Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Cape Verde: All About Performance/Watt

AMD Radeon HD 7770 And 7750 Review: Familiar Speed, Less Power
By

Most gamers shopping for a new graphics card want to know how everything in their budget performs, first and foremost. Within that frame of reference, and depending on how sophisticated they want to get, power consumption, connectivity, and value-added extras like stereoscopic support and video functionality play a secondary role in the decision. Derivative metrics like performance per watt and performance per dollar help narrow the focus, creating more specific comparisons.

In absolute terms, AMD’s new Radeon HD 7770 matches or is just a little bit slower than the 256-bit GeForce GTX 460 1 GB. AMD should probably just be happy that card is quickly disappearing. A 19 month-old product that gives a brand new value-oriented board a run for its money is a little awkward, after all.

The more painful comparison is to AMD’s own Radeon HD 6850. Generally faster, much less expensive, and still very prolific in the channel, there’s just no contest between the 16 month-old Barts-based board and Radeon HD 7770.  

Now, you can factor in low power use and make an argument that the 7770’s efficiency makes it a more attractive buy. But I don’t agree that efficiency trumps absolute performance in the minds of most. Instead, we get a new card with performance comparable to what’s already available at a price point already being hit. Almost makes you wonder why they didn't just shrink Barts to 28 nm?

I’m not just picking on AMD here. The GeForce GTS 450, launched between AMD’s Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 (but a year later) was similarly disappointing. The Radeon HD 7770 does a fair job of setting AMD up to phase out its Juniper-based cards manufactured at 40 nm with something comparably-quick. But it doesn’t push the performance it’d need to be a winner at $160.

How about the Radeon HD 7750? It’s about as fast as Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 550 Ti—a card that costs more. From the same absolute performance angle, this card fits in a little more neatly. But its position strengthens when you move past average frame rates. The Radeon HD 7750 is a single-slot card. It doesn’t require auxiliary power. And although its fan is diminutive, it keeps the cut-back Cape Verde die cool without generating obnoxious noise levels under load. In a budget-oriented, lightweight gaming machine or HTPC, this is a card we’re more likely to appreciate at $110.

Although we’d really like to be able to test what VCE can do for the encode performance of the Radeon HD 7750, using it on a Z68- or H67-based platform gives you Quick Sync support, and that’s good enough for now.

In light of the performance, functionality, and efficiency that AMD crams into a single-slot, ~55 W board, the Radeon HD 7750 deserves a Tom’s Hardware Recommended Buy award. Our nod of approval is specific to the HTPC space, where those attributes are particularly valuable.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 158 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 40 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , February 15, 2012 3:53 AM
    I hope the price of 7770 comes down to $130. That is where this card belongs.
  • 29 Hide
    Derbixrace , February 15, 2012 3:52 AM
    the 7750 will be a GREAT card compared to the 6670 for those who have a shitty 300w PSU and wants a nice GPU.
  • 24 Hide
    mattmock , February 15, 2012 5:06 AM
    stm1185These prices are terrible, even compared to the current competition and not the inevitable huge price drop to compete with Nvidia's next gen. 7770 giving less then GTX460 performance at $160, when in what 2-3 months Nvidia will probably be giving that performance level for under $99. 7770 is crap.

    Amd may be taking advantage of their unopposed release of the 7000 series to sell their cards at high margins. They may just be waiting for the new Nvidia cards to come out before they drop prices.
Other Comments
  • 29 Hide
    Derbixrace , February 15, 2012 3:52 AM
    the 7750 will be a GREAT card compared to the 6670 for those who have a shitty 300w PSU and wants a nice GPU.
  • 40 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , February 15, 2012 3:53 AM
    I hope the price of 7770 comes down to $130. That is where this card belongs.
  • -9 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , February 15, 2012 4:06 AM
    "Although other cards beat it in encryption and decryption performance, the Radeon HD 7750 easily secures a second-place finish in the SHA256 hashing test."

    I think you mean AES256.
  • 19 Hide
    jprahman , February 15, 2012 4:09 AM
    The fight shaping up between all these new AMD cards and Kepler is looking to be a good one. Time to just sit back with some popcorn and enjoy the show... while planning a new build for when the price war breaks out.
  • 3 Hide
    esrever , February 15, 2012 4:17 AM
    Seems ok, New stuff ussually cost more. The 6770 being more expensive than the 5770, the 6870 being more expensive than the 5850 ect.

    I'd expect prices to go down once supply goes up and demand goes down.
  • 0 Hide
    confish21 , February 15, 2012 4:25 AM
    What a sad release. I'm not even excited for Pitcairn now! I foresee the $170 6870 to hold its own.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 15, 2012 4:30 AM
    This is ridiculous. Man this sucks, i've been waiting for the 7770 since early last year, and this crap is what they release?

    What_were_they_thinking?
  • 12 Hide
    wicketr , February 15, 2012 4:32 AM
    Well....here's hoping for a good 7850/7870 release on March 6th. Not much here worth spending money on IMO.
  • 20 Hide
    buzznut , February 15, 2012 4:36 AM
    This is unfortunate, considering the naming scheme. The 4770, 5770, and 6770 were/are all good budget cards that performed above where they were priced. Bang for buck has always been the draw here, but that 7770 is overpriced. Hopefully AMD will see this fumble; I agree at $120-130 this card makes a lot more sense.

    I'd actually like to see the HD 7750 at a lower price too, as we know these prices will drop over time but I still think this is slightly high for launch.
  • -8 Hide
    mattmock , February 15, 2012 4:42 AM
    In the monthly best Graphics cards you mention that AMD is dominating. I wonder why though. Are Nvidia's cards capable of maintaining a price premium because consumers are willing to pay a little more to use Nvidia drivers and extras like PhysX and 3d vision? Or possibly are their cards more expensive to manufacture and so Nvidia must raise prices to maintain margins and simply suffer reduced sales at those prices. Anyone know?
  • -7 Hide
    gti88 , February 15, 2012 4:55 AM
    With price tags lake these, 7770 and 7750 could have big radiators for passive cooling.
  • 24 Hide
    mattmock , February 15, 2012 5:06 AM
    stm1185These prices are terrible, even compared to the current competition and not the inevitable huge price drop to compete with Nvidia's next gen. 7770 giving less then GTX460 performance at $160, when in what 2-3 months Nvidia will probably be giving that performance level for under $99. 7770 is crap.

    Amd may be taking advantage of their unopposed release of the 7000 series to sell their cards at high margins. They may just be waiting for the new Nvidia cards to come out before they drop prices.
  • -5 Hide
    ztr , February 15, 2012 5:09 AM
    Damn it! >_<

    Couldnt the 7750 release before I bought my 5670? >_>
  • 10 Hide
    scallywanker , February 15, 2012 5:16 AM
    I was hoping the 7770 would provide a little more umph. I'm running a 460GTX-SLI setup, and hoped that ATI... er AMD's mid-range bracket in Crossfire would provide a significant boost, worthy of an upgrade. With the 460 more than hanging in there at stock speeds, I can't see a dual-card upgrade in the future, unless Kepler just absolutely blows this up at these price points. Even the 7950 and 7970 are a hard sell with limited availability and price-gouging.

    AMD is like the Chicago Cubs. Even non-fans want them to succeed, but they can never seem to get their act together.
  • 9 Hide
    a4mula , February 15, 2012 5:23 AM
    MattMockAmd may be taking advantage of their unopposed release of the 7000 series to sell their cards at high margins. They may just be waiting for the new Nvidia cards to come out before they drop prices.


    I agree somewhat, but I don't think it's the enthusiast crowd they're targeting here. It's the OEM crapfest that pushes the latest trash onto unknowing consumers while slapping a gaming pc title on their box.

    AMD had an edge with the Cayman because its performance was unopposed in the single gpu realm. With these cards that's nowhere close to the truth. In the past you could at least expect to get new DX support newer shading support or anything that would give the current model a unique edge over it's predecessor. I'm just not seeing that with this release. Then to top it off AMD is continuing the trend they started with the 7970 of an over-inflated launch price. While that might have flown with the cards that were untouchable, it's not going to fly here when you can spend the same money for more peformance, period.

    I feel bad for pre-built pc buyers that are unaware of things like this, such a ripoff.
  • 5 Hide
    scallywanker , February 15, 2012 5:28 AM
    scallywankerAMD's mid-range bracket


    Confused by the launch order and prices, I mistook this for their mid-range, and not their budget range. It's better, but not by much.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , February 15, 2012 5:31 AM
    AMD GCN HD7700 Performance good,quite energy saving



Display more comments