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AMD Radeon HD 7790 Review: Graphics Core Next At $150

Radeon HD 7790: A Good Value At $150

In case you missed it, the title of this page is A Good Value At $150. That's the same overarching theme we identified when Nvidia launched its GeForce GTX 650 Ti five months ago. It was a long time coming, but AMD is finally competing at the price point previously monopolized by Nvidia's GK106-based solution.

The Radeon HD 7790 averaged about 8% faster than the GeForce GTX 650 Ti in the few benchmarks we were able to run. That number will go up or down depending on the titles you enjoy and the settings you use. In general, though, they were pretty consistent.

As always, value-adds like Eyefinity, Surround, PhysX, CUDA, performance in OpenCL-enabled apps, and game bundles may sway you further toward one product or another.

If you already own a Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 560, there's really no reason to spend money on a 7790, even though the new card offers better efficiency and less heat. On the other hand, if you're using a GeForce GTX 650 or Radeon HD 7770, the Bonaire-based board does offer a more notable speed-up. Should you find yourself interested, be aware that availability of Radeon HD 7790s isn't expected until the first week of April. The good news is that AMD is making BioShock Infinite available as a bundle with the card from participating vendors.

The thing is, we're more concerned about the loss of a $180 Radeon HD 7850 1 GB than we are excited about the arrival of a $150 7790. Even if they're lower-margin products for AMD, inexpensive 7850s are great cards for hardcore gamers on a budget. If they disappear at ~$180, we'll be worse off for it, not better. 

Don't count Nvidia out, either. With AMD starting a squabble at $150, a counterstrike against the Radeon HD 7850 might help keep prices down. You never know. We recommend keeping a close eye on this space.

  • johnsonjohnson
    I thought the HD 7850 1GB is good value at $150 after rebate and 2GB at $180 after rebate.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Its crazy to see how much performance you can get in $150. The HD7790 performs 90% of the 6870, which menas its almost equal to a HD5870 :O , which was the top chip a few years back.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    Very good performance for the price.

    Its a good time to build mid end systems :)
    Reply
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    Too bad the OpenGL benches weren't implemented before Tom's did that "Gaming on workstation GPUs" article...
    Reply
  • amdfangirl
    I guess I know what my next GPU will be.

    6870 performance in a 85W envelope is amazing.
    Reply
  • rdc85
    It really strong rival for 650Ti....

    Glad to see some competition at entry/budget level card.....
    Reply
  • vmem
    wow, nice job AMD...

    and perhaps they finally realized that they make crappy reference coolers at best and just let Sapphire go ahead and ship to Tom's lol. In all honesty, as an AMD exclusive partner, Sapphire should just go ahead and take over reference cooler design for AMD, they make some awesome stuff
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    amdfangirlI guess I know what my next GPU will be. 85W TDP... basically = to a HD 5870... I can't believe it...I'll get the 2GB and finally be able to play Skyrim 1080p w/high res textures xD.
    IDK about it at that point. High-res stuff and all that can eat through poor memory bandwidth cards such as this quite easily.
    Reply
  • vmem
    amdfangirlI guess I know what my next GPU will be. 85W TDP... basically = to a HD 5870... I can't believe it...I'll get the 2GB and finally be able to play Skyrim 1080p w/high res textures xD.
    Honestly, if you put on enough high res mods, even my 7970 barely keeps up... still a gorgeous game tho, and you'll enjoy it just fine with a little tweaking and a 7790
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    Well, it seems to not hold up quite to the 90% of a 7850 rumors, but it's at a respectable ~80% of it on average. For $150, that is definitely a great competitor.
    Reply