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Posts Tagged ‘Radeon HD7000’

The HD7790 is a budget replacement for the HD7850 1GB, which AMD recently discontinued because the memory chips were getting too expensive. The company recently launched the HD7790 to much priase from reviewers, but it’s achilles heel is the low VRAM on the current crop of reference models and overclocked editions – 1GB just isn’t enough these days if you’re playing at 1080p and like to inject some AA smoothness into your games. Sapphire’s HD7790 OC 2GB, however, appears to fix that.

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In the future, Intel will be slowly moving away from a socketed processor lineup to a non-socketed one, secured by soldering it down into the motherboard using a ball-grid array (BGA) socket. The upside of this is lower production costs for Intel and the third-party OEMs that have to make the sockets and the socket adapters. The downside, however, is that once the processor is in, getting it out or even replacing it are expensive options. Both Intel and AMD have been using BGA sockets for laptops and low-power desktops for years but that doesn’t seem to have impacted or bothered consumers too much. But is the move to BGA really as bad a future as some people think? A recent review of ASRock’s VisionX HTPC offers us something of an answer.

Asrock VisionX HTPC front

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PowerColor is fast becoming a popular brand locally following Wootware’s pushing of the brand’s cards with low pricing and the Never Settle bundle codes guaranteed. I myself recommended that buyers at least consider their offering at the time, since Nvidia had nothing to counter with in the same price range and the game bundles are definitely tempting. PowerColor’s budget overclocked version ups the ante a bit and looks very striking.

PowerColor HD7790 OC V2 (1) PowerColor HD7790 OC V2 (2) PowerColor HD7790 OC V2 (3)

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For those of you still holding off on buying a new graphics card, AMD has updated its Never Settle bundle, which now includes Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, a massive disco-themed, acid-laden trip back in time to ’80s games where there were lots of guns, nothing made sense, bad guys were everywhere and everything was decked out in psychedelic colours.

Never Settle Bundle Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

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If I’ve learnt anything from the last few years writing for this site, it’s that AMD has a pattern for their product improvements. When they had bought out ATi in 2006 the latter company had just released the X1900 series and things were looking up nicely. Fast-forward past the HD3000 series, AMD was pretty much on par with whatever Nvidia was pushing out and the HD3870 still carries the honour of pushing the company out in front of benchmarks, at least for half a year. When they still had the HD4000 series kicking ass halfway through 2009, they introduced a “wild card”, the HD4770. It was the blueprint for the eventual HD5000 series and was responsible for allowing AMD to figure out DDR5 RAM as well as giving them time to sell a 40nm GPU to gauge public perception and interest. At that point 40nm wasn’t quite ready for mass production, but AMD got the ball rolling for the single product line anyway.

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Credit: Anandtech

 The HD4770 was a cut-down version of ATi’s HD4850, but kept some parts from the HD4730, limiting the bus size to 128 bits, but keeping most of the HD4850′s innards intact. It was more efficient than the HD4830 and, with some light overclocking, could be made to go much faster than its bigger brothers. When AMD came out guns blazing with the HD5000 series, they brought with them experience gained from the HD4770 and we all know how well that tactic worked. While weird and experimental, the HD4770 could be considered every bit as important as the HD3870 was to enthusiasts back then.

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Early this morning the NDA on reviews of the HD7790 lifted and simultaneously sites all around the world let rip their performance results for the new GPU, which I’ll be checking out later in an Analysis article. For the moment, the HD7790 is the value-winner in the $150 segment and replaces the 1GB version of the HD7850. The reason behind that is because these days chip-makers like Hynix and Samsung are no longer mass-producing 128MB chips and it becomes expensive to fit those onto a 256-bit bus, especially if you’re only putting eight of them on there for a limited-run product. That aside, the HD7790 is now AMD’s go-to product between the HD7770 and the 2GB versions of the HD7850. To sweeten the deal, it comes with it’s own “Never Settle” bundle – most cards should ship with a free copy of Bioshock Infimite.

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AMD’s been busy in the past few weeks, first with their launch of the Richland APUs into the mobile space, the reveal of the hardware specs in the PS4 and now two graphics cards are on the horizon – one has been rumored for a while, with the other appearing in name only inside the latest Catalyst Beta drivers. First up, the HD7790 is expected to be hitting the markets within the next two weeks and SweClockers has put it through some preliminary tests, as well as posted up some final specs.

Sapphire-7790-Dual-X

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Remember when I posted about AMD stalling its lineup for the rest of 2013? I assumed it was due to two things: concentrating on the console launches and getting hardware ready for the next generation. Possibly there’s also financial considerations to take into account, but if in the end it benefits the gamers and keeps the company alive, that’s what matters most. But as many AMD reps reiterated through calls to bloggers and tech sites all over the net, they weren’t going to be resting on their laurels and it looks like they’re possibly cooking up two new SKUs for this year – a Radeon HD7790 and a reference HD7990.

AMD Catalyst driver

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Well this is unexpected. Over the weekend a tweet by an AMD representative from their engineering department in the graphics division linked to an article on Japanese-based site 4Gamer, with the article detailing an interview with AMD’s Global Desktop Graphics Product Manager, Devon Nekechuk. In the interview Nekechuk mentions that AMD has plans for a mobile HD8000 refresh codenamed “Solar System”, bringing GCN-based GPUs to the lower end of the mobile lineup, whilst also re-branding their OEM chips as HD8000 cards, possibly with a minor overclock and blower coolers as standard. But they mentioned nothing about a consumer-focused desktop HD8000 lineup, because they don’t plan on launching one until much later this year.

That is a slide no-one likes to see.

That is a slide no-one likes to see.

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If you’ve never heard of PowerColor, I wouldn’t be surprised. They’re a very popular budget brand in Taiwan and like Sapphire, they’re a partner that works very closely with AMD. Unlike brands such as Gigabyte and ASUS, partners like PowerColor use their clout to produce stuff other AIBs can’t – like the Devil 13 HD7990, for example, or the scary HD4870x2. They haven’t had a strong presence in the market because other Taiwanese brands, such as Inno3D, VTX3D, MSI and Sapphire itself have all done their bit to secure the budget market for themselves. But that’s about to change, as I saw for myself on Wootware this morning.

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