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.

The New PowerTune: Adding Further States The Test
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  • Sabresiberian - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    A roadmap is nothing but a projection of what is PLANNED for the future, not some kind of "promise" or "guarantee". Calling AMD people liars because the released product didn't match the projection is childish at best.

    And before you slap the "fanboy" label on me, I prefer Nvidia generally speaking (but I'm not going to cut off my proverbial nose to spite my face in order to be brand loyal; if AMD has the current best solution for my purposes, I'm going to buy AMD).
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    128 bit bus is great, the HD5770 proved that.
    BWHAHAHHAAA
    Reply
  • dishayu - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Good eye. But then they metion HD7790 as Pitcairn LE in that infographic. What they have launched as HD7790 now is Bonaire. Reply
  • ShieTar - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Maybe they surprised themselves by getting GDDR5 to run at 6GHz, and realized that they can stick with 128bit at that speed? Reply
  • Lonyo - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    They were going to use a cutdown Pitcairn, being 7870/7850 GPU, and cut down the GPU core to use excess cores that couldn't make the cut as 7870/7850s.
    They might have gone with 256-bit to simplify the product for AIB partners who could just re-use their HD7850 designs, rather than needing a new design for a smaller run product.

    The 7790 now is a new GPU designed to be cheaper to produce (as it's smaller) than Pitcairn, and the fact the memory can run at 6GHz is probably due in part to the fact it's a new GPU rather than a cut down Pitcairn.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    I don't see a launch date in the whole article, it's NOT available. I guess that's another mystery freebie for AMD's products here.
    Didn't see port config either, so what cabling do we have to buy to run 3 monitors when Asus 650ti runs 4 out of the box, 3 with dvi and vga only ?
    Not impressed with the huge AMD biased game line up either, so expect your mileage to be less than shown.
    No overclock talk really either - so it must blow at that.
    Other sites are reporting amd's beta driver, so maybe they won't even have a release driver for this card when they release it, as AMD is often known to do, for like a year sometimes or forever in terms of any sort of quality-LOL.
    Civ5 has only 1 bench rez, it must have crashed in others.
    Crossfire ? Article didn't say.
    Multi-monitor - no talk of that anymore since nVidia SPANKS amd to death on that now.
    Hopefully you've fooled the internet tards again, because amd is bankrupt, for good reason.
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Let's feed the troll.

    Did you even read the article?
    -Launch date is mentioned on page 1, in one and a half week
    -Ports are clearly visible and standard, 2 DVI + HDMI + DisplayPort
    -Lineup is consistent with every other review on Anandtech.
    -There's an entire page on the new PowerTune and how it impacts overclocking, single sample OC investigation is irrelevant and best left for a dedicated vendor comparison.
    -... really?
    Who's the real tard here?
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Oh for a down-vote button. We expect no less than mindless bollocks from Cerise, but failing to read the article entirely is a new low. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    No, that's what you do all the time. But thanks for the compliment, since you know I always read the articles completely, yet you think I didn't this time, WRONG.
    I've made a lot of money this past short week without a lot of rest, so I'll give you and dipsy doodle a point on the svengali launch date the article writer for the first time EVER declares "solid" before it even occurs, og wait, he always does that when it's AMD, but if it's nVidia he says we'll have to wait and see as they are probably lying...
    ROFL
    Who cares, the card sucks, amd is dying, the drivers blow beta chunks, and amd is way late to the party.
    Reply
  • ppeterka - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Just a question: And how much will your favored brand of GPUs cost, if AMD really dies? 10 times? 100 times? An arm, a leg, and both kidneys? Grow up, and understand how an ecosystem works for us all.

    BTW. I don't have GPU preferences, just grab what gives bets bang for bucks. If it has EasternElbonianVideoPigs GPU on it - be it...
    Reply

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