When we reviewed the 7970 and 7950 cards last month it is fair to say that the XFX models impressed us most, especially the overclocked 7950 Black Edition. Therefore it was great to see that XFX were taking the same approach with their 7770 and the end result is a card which would again be top of our shopping list for a launch day 7770 when looking at build quality and design. It retains all of the key features of the 7770 series (and 7900s) including support for PCIe 3.0 and DirectX 11 while significantly improving on the build quality and aesthetics of the reference design.
When gaming we see that this edition of the XFX 7770 easily achieves playable framerates at 1920×1080 in the latest games and always with maximum detail levels. On more than one occasion we were also able to add anti-aliasing to the mix to further improve image quality.
That said there is clearly an issue when comparing the 7770 to a similarly priced GTX 560 OC as the NVIDIA card, in all but one game, offers higher performance. In some cases by a significant amount. This isn’t necessarily the fault of XFX though as they price their model appropriate to the AMD suggested level. For stock cards AMD almost get away with their pricing, though the equivalent GTX 560 is faster, but at overclocked levels the gap widens and XFX are left struggling as a result. What needs to happen is a drop, across the board, of 7770 prices to make the card a more attractive purchase.
That doesn’t mean that the XFX 7770 isn’t worth buying, it is, and the power and thermal performance are significantly better on this card than the GTX 560. Added to that the XFX cooler also runs near silent at all times which is a real plus.