It is good to see a new graphics card in the lower segment of the dedicated consumer graphics card market. Merely a year after the release of the 7770 this 7790 is now introduced and really, it's a nice little card that offers decent muscle to play today's games with the understanding that you need to place this product where it belongs, upper-segment entry level.
The R7770 already is/was a decent performer for the money really. The R7790 however offers a chunk extra in game performance. On average you'll see roughly a third more performance seen on the R7770 and that's thanks to the slightly revised GCN architecture with Boost function, the increased memory bandwidth and obviously the 256 extra shader processors that take the R7790 towards 896 shader/stream/compute processors.
The outcome of that equation is simple; better performance, with the factory clocked faster SKUs closing in on the Radeon HD 7850. Now don't expect a game like Crysis 3 to run at 1920x1200 at Very High Quality, no sir, but with AA disabled and a notch lower image quality settings it is possible, especially if you drop down to say 1600x1200. But realistically, everybody has moved on to Full HD monitors at 1920x1080/1200.
The sheer amount of performance at this price range remains good, and the game image quality you get thrown at you doesn't suck either. Hitman is such a title that is demanding on the GPU yet offers such nice eye-candy, and at 1920x1200 in DX11 mode. Lovely. So overall the R7790 is in sync with today's games versus image quality versus a monitor resolution of 1600x1200. If you lower image quality and can forfeit on say AA, then Full HD 1920x1080/1200 monitor resolutions become an option as well. This of course differs per game.
AMD dual graphics card solutions receive more and more heat, I notice this in the forums quite a bit. Driver issues are foremost the common denominator. Honestly we have had very little Crossfire related driver issues with the tested games in today's article. Scaling was quite good, but Crossfire is know for negative scaling on some titles. The driver team these days has a fast turnaround time releasing Beta drivers, but you need tor ealize that for every game launched you are bound to install a new Beta driver.
If you can live with quirks like that then Crossfire will be a heck of a lot of fun. The Frametime / Frame Experiencetest results however show pretty weird stuff. Next to Fraps I recently ran some numbers through a hardware framegrabber and started analyzing. There is some weird stuff going on. But realistically, if the game-play feels and looks okay, then you can't really complain and most of the time that's the case. But we'll have to investigate deeper in Pandorra's box. Mind you that what we measured only applies to multi-GPU stuff, single card configurations shows stats in line with what one may expect.
Club3D 13 Series
Club3D has a fun offering at hand with the 13 Series. Honestly it's clever, a simple box, no game bundles, extra cables and well all the extra's are left out. Just receive the bare product. All that to save on pricing, and for Club3D it obviously is a much more easy to sell product. But in times of a global financial crisis and people having to really watch their budget, this makes sense. The one thing they however never ever can forfeit on is product quality and there we can't complain either. The product runs perfectly fine without any issues. The cooling fan might be a bit simple looking, but really the R7790 should be a simple product. Despite the cost saving features Club3D still gives the product a little extra boost by settings the clock frequency at 1033, well coming from 1000 MHz it's really not a lot but hey -- every little bit helps.
Noise levels & cooling
Directly related to the cooling are the noise levels. The graphics card has one fan with only two heat-pipes. They're low RPM enough to not be noisy. Cooling performance overall is okay, I mean 75 Degrees C is normal within a very acceptable baseline threshold temperature. We all are just spoiled with the expensive dual-slot-dual-fan solutions these days whilst gaming under 60 Degrees C on the GPU. This is not the high-end game and as such GPU heat and all related variables are just not really an issue.
The Radeon HD 7790 is rated at a 85 Watt TDP. That is pretty good. Our measurements show exactly 85 Watt at GPU stress peaks with a selection of modern games. So yeah, these again are good numbers really, so that is not an issue. Obviously you need to add to that the processor, memory, motherboard and other peripheral devices, our recommendation stands at a 450~500 Watt power supply, even with a decent overclock that should be sufficient. Crossfire wise the number roughly doubles up, but even there a 600 Watt should be more than sufficient.
Overclocking then, we again notice decent results. If you need a little more bite, don't be afraid to overclock these cards. A 10% gain could be easily achieved and we ran the card at 1200 MHz, which is a viable clock frequency you can reach with probably any model. With better cooling, even higher as shown today. The memory tweak is limited, 6400 MHz (quad data-rate) is what you'll roughly get out of it.
The regular Radeon HD 7790 cards and bundles will sell at roughly 149 USD & 139 EUR. That is of course the regular reference models, as the factory faster clocked and customized 3rd party cooler editions will be more expensive.
The nice paradox is that the Club3D 13 Series should be a notch cheaper. We may expect to find this 1 GB model for roughly 129 EUR / 139 USD in (r)etail and that's including VAT. And that's what the 13 Series is about, get the most for as little money as possible. For that money you will receive a nice graphics card that can play all the latest games at acceptable image quality settings with very acceptable framerates, especially at a resolution of 1600x1200 it's golden for the money. You will benefit from the 1GHz+ clock frequency. Combined with a cooler that keeps the product silent and chilled down to excellent temps you will not have anything to complain about really. I'll keep stating this, but AMD probably should have enforced 2 GB framebuffers as all modern games tend to pass 1GB fairly easily these days. Now there will be 1GB and 2GB versions of this product series, but the 1GB models are the ones being promoted. With the Club3D 13 Series Radeon HD 7790 you'll be gaming quite smooth at a monitor up-to 1600x1200, and that's with the latest games available whilst applying good image quality settings as well. Throttle down on image quality settings a bit and then 1920x1080/1200 is viable as a playable resolutions as well.
We have very little negative to say or comment on the Club3D 13 Series Radeon HD 7790, these are nice value for money type cards. If simplicity and a cheaper price is what you are after, then have a peek at the Club3D 13 Series Radeon HD 7790 as it offers nice value. Obviously if you would opt to purchase BioShock Infinite then be on the lookout for their Black series cards, as for the extra 15 bucks you will be able to receive a free copy of BioShock Infinite with a purchase of a new AMD Radeon HD 7790 graphics card.
Club3D Radeon HD 7870 Joker review We test and review the Club3D Radeon HD 7870 Joker, this is the much discussed 7870 card that in fact has a 7900 series GPU, the Tahiti LE. For a fair amount of money this series 7800 product now offers 7900 series performance. Armed with 2GB of graphics memory it hits a sweet spot gaming performance wise and to date it one of the more popular products in the mainstream segment. Let's check out the Club3D Radeon HD 7870 Joker.
Club3D Radeon HD 7790 Crossfire review In this article test and review the Club3D Radeon HD 7790 Crossfire incl Frametimes. If you need a little more value for money then the 13 Series R7790 might be just what you are looking for. This card is all about saving money and costs roughly 130 EUR. Have peek at our review where we'll test the 13 Series from Club3D.
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