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The Test

For today’s review we will be using the latest rendition of our game benchmark suite, first introduced in our review of the GeForce GTX Titan. We still expect to add another 1-2 games to this suite in April after the last of the major Spring game releases hit next week. As a reminder, our 2013 benchmark suite is much more 1080p centric on the low-end, as 1080p sales have eclipsed even cheaper, lower resolution monitors. As AMD is promoting the 7790 as an entry-level 1080p card anyhow, this ends up working well.

On the driver side of things we are using AMD’s 12.101.2 press drivers for the 7790, and their Catalyst 13.2 beta 7 drivers for the rest of our AMD cards. For our NVIDIA cards we are using 314.21.

Unfortunately we only had a very short period of time to spend with this card due to AMD’s launch schedule conflicting with NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference this week. As a result while we’ve been able to put together our usual analysis and data collections, we’ve only been able to compare it to around half a dozen other cards – the relevant AMD and NVIDIA cards above and below the 7790, and for a historical perspective we’ve thrown in the Radeon HD 6870.

Similarly, because of a short period of time to write this article our performnace commentary will be lighter than usual, so our apologies on that. But the fact of the matter is that the 7790 results will speak for themselves as we’ll see in our charts. Against AMD’s lineup the 7790 is comfortably in between the 7770 and 7850, offering 130% of the former and 84% of the latter on average. While against NVIDIA’s lineup the 7790 is 11% faster than the GTX 650 Ti, beating the 650 Ti – sometimes by quite a bit – in everything but Battlefield 3. The question, as is often the case, is not performance but price.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.3GHz
Motherboard: EVGA X79 SLI
Power Supply: Antec True Power Quattro 1200
Hard Disk: Samsung 470 (256GB)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1867 4 x 4GB (8-10-9-26)
Case: Thermaltake Spedo Advance
Monitor: Samsung 305T
Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 7850
AMD Radeon HD 7790
AMD Radeon HD 7770
AMD Radeon HD 6870
Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 314.21
AMD 12.101.2 7790 Press Beta
AMD Catalyst 13.2 Beta 7
OS: Windows 8 Pro

 

Meet The Radeon HD 7790 & Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X Turbo DiRT: Showdown
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  • silverblue - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    You must've missed the part about them simply not having as much time to test the 7790 as they'd have liked because they were at GTC. Other sites apologised for their lack of time as well.

    There's a whole load of other reviews out there; only a few have overclocking results (Guru3D notably), and as far as I can see only AT, of the major sites, has both the 7790 and a factory overclocked 7790 in the same test. Guru3D is alone in providing a CrossFire test and though two 7790s perform about the same as a sole 670, there's no power readings. There's a good number of different titles being benchmarked so it's not strictly a list of AMD-says-test-these-titles, plus Tomb Raider, a Gaming Evolved title, performs better on NVIDIA hardware. There's a few bugs with the beta drivers used for the 7790 in these reviews most notably with latencies (a bug that has already been fixed with the next Catalyst release so yes, we will see new drivers soon), however the latency values are so far ahead on average of what we used to see from AMD that this can hardly be classed as an issue. Testing has generally centred on 1920x1080 because that's really the limit where cards like this are supposed to be performing - there's little point in 1024x768 and an equal measure of futility trying for 5760x1080 or whatever; the former is ridiculously low res and the latter is ridiculously ambitious even for a 7970 or 670/680.

    Sapphire's blurb about multi-monitor usage via the TweakTown website:

    "Working or gaming with multiple monitors is becoming increasingly popular, and the SAPPHIRE HD 7700 series supports this with AMD Eyefinity, now in its second generation. The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC Edition has two DVI ports (DVI-I and DVI-D), HDMI and a single DisplayPort output, supporting up to four monitors.

    The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC Edition model supports the FleX feature, pioneered by SAPPHIRE, that allows three digital displays to be connected to the DVI and HDMI outputs and used in AMD Eyefinity mode without the need for an external active adapter. All four outputs can be used in AMD Eyefinity mode, but the fourth display must be a DisplayPort monitor or connected with an active adapter."

    I've heard AMD's launch date for this is today; Guru3D has the following to say:

    "But I need to add this little note alright; AMD's Never Settle Reloaded promotion continues. At participating retailers beginning 02 April, 2013, gamers will be able to receive a free copy of BioShock Infinite with a purchase of their new AMD Radeon HD 7790 graphics card. See, now that's great value. The Radeon HD 7790 series cards will be available in stores starting April 2, 2013"

    Trusting this is of some use to you...
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    I've run 2 flex edition cards, you idiot.
    Have you ?
    Run any MDT nVidia galaxy cards dummy ?
    How about all dvi outs so you daon't have to have $100's of dollars of soon to die amd dangly cables ?
    Heck a friend just got ANOTHER 6870 he usually runs 4 monitors, but that could only run 2 OOB and he has loads of cables, so he had to buy another cable just to run a 3rd monitor - it took 2 weeks to arrive...
    ROFL
    AMD SUCKS with eyefinity / multiple monitors and nVidia DOES NOT - nVidia keeps the end user in mind and makes it INEXPENSIVE to set up 3 or 4 monitors !

    Amd makes it cost prohibitive.
    AMD SUCKS, they lost again, totally.
    Reply
  • geniusloci - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    You are a pathetically simple little mind, aren't you? Reply
  • geniusloci - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    What planet do you come from?
    This card will run 4 monitors, eyefinity has done this very well, forever. With discrete audio per monitor. Nvidia is really getting handed it's ass by AMD in this category.
    This card will spank it's nvidia competition in civ5, since civ uses opencl, and nvidia sucks at opencl (and their current cards even suck at cuda).
    Crossfire: there's a crossfire port at the top, genius. It will obviously crossfire.
    Too bad Nvidia's 2D quality and video quality is such utter shit. I might have actually used that gtx660 I bought instead of sending it back for a 7870.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    You have your display port monitor or $100 active display cable dummy ? LOL
    4 monitors MY BUTT.
    Another clueless amd fanboy.
    Reply
  • eric.zaba@gmail.com - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    You obviously dont have a clear understanding of gpu tech so just stop blabbing your stupidity, even most nvidia biased people can admit Check linus tech tips , check your games they all work much better on amd with multimonitor.

    and no overclock talk maybe because AMD doesnt approve of people tampering with gpus............ and because they want it to seem so good that you dont need an overclock...... and the specific hardware partners can make different port configs so why would you say that?
    and maybe comparing ASUS 650tis to this GPU is invalid becuase you didnt specify who made it so the port config advantage is completely irrelevant.

    Amd is not bankrupt because of their GPU business. and their CPU business isnt bad i dont think that getting into the gpu and cpu of the top 3 consoles (PS4 Xbox WiiU) is so bad either. and why would game biases not be true if amds drivers and games play better on the amd based systems
    eg: Crysis 3. and saying that the civ 5 benches crashed is completely stupid because a good website like anandtech doesnt normally disregard such things. and AMD didnt pay them off if they are bankrupt right? yes it can crossfire because theres crossfire connectors on the top so maybe they assumed things would be implied for the general crowd.
    Reply
  • althaz - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    I think it's also worth mentioning that the 7850 is a quite excellent overclocker. At stock I think it's definitely not worth the extra $30, but once overclocking is taken into account, if you can afford the $30 you are crazy not to spend it (assuming you are comfortable with overclocking of course). Reply
  • Bob Todd - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I'm curious what the pricing will look like on these a few weeks after introduction. I picked up a 7850 (2GB MSI Twin Frozr) for $170 AR a few weeks ago to put in a HTPC, and I've seen it at that price again already. It will be interesting to see if the regular sales on 7850s decrease once the 7790 is out. Kudos to AMD for offering BioShock Infinite with this. Reply
  • Aikouka - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Given we're talking about gaming cards here, I think it's worthwhile to add that only the 7800s and 7900s come with AMD's Never Settle game promotion. So, if you're interested Tomb Raider and/or Bioshock Infinite, the 7850 may have significantly more value to you. If you're not interested in them, people have been selling the coupons on eBay for about $50-60 each. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    There's a small paragraph in the article explaining that this card _is_ part of the Never Settle Reloaded program. It's only getting BioShock Infinite since it sits at a lower price point, but still a nice addition. The bundles are a big part of the reason I'm curious to see how the pricing shakes out. I sold a TR/BS bundle and kept about ~$50 in my pocket after fees, so I basically got a very nice 2GB 7850 for $120. You could obviously sell the BioShock code you'd get with a 7790, but if the prices for that card stay at MSRP for too long they'll have some stiff competition from 7850s on sale. Unless of course the 7850 sales dry up since it doesn't have to cover such a large swath of AMD's lineup now price wise. Reply

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