First letís talk performance... for a mid-range to budget GPU the Radeon HD 7790 is everything we have come to expect from the current generation. Neither AMD nor Nvidia are at risk of blowing your socks off when spending less than $250 on either current range of GPUs.
Ideally we suggest gamers try to get their hands on either a GeForce GTX 660 Ti or Radeon HD 7870. There's an invisible threshold between those and lower-end graphics cards that translate into the possibility of enjoying all of today's PC games in their full visual glory at reasonable resolutions.
So then, at $150 we werenít expecting to be blown away with the 7790, and we werenít. The GPU does what everyone expected it to, it fills the gap between the 7770 and 7850 in terms of price and performance. There is nothing special about this card that would make you purchase it over either of those two existing options, other than the obvious scenario where you have exactly $150 to spend on a new graphics card.
Still, even if you have the $150, should you choose the 7790? The alternative is the GeForce GTX 650 Ti and on average the 7790 was 2% faster at 1680x1050. Overall not a lot to compel potential buyers one way or the other.
In an effort to sweeten the deal, as of April 2nd, AMD is offering a free copy of BioShock Infinite with any Radeon HD 7790 as part of their Never Settle Reloaded game bundle program. If you had already resolved to buy Bioshock Infinite, and happened to be in the market for a mid-range graphics card, then this deal will prove irrisistible ($90 for this GPU is overkill, in a good way). We applaud recent efforts by both AMD and Nvidia to bundle new game releases with their respective graphics card offerings.
With AMD working harder than ever to improve performance across their Radeon HD 7000 series, we feel the 7790 at $150 is a safe investment, though you wouldn't be doing wrong if you went with the competition either.
Pros: Affordable option plays most current PC games well. Good value and performance. Bioshock Infinite bundle.
Cons: Some newer games won't run perfect at max settings. Doesn't do much to differentiate from the Nvidia competition. A little more money gets you a little more performance.
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