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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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  • Spunjji - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    ...forgive my stupidity. Actual figures of the 7790 here:
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_779...

    Depends on whether we focus on Peak / Max figures to decide whether you or I am closer to the truth. :)
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Typical Board Power, not Total. TBP is an average rather than a peak like TDP, which is why it's a lower number than TDP. Reply
  • dbcoopernz - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Any details on UVD module? Any changes?

    The Asus Direct Cu-II might make an interesting high power but quiet HTPC card. Any chance of a review?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    There are no changes that we have been made aware of. Reply
  • haplo602 - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    somebody please make this a single slot card and I am sold ... otherwise I'll wait for the 8k radeons ... Reply
  • Shut up and drink - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Has it occurred to anyone else that this is in all probability an OEM release of the "semi-custom" silicon that will find its way into Sony's Playstation 4 in the fall?

    Word has it that Sony has some form of GPU switching tech integrated into the PS4.

    - apologies for the link to something other than Anand but I don't think they ran anything on the story http://www.tomshardware.com/news/sony-ps4-patent-p...

    Initially I presumed this to be some "Optimus"-esque dynamic context switching power saving routine. However, the patent explicitly states, "This architecture lets a user run one or more GPUs in parallel, but only for the purpose of increasing performance, not to reduce power consumption."
    Which struck me as some kind of expansion on the nebulous "hybrid crossfire" tech that AMD has been playing w/since they birthed the 3000 series 780G igpu

    Based off of AMD's previous endeavors in this area on the PC side I would be skeptical of the benefits/merit of pairing the comparatively anemic iGPU's of Kabini w/a presumably Bonaire derived GPU.
    As an aside; since SLI/CFX work by issuing frames to the next GPU available, if one GPU is substantially faster than the other(s), frames get finished out-of-order and the IGP/slower-GPU's tardy frames simply get dropped which may make the final rendered video stuttery/choppy.

    Pairing an IGP with a disproportionately powerful discrete GPU simply does not work for realtime rendering.

    It is certainly possible that with the static nature of the console and perhaps especially the unified nature of the GDDR5 memory pool/bank that performance gains could be had

    However, my digression on the merits of the tech thus far is
    128 + 128 = 256 + 896 = Anand's own deduction of 1152sp's)
    Reply
  • Shut up and drink - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    I pushed submit by mistake...damn...

    oh well...my last point of arithmetic was simply that 1 fully enabled 4 core Kabini's I'm suspecting would have a 128 shader count igpu. Factor in the much ballyhooed 8-core Cpu in the PS4 we would have two Kabini's (128+128=256) + a Bonaire derived 896sp GPU all on some kind of custom MCM style packaging "semi-custom APU" (rumor had it that the majority of Sony's R&D contributions were in the stacking/packaging dept.)

    Anyone concur?
    Reply
  • Shut up and drink - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    ...which jives w/Anand's own piece that ran on the console's unveiling, "Sony claims the GPU features 18 compute units, which if this is GCN based we'd be looking at 1152 SPs and 72 texture units"

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6770/sony-announces-...
    Reply
  • A5 - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Yeah, once this came in at 14 CUs with minor architecture changes, it seemed like a likely scenario to me.

    Obviously it isn't going to give you PS4 performance on ports with only 1GB of memory, though.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Good thought, but I sure hope Sony doesn't hamstring its PS4 with a 128-bit memory bus! Reply

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