Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7790 1GB Review
Last month AMD announced that they would not be releasing new high end products until later in the year, stating that they were extremely happy with the price and performance of their Radeon 7000 series. To be fair to them there is little doubt that the likes of ASUS ARES II 7990 is the fastest single PCB solution around and the 7970 offers a competitive product in the high end single GPU segment… assuming you can’t afford a TITAN.
That doesn’t mean that there are not gaps to be filled or improvements which can be made to the product stack until the next series is released. That is where the focus of today’s review enters… designed to replace the 7850 1GB in the AMD 7000 series, so between 7770 and 7850 2GB, this new product is AMDs attempt to offer a mainstream GPU with exceptional price to performance ratio.
So what exactly is the 7790?
To create the 7790 AMD could have taken a 7770 (Cape Verde) or 7850 (Pitcairn) GPU and tweaked its specifications. Instead they decided to create a new GPU ASIC, code name Bonaire, which is built on the same 28nm process however has its own unique set of specifications.
The 7790 GPU is fully DirectX 11.1 compatible and features dual geometry and tessellation engines, an upgrade over 7770 while still retaining the same 128bit GDDR5 memory interface. The specifications also receive a bump on the Stream Processors with 896 featured here (7770 has 640) and these are backed by 16 ROPS and 56 texture units.
AMD have also taken the opportunity to enhance their PowerTune technology. On previous revisions we had up to four power states. Now there are eight available allowing the card to offer a more flexible balance of speed and efficiency with changes occurring as quickly as every 10ms.
So let’s take a look at a retail card…