Graphics Cards Guide

AMD Radeon HD 7790 Duel - ASUS vs Sapphire

AMD Radeon HD 7790 Duel - ASUS vs Sapphire


Meet the Radeon HD 7790

Meet the Radeon HD 7790

With the street price of AMD's Radeon HD 7770 averaging around S$170-$200 and the higher-end Radeon HD 7850 priced between S$255-335, there's a rather obvious price gap in the mid-range graphics card market right now, right at around the low-mid S$200 point - which also happens to be the sweet spot for many consumers. As such, today AMD is releasing the new Radeon HD 7790 graphics card, which has a US SRP of US$149, which should translate to about S$200-250 locally. While the card is officially available today, it is expected to be available in volume only from 2nd April onwards.

The Radeon HD 7790 utilizes a completely new GCN (Graphics Core Next) 28nm GPU, codenamed Bonaire, which has 2.08 billion transistors, 896 stream processors, 56 texture units and 16 ROPs. The reference model has a core clocked at 1000MHz with 1GB of VRAM clocked at an impressive 6000 MHz DDR.

One of the key enhancements for the Bonaire GPU is the increased number of digital power management (DPM) states at eight, as opposed to the four states on the rest of the existing Radeon HD 7000 and high-end HD 6000 series. This essentially means it can optimize voltage supply better for more efficient power consumption. As part of an enhancement of AMD's PowerTune technology, all of this allows the GPU to manage its power/performance balance more efficiently depending on the workload and processing requirement at any one point of time. The other improvement is to support high speed GDDR5 memory on it 128-bit interface for a good boost in memory bandwidth, which AMD claims accounts to a 10% improvement across the board.

Compared to the HD 7850, the HD 7790 has 800 million less transistors and 128 less stream processors - most notably, the Radeon HD 7850 also utilizes 2GB VRAM, whereas the HD 7790 only has 1GB, making it less suitable for higher resolution gaming. Compared to NVIDIA, the HD 7790's specs puts it somewhere between the GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660, but closer to the 650 Ti side of things.

AMD Radeon HD 7790 and competitive SKUs compared
  AMD Radeon HD 7790 AMD Radeon HD 7770 AMD Radeon HD 7850 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Core Code
  • Bonaire
  • Cape Verde XT
  • Pitcairn Pro
  • GK106
  • GK106
GPU Transistor Count
  • 2.08 billion
  • 1.5 billion
  • 2.8 billion
  • 2.54 billion
  • 2.54 Billion
Manufacturing Process
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
Core Clock
  • 1000MHz
  • 1000MHz
  • 860MHz
  • 925MHz
  • 980MHz
Stream Processors
  • 896
  • 640
  • 1024
  • 768 CUDA cores
  • 960 CUDA cores
Stream Processor Clock
  • 1000MHz
  • 1000MHz
  • 860MHz
  • 925MHz
  • 980MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 56
  • 40
  • 64
  • 64
  • 80
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 16
  • 16
  • 32
  • 16
  • 24
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 6000MHz
  • 4500MHz
  • 4800MHz
  • 5400MHz
  • 6008MHz DDR
Memory Bus width
  • 128-bit
  • 128-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 128-bit
  • 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 96 GB/s
  • 72 GB/s
  • 153.6 GB/s
  • 86.4GB/s
  • 144.2GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
Power Connectors
  • 1 x 6-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin PCIe
  • 1 x six-pin Molex PCIe power connector
Multi GPU Technology
  • CrossFireX
  • CrossFireX
  • CrossFireX
  • Not supported
  • SLI
DVI Outputs
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2 x dual-link DVI-D
  • 1 x DVI-I, 1 x DVI-D
HDMI Outputs
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1 x mini-HDMI
  • 1
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1

 

Meet the Radeon HD 7790 Custom Cards

With the Radeon HD 7790 positioned as a mainstream mid-range card, all of AMD's add-in partners are expected to release custom variants with their own coolers and specifications. Initially, rumors were afloat pointing out that no OC-version of the card will debut at launch, but the good thing is that we can safely say that it was nothing more than a rumor. Today we'll be taking a look at two of the earliest versions of the Radeon HD 7790 cards to hit the market, from ASUS and Sapphire respectively.

 

ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC

ASUS' DirectCU II OC version of the Radeon HD 7790 is overclocked to 1075MHz with memory ramped up to 6400MHz DDR. It uses ASUS' popular DirectCU II custom cooler which consists of  two copper heatpipes in direct contact with the GPU, cooled by two 80mm fans.

The card measures 215 x 120 x 35mm. Like the reference design, it has two DVI ports, one HDMI port and one DisplayPort port. As with all ASUS custom cards, it comes with ASUS' GPU Tweak software that lets you monitor GPU activity as well as adjust clock speeds and voltage for overclocking.

The ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC is priced at S$239.

 

Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 OC

Sapphire's custom Radeon HD 7790 OC model is very similar to ASUS', utilizing the same 1075MHz core clock speed and 6400MHz DDR memory speed. Cooler design is also very similar to ASUS, with Sapphire's model using its Dual-X branded cooler, which again features two copper heatpipes in direct contact with the GPU and two 80mm fans. 

The card is slightly bigger than ASUS' version, measuring 220 x 120 x 37mm. Like ASUS and the reference design, it also has two DVI ports, one HDMI port and one DisplayPort port.

Pricing on the Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 is currently unavailable.