Although the benchmark-shattering Radeon HD 7970 and 7970 have occupied the bulk of our attention over the past few weeks, AMD hasn’t forgotten about those individuals who would like to get in on the new Southern Islands game but haven’t got half a grand to spend just on a video card. To that end, AMD has released the more down-to-earth 7750 and 7770 cards, aimed at the enthusiast who wants power, but not excess. Based on their new 28nm Graphics Core Next architecture, both these cards promise a range of features both to boost performance and to cut power consumption.
First, though, a short history lesson. When AMD launched their Northern Islands series of GPUs (more commonly known as the 6000 series), the midrange cards–the HD 6700 series–were just rebadged 5700 series cards. As such, the 5700, initially released back in late 2009, has not had a proper upgrade until now. With such a storied and reputable predecessor, then, the 7700 series–codenamed Cape Verde–has quite a lot to live up to. Also, given the recent advances in integrated GPU technology and the resulting cannibalization of low-end GPU sales, AMD has decided to merely rebrand the Caicos and Turks cards (6400 and 6600 series, respectively) as 7000 series counterparts, making the 7700 series released today the very bottom of the 28nm Southern Islands GPU stack.
Cape Verde comes in two flavors, both sporting a 123-square-millimeter die packing 1.5 billion transistors and 10 Compute Units. All told, the 10 CUs give us 640 stream processors and 40 texture units. This full configuration will be available as the HD 7770, while and lesser 7750 has two of its CUs disabled, giving 512 stream processors and 32 texture units. Compared to the HD 7970’s Tahiti, Cape Verde has 31% of its big brother’s stream processors and texture units, half its ROP partitions, and a third of its memory bandwidth. While that may seem like a considerable drop, AMD has claimed that its goal for Cape Verde is playable 1080p performance, so single-screen gaming should be perfectly acceptable. Of course, if that’s still not enough, and the Tahiti monsters are just too dear for your budget, there’s still one GPU that hasn’t yet been released–the 7800 series, codenamed “Pitcairn.”
So what are reviewers saying about the 7700 siblings? Well, let’s start with the 7770. Officially called the Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition in honor of its 1000MHz core clock speed, the full-fledged Cape Verde provides, according to AnandTech, “90% of the 6850’s gaming performance for 90% of the 6850’s launch price.” That is to say, in the year and a half that the Northern Islands GPUs have been on the market, AMD has improved its performance-per-dollar by exactly 0%. This sentiment is echoed by TechSpot, who compared the 7770 to NVidia’s GTX560 and declared that, despite the 7770’s 15% price advantage, the the GTX560’s performance gain–on average, 18% higher framerates–turns the tables in the green-and-black card’s favor. Furthermore, GTX560s can be found for as low as $170, effectively eliminating the only reason you would have to purchase a 7770 over it. Of course, a 7770 consumes 25W less power than either the HD 6850 or the GTX560 and offers DX11.1 support, PowerTune, Fast HDMI, and other new features, but none of these will provide the same performance boost as the straightforward power increase afforded by the two older cards.
The HD 7750, however, was more favorably received. In a comparison to a GTX550Ti, the 7750 delivered 2% lower framerates (small enough to be a rounding error), despite costing $20 less and consuming 30% less power. Its low profile design, lack of auxiliary power requirement, and commendable performance make it a very viable HTPC video card.
All in all, then, it seems that the HD7770, despite its reduced power consumption and expanded feature set, is still thoroughly spanked by the less-pricey 6850 as well as the comparably-priced but more powerful GTX560. We’re predicting a fairly sizable drop in price from its current $159 MSRP, although the 7750 seems to hold its own well enough that its $109 price tag seems justified.
AMD further extends its dominance by launching the AMD Radeon™ HD 7700 Series Graphics Cards; delivers its fourth revolutionary 28nm graphics card in under three months
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -2/15/2012
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the arrival of its AMD Radeon™ HD 7770 GHz Edition and HD 7750 graphics cards. The AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition is the first graphics card equipped with a reference engine clock that breaks the one gigahertz barrier – making it the world’s first 1GHz GPU. When coupled with AMD’s GCN Architecture, the AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition offers incredible, best-in-class entertainment experiences that every gamer deserves. The AMD Radeon HD 7750 is a superior performance-level graphics card that doesn’t require its own separate power connector and provides exceptional gaming experiences under 75 watts.
“We were first to 40nm, first to 28nm and now we offer the world’s first GPU at 1GHz; this is a milestone for the graphics industry,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, GPU Division, AMD. “AMD continues to deliver superior performance, rich features and world-class power efficiency – we never stop innovating.”
Like the award winning AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 Series, the AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series is armed and ready to follow its 28nm predecessors by capturing the hearts of gamers. It features AMD’s new Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture for spectacular performance and efficiency, and comes equipped with leading-edge technology like PCI Express® 3.0, incredibly efficient AMD ZeroCore Power, PowerTune, AMD Eyefinity 2.0 and AMD App technologies.
With top-notch features from the AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 Series, the AMD Radeon HD 7700 series offer the world’s most advanced graphics – for everyone. The graphics cards are available today via retailers and e-tailers worldwide, with select models of the AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB starting at USD$159 SEP, and the AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB starting at USD$109 SEP.
The AMD Radeon™ HD 7700 series GPUs will be available worldwide from add-in-board partners including Sapphire, Powercolor, HIS, XFX, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI.