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AMD Radeon HD 7730 Review: A Harbinger Of The Kaveri APU?

Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and its expansions continue entertaining PC gamers, so we want to see how the title plays if you're limited to lower-end discrete graphics hardware. Let's have a look at 1920x1080, using the High detail preset, and with 2x MSAA/FXAA enabled.

The Radeon HD 7730s do well, and the GDDR5-equipped model tops the 30 FPS minimum frame rate we were looking for. It's only outdone by AMD's Radeon HD 7750.

Each contender rises and falls in unison with the workload we apply. They're differentiated by performance of course, with roughly half of the field nosing up over 30 FPS and the others simply too slow for a satisfying experience.

Even though they're not the slowest cards in our Skyrim comparison, the Radeon HD 6670s really struggle to get subsequent frames in a consistent manner, and in the very worst cases, you see a ton of variance between frames, leading to untimely stutters. The 7730s turn in significantly better numbers.

  • rmpumper
    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.
    Reply
  • MrPintar14
    Typo on second page, both 7730 GPUs say DDR3 but the second one should say GDDR5
    Reply
  • designasaurus
    11292234 said:
    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).
    Reply
  • Onus
    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.
    Reply
  • ET3D
    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.
    Reply
  • 17seconds
    There it is, F1 creeping its way back into the test suite.
    Reply
  • shikamaru31789
    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.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    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?
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    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
    Reply
  • sarinaide
    11292661 said:
    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.

    Reply