget card!


    Trinity's HD7660D and HD7650D are already faster than Intels desktop Graphics in HD4600 ilk and not just on Frame rates but latencies as well, They have done a review of HD5100 and 5200 Pro's with the HD5100 still slower than Richlands HD8670D by a margin and Iris is faster but costs around $600 for the all in one BGA setups which prevent expansion.

    Kaveri will be based on the smaller Steamroller cores which will improve performance/watt clock for clock with Vishera based cores and the IGPU will be on a more efficient GCN opposed to the Turks based VLIW4 architecture. If Trinity and Richland are already impressive I think Kaveri is going to top it by at least doubling iGPU over Trinity/Richland and x86 anywhere from 20-40% depending on the nature of the application, then there is HUMA and the HSA environment it think its going to be a very exciting release if you accept it for what it is, it will not be a champion chip in traditional computing sense but in a HSA environment it will blow away everything before it, cue the adobe premier pro benches 6800K vs 3770K is already around 500% faster in that environment AMD is king in integrated graphics AMD will be head and shoulders above its competition.

  • -3 Hide
    spentshells , August 5, 2013 4:57 AM
    Come sapphire could you at least put 1 heatpipe on it
  • 2 Hide
    unionoob , August 5, 2013 5:44 AM
    I know that card is outdated but would LOVE to see HD 5770 1GB card added in such benchmarks.
  • 0 Hide
    emad_ramlawi , August 5, 2013 6:08 AM
    hmmm... why no HD 7750 DDR3 in the charts, if you want to mention kaveri in the article, then please remember that high end kaveri will ship with 512 shaders and not 384, so comparing it with 7730 doesnt make much sense , i like the review of the 7730, but its not comparable with kaveri, the hd 7750 1GB DDR3 which is missing from this article is much more closer to kaveri
  • 0 Hide
    salh , August 5, 2013 6:49 AM
    Is DDR3 significantly cheaper to produce?
  • 0 Hide
    Maxime506 , August 5, 2013 7:16 AM
    That's an impressive news for some guys who has only OEM rigs and it helps a lot for them to easily upgrade their GPU without worrying too much about the power consumption.

    But for me, I care more about the Kaveri APU. I've heard rumors that the flagship Kaveri APU, probably A10s, would sport iGPU like HD 7750/7770 which has 512 or 768 shaders (but the 768 may blow the sale of HD 7790 so making it 512 shaders is more possible), so we would see better performance. This review has a better picture for us and even if the flagship has equipped only 384 shaders the performance could be still impressive esp. using 2133 or 2400 mhz memory. We're looking forward to the launch of the new APUs and hope it would be a great leap forward compared w/ Richland and Trinity APUs
  • 0 Hide
    megamanxtreme , August 5, 2013 8:23 AM
    I have a HD 7750 GDDR3 and I want to know where it stacks up, since I also have the GTX 650 GDDR5 and GT 440 GDDR5. If the 7750 is better than the GT 440, I will replace it for my tower.
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