Meet The Radeon HD 7790 & Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X Turbo

Today we’ll be looking at two cards, AMD’s reference card and Sapphire’s customized HD 7790 Dual-X OC. As is typical for cards in this price segment, the designs are relatively simple and as such only a few partners will be using the reference design as opposed to rolling their own designs. At the same time AMD is pushing their partners’ factory overclocked cards hard – we have the Sapphire and then 3 more on their way – but it’s important to keep in mind that not every last 7790 will be factory overclocked. So AMD’s Spartan reference card is a good example of baseline 7790 performance will be like, including how well it performs with a simple, single-fan open air cooler.

As we alluded to a moment ago, AMD’s reference 7790 is a spartan card. At under 7” long it’s actually shorter than the 7770 and has more in common with the 7750 as far as board length goes. Cooling is provided by a small open air cooler, composed of a circular heatsink with copper heatpipes running up from the base of the card and into the heatsink fins. At the center is a single, small fan responsible for providing the airflow for the card. Meanwhile towards the front of the card we find a small upright heatsink, providing the minimal cooling necessary for the MOSFETs regulating power for the card.

As we’re looking at a 128bit card, memory is provided by 4 6GHz Hynix GDDR5 memory modules, placed on the front of the card underneath the heatsink. A lot of AMD’s partners will be shipping their cards with the memory overclocked to 6.4GHz, which is a fairly common overclock for Hynix’s GDDR5 modules these days.

Elsewhere on the card we can see the sole 6pin PCIe power socket, pointing towards the rear of the card. The 7790 does draw more power than the 7770, and while total power consumption is fairly low, it’s still over 75W and hence requires external power. Meanwhile at the top of the card we can see a single CrossFire connector. AMD believes offering CF here when NVIDIA’s closest product doesn’t (the GTX 650 Ti) is a marketable advantage, but CFing a 1GB card in 2013 strikes us as a poor idea.

Finally, for display connectivity AMD has deviated from the rest of the 7000 series a bit. The 7700 and 7800 series used a single row of display connectors, typically composed of an HDMI port, a DL-DVI-I port, and 2 miniDPs. With 7790 however AMD is dropping the miniDPs in favor of one full-size DisplayPort, and at the same time they’re bringing back the stacked DVI connector. 

Taking up space on the 2nd slot of the card’s bracket is a DL-DVI-D port, giving us the first AMD card with two DVI ports in this price range in some time. Note that while Bonaire can drive up to 6 displays it can only drive 2 TMDS-type displays (DVI/HDMI), so the second DVI port can only be used if the HDMI port is not in use.

Radeon HD 7790 Specification Comparison
  Radeon HD 7790 (Ref) Sapphhire HD 7790 OC
Base Clock 1000MHz 1075MHz
Memory Clock 6GHz 6.4GHz
Frame Buffer 1GB 1GB
Width Double Slot Double Slot
Length N/A N/A
Warranty N/A 2 Year
Price Point $149 $159

Meet The Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC

Moving on, we’re also taking a look at a partner card today, Sapphire’s HD 7790 Dual-X OC. Virtually every partner is releasing a factory overclocked card of some kind with their own take on the design, but Sapphire’s 7790 should be a good representation of what to expect given how similar many of the 7790 designs are.

To that end Sapphire’s Dual-X cooler is your fairly standard twin fan design, utilizing a pair of shallow fans mounted over an aluminum heatsink that runs over the length of the card. A pair of copper heatpipes run from the baseplate over the GPU to the heatsink, with the entire solution serving as an open-air cooler. Note that while Sapphire is using AMD’s reference PC design here, they have lengthened their PCB to match the length of their heatsink, and to allow them to turn the PCIe socket 90 degrees so that it now is against the top of the card rather than the rear.

As given away by the OC name, Sapphire will be shipping their card with a decent factory overclock. Shipping speeds will be 1075MHz for the core and 6.4GHz for the memory, a 7.5% core overclock and 6.5% memory overclock respectively. This will be the most common factory overclock, with several other partners shipping their top-end cards with the same overclock.

Other than the custom cooler and factory overclock, Sapphire’s card is otherwise functionally identical to AMD’s reference card. We’re looking at the same display output configuration of 1x DP, 1x HDMI, and 2x DL-DVI, with the same CrossFire capabilities. Sapphire is putting the MSRP of the card at $159, putting a $10 premium on their cooler and factory overclock.

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  • Death666Angel - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    "pulling 7W more than the 7770, a hair more than the 5W difference in AMD’s TBP"
    That 5W is not at the wall though. Factoring in rounding PSU efficiencies, it's very possible that the cards are only drawing 5W more. :)
    "The Sapphire card, despite being overclocked, draws 6W less than our reference 7790."
    Seeing how the Sapphire runs cooler in Furmark, that might explain a Watt or two in reduced power draw, coupled with the efficiency of the PSU, it might explain three or four even. :)
    Reply
  • pandemonium - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    "NVIDIA has for a long time set the bar on efficiency, but with the 7790 it looks like AMD will finally edge out NVIDIA."

    What is your definition of a long time? As far as efficiency standards, I consider AMD to be better for the end result when looking at the full definition and application of the word. See the spreadsheet I created here about 16 months ago to understand what I mean: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=21507...
    Reply
  • silverblue - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    You just called Ryan a "dummy", did you, without even checking the statement further down which reads:

    "For anyone looking to pick up a 7790 today, this is being launched ahead of actual product availability (likely to coincide with GDC 2013 next week). Cards will start showing up in the market on April 2nd, which is about a week and a half from now."

    If YOU had read the article, blah blah dumb idiot blah blah. As you've not replied to anybody in particular, your mistargeted rants could be construed as being directed toward the staff themselves, so keep it up and you won't HAVE to worry about what AT is reviewing in future.

    Bottom line - it's faster than the 650 Ti, it's looking to be more efficient than the 650 Ti, and oh look, both have 1GB of GDDR5 on a 128-bit memory interface, which you seem to have forgotten when you leapt down AMD's throat about the 7790, and when you went on your childish tirade about the 5770's 128-bit memory interface earlier.

    As far as I recall, Ryan didn't mention anything about when Titan was available to buy, only that it had launched. Pretty much blows your theory of Ryan hating NVIDIA out of the water, doesn't it?

    I'm not sure if I've said this before, and apologies to everybody else if I have, but I'm done with you, full stop. I can only hope everybody else here decides that not feeding the ignorance you perpetuate on every single AMD article would save them time they could be devoting to something far less boring instead.

    To the staff - is there anything you can do to introduce an Ignore List? Thanks in advance for your response.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    A note about threading - doesn't look to be stepping in consistently, so sometimes it's a little difficult to see whom replied to whom. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    You got eveything wrong again, and you failed to read the article not I, and you failed to read my reply addressing half your idiotic non points, so you're the non reader, fool.
    Now I have to correct you multiple times. And you're a waste.
    650TI overclocks and it's only faster in a few amd favor games which are here, of course.
    Strike one for tardboy.
    650Ti runs fine OC'd too, which it does well: " We pushed Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 650 as far as it'd go and achieved a maximum core overclock of 1125 MHz, with the GDDR5 memory operating at 1600. All it took was a 1.15 V GPU voltage. "
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-65...
    The 128 bit bus - REPAYMENT for you FOOLS SQUEALING prior, what's so hard to understand ?
    Did you forget all your WHINING ?
    Did you forget your backing up the FAILED theorists with the nVidia dual speed memory ?
    ROFL
    You're up to strike 4 already.
    " Ryan didn't mention anything about when Titan was available to buy, only that it had launched. Pretty much blows your theory of Ryan hating NVIDIA out of the water, doesn't it?"
    NO, so why would it be mentioned if he didn't want anyone to buy it ? Why mention it, that would key in to save for release date, right ?
    Instead we get this gem first off in BOLD to start the article: " Who’s Titan For, Anyhow? "

    Guess that just crushed your idiot backwards bullhockey forever.
    For all you know Ryan mentioned release date anyway.

    You're not "done with me", you get everything WRONG, so you'll be opening your big fat piehole forever, that's how people like you do it. Idiot amd fanboys, all the same.

    Also a beggar child for extra "control", since you "can't be an adult and control yourself" - please give me an ignore button ! I'm a crybaby who can't handle it !
    ROFL
    Reply
  • philipma1957 - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    One question does your 650Ti pays for itself? this amd will pay for itself via bitcoin. even with the asics. especially if you heat your home with electrical heat.

    nuff said
    Reply
  • Rajan7667 - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    @form @LinusTech This is new New app for intel lovers. http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gamers/vip-... Reply
  • colonelclaw - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    To Ryan and staff
    As a long-time admirer of AnandTech, I always enjoy reading pretty much every article you post, and have immense respect for all your writers.
    However, I am now utterly fed up with the direction the comment discussions have taken. The general pattern is they start out as debates and end up as pretty nasty personal attacks that have nothing to do with the articles. You may say 'don't read the comments', to which I reply that they used to be an extension of the articles themselves, and were always a source of valuable information.
    It pains me to say this, but if you don't start removing the trolls I will no longer come to this site at all, and I would guess I am not alone in having this opinion.
    Reply
  • haze4peace - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    I agree 100% and actually sent off a few emails to the staff earlier in the day. I urge others to do so as well so we can put this problem behind us. Reply
  • KnightRAF - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    I agree the trolls are out of control and need some pruning back. They have massively lessened my enjoyment of the site the last couple of times I've visited. Reply

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