MSi did a nice job with this card. but let's talk overall about AMD's baseline and reference implementation first. AMD has been receiving a lot of positive attention from the media ever since they released the series 7000 cards, it will not be any different with the Radeon HD 7750 and 7770. That success can be found in two thing, the first is the GCN architecture, which simply offers nice and decent performance over the last generation architecture. The second factor (and it might sound a bit strange) is NVIDIA, or better said, the lack of NVIDIA's presence in the market with new products. The series 7000 is something new and working well, and that's what you as a consumer likes to see.
So will the R7770 be is big of a success as the R5770 was ? We doubt that very much, the Juniper GPU based R5770 was revolutionary at the time as it had 800 shader processors, as such entry level performance simply doubled up from what we had seen in the past, we never had seen that before. The R7770 (and R7750) will be merely a small speedbump in terms of comparative performance in-between the two cards.
The architecture is sound and solid though. Give the card the right graphics quality settings and it can work even in a 1920x1080 monitor resolution -- if you can life with just above 30 FPS framerates. For us that's too much of a compromise though, and we feel that the R7700 series is served best in a PC with a monitor resolution from 1280x1024 up-to roughly 1600x1200.
And honestly that's nothing to be ashamed about considering the price level we are in. If you stick at these resolutions then for roughly 125 EUR you can play your games with nice image quality settings.
Next to that the board consumes roughly 80 watt when gaming. In idle roughly 10 watt, and when your monitor shuts down it will throttle down even further towards 3 Watt. That's impressive stuff.
MSI did a nice job with this R7770 2PMD1GD5 OC edition card. Granted the factory overclock does make my eyebrowse frown a little, only 20 MHz extra on a GPU that is clocked reference at 1000 MHz ... you can hardly even measure the perf difference there let alone see it.
But sure, when we fire up MSI Afterburner, add a little extra voltage then that's where things get interesting. You might be able to get a cool 1200 MHz out of the GPU core. it was very similar to the reference product in terms of overclocking. But ... in combo with the dual-fan cooler you'll keep the temps way more acceptable as well. So that does add another 15% to 20% performance to the product while having better cooling and an acceptable noise level on the card. If you do not want to overclock then you'll push roughly 1100 MHz out of the product.
So the conclusion has to be like this, if priced right the R7770 will be a fun card. Most games can be played fairly well in a monitor resolution up-to 1600x1200, if you don't go crazy on image quality settings that is. Fun, that's what these series equal -- but performance remains a little iffy anno 2012. We personally can't wait on the 7800 series really.
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