Radeon HD 7790 Review: Aiming straight for the $150 segment

By on March 22, 2013, 2:41 AM

As well-thought-out as the Radeon HD 7000 series was, we kind of hoped 2012 would mark the beginning and the end for the series, much as 2011 did for the previous generation. Expecting something entirely new was not to be, as we are now three months into 2013 and we find ourselves reviewing a brand new AMD graphics card that isn’t based on a new architecture.

Rather what we have is the latest member of the Southern Islands family, designed to fill the gap between the Radeon HD 7770 and 7850.

Not the most exciting product to be released, and its performance will be a far cry from what we saw with the GeForce GTX Titan last month. That said, the new Radeon HD 7790 is likely going to be of more interest than the GTX Titan to many of you for the simple reason that it is affordable and should be pretty good value as well.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 30

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Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It seems far better than a GTX 650 Ti. Worth it if you're on a tight budget.

Chazz said:

I can't wait for the GTX 650 TI Boost OC Edition. These names lolol

1 person liked this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

I can't wait for the GTX 650 TI Boost OC Edition. These names lolol

Its the GeForce GTX 560 Titan that you want to look out for

It seems far better than a GTX 650 Ti. Worth it if you're on a tight budget.

Why do you say it seems far better? Seemed much the same to us.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Its the GeForce GTX 560 Titan that you want to look out for.
What exactly are you referring too?

I did a quick search for GTX 560 Titan and only came up with Ti references.

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Its the GeForce GTX 560 Titan that you want to look out for.
What exactly are you referring too?

I did a quick search for GTX 560 Titan and only came up with Ti references.

Please tell me your joking?

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Please tell me your joking?

Please tell me Steve was joking. Because no I was not joking.

2 people like this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

Was a terrible joke guys.

The worst part is someone has put "GTX 560 Titan" into Google now.

3 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The worst part is someone has put "GTX 560 Titan" into Google now.
Correction:

The worst part is someone has put "GTX 560 Titan" into Bing now.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Please tell me Steve was joking. Because no I was not joking.

Hahahahahaha!

I kinda want to google GTX 560 Titan now just to see the results xD

EEatGDL said:

LOL, Steve's joke got out of control. Anyway, the consequent responses to the joke were hillarious. Nice bm by the way.

1 person liked this | Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

I Like the new testing method.as far as the card I say go with the 650ti

Polaco Polaco said:

Cons: "Some newer games won't run perfect at max settings"

You are evaluating a budget card! BUDGET. That can't be a cons.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You are evaluating a budget card! BUDGET. That can't be a cons.
Lets list it as a pro then.

Pros: "Some newer games won't run perfect at max settings"

Does that look better?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Its the GeForce GTX 560 Titan that you want to look out for

Why do you say it seems far better? Seemed much the same to us.

Performance wise it's similar but it's also far cheaper than the 650 Ti in ZA so to me that is a big win unless there's a price readjustment.

Guest said:

Really looking forward to 8870 and 8850. Going to build my first PC around June or July and I want to know if they blow 7870 out of the water at around the same price. And, Intel Haswell!

Guest said:

They are just refreshes, not true successors, the 8850 will be 7870 performance and 8870 will between 7950 and 7970. Next gen stuff isn't coming till next year.

JC713 JC713 said:

I know the 22nm process will take some time from now till Q4 to mature, but if the 7790 (22nm) only improves performance vs the 7770 (32nm) by 10% or so, AMD is in trouble.

Polaco Polaco said:

Lets list it as a pro then.

Pros: "Some newer games won't run perfect at max settings"

Does that look better?

No smart guy, I'm saying you have to judge that for what it is.

If not then you have to make that CONS in all the budget graphic cards reviewed it will be almost a default. Do you know any budget card that can run all newer games on max settings?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No smart guy, I'm saying you have to judge that for what it is.
No smart guy, it's listed as a con because that is how it stacks up to faster cards. Sure it is a budget review, but it is still compared to higher end cards with a final conclusion.

Polaco Polaco said:

So lets make this CONS: "is not as fast as high end cards" and for high end cards "is not as cheap as budget cards"

Staff
Steve Steve said:

So lets make this CONS: "is not as fast as high end cards" and for high end cards "is not as cheap as budget cards"

Polaco see now you are starting to get it, that's pretty much what we are always asking for. It's called value.

No smart guy, I'm saying you have to judge that for what it is.

If not then you have to make that CONS in all the budget graphic cards reviewed it will be almost a default. Do you know any budget card that can run all newer games on max settings?

Is it wrong to dream of graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 460? A graphics card that comes along and stirs things up. The Radeon HD 7790 was not that graphics card, who wants a filler after 15 months?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I know the 22nm process will take some time from now till Q4 to mature, but if the 7790 (22nm) only improves performance vs the 7770 (32nm) by 10% or so, AMD is in trouble.

Both Southern Islands (HD 7770) and Sea Islands (HD 7790) are using TSMC's 28nm HKMG HPL process. GPUs don't use 22nm (you might be thinking of Intel's CPU line). The next GPU node is 20nm, scheduled for bulk production in approximately a year from now.

Polaco Polaco said:

Is it wrong to dream of graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 460?

"The 1GB version of the GeForce GTX 460 has been suggested to retail for $230-240, about 20% more expensive than the 768MB version."

[link]

So comparing a $230 card vs a $150 one is fair? ($ at its launch)

JC713 JC713 said:

Both Southern Islands (HD 7770) and Sea Islands (HD 7790) are using TSMC's 28nm HKMG HPL process. GPUs don't use 22nm (you might be thinking of Intel's CPU line). The next GPU node is 20nm, scheduled for bulk production in approximately a year from now.

I meant 20nm sorry, isnt the 7790 built on 20nm, I guess the source I looked at was wrong.

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

"The 1GB version of the GeForce GTX 460 has been suggested to retail for $230-240, about 20% more expensive than the 768MB version."

So comparing a $230 card vs a $150 one is fair? ($ at its launch)

You missed the point by the proverbial country mile. Steve was talking about a card (the GTX 460) arriving on the scene that rewrites the performance parameters of the price segment it is aimed at.

The same observation could and has been said of a number of iconic graphics cards - the 8800GT, HD 4850, and HD 5770 spring to mind.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@Polaco You are taking my words (I wrote the pros/cons) out of context. The conclusion is a few paragraphs long but in a nutshell I pointed to the fact that as a mid-range card it can run most (pro) but not all (con) modern games maxed out.

This goes back to what we said about pricing and timing, like Steve said, this is a filler card because it's arriving way late in the game and it's separated by a mere $30 up and down the stream.

Guest said:

You can get the 650 Ti for $139 at Newegg. This card needs to be cheaper. You can also get a 7850 for $179.

Guest said:

7790 is 20-25% faster than 650ti and now nvi claims 650ti boost will compete with 7850 -same cheap foul air from nvi

[link]

hate to know 650ti selling at 7850 price at newegg for so many days...now 650 ti boost may perform somewhat better than 7790 with pricing above 7850...that's nvi for you bs

"Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Boost to go against HD 7850":At least according to Nvidia-LOL

[link]

Footlong Footlong said:

With those confusing names and huge segment division between cards it's no wonder the avarage joe thinks it's easier to buy a console. I'm building a budget HTPC for my cousin (8 years old) and his dad also wants to game with him sometimes and watch movies. Guess what this card now make things harder. nVidia and AMD should do a big overhaul in their name system. It's Ti there, boost here over the ultra there. I just want a budget good to play games card.

Polaco Polaco said:

Well maybe the amd 7790 should fit if your are on budget.

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