Final Words & conclusion
Final Words & conclusion
The Radeon HD 7770 SKUs are great little cards for simple PCs on which you can actually play a handful of games pretty darn well. Best served of course are the cards placed into a HTPC. 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 is not be any different with the Radeon HD 7750 and 7770. The architecture is sound and solid. 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 R7770 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 good job with this power edition card as all variables are right in terms of perf for money - perf per watt, but also noise and heat levels. If you like to tweak a little, then there's plenty of headroom left. Grab an overclock utility of your choice, 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 custom cooler you'll keep the temps way more acceptable while you add another 15% to 20% performance. If you do not want to overclock with voltage tweaking then you'll push roughly 1150 MHz out of the product.
Priced right the R7770 can be a really 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 as most end-users are moving towards 1920x1080 sized monitors.
The dual fan solution is funny, but nothing more then that. Still you will not forfeit badly on noise levels and if you have the room inside your PC, why not use it ? The factory overclock at 1100 MHz is grand, but the overall performance bracket is low. Thus if you factory overclock a card 10% then a game with a 24 FPS average would only get 2 FPS more thanks to that overclock. So while the locks are high, you do need to look at the big picture here.
As stated the R7770 simply is an incredibly fun card for the money. Up-to 1600x1200 most games will play really well, and forfeit a little on image quality and then 1920x1080/1200 becomes viable as well. It's a nice and fun product that won't break the bank and as such comes recommended.