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Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
XFX Radeon R7770 Black Edition Video Card
AMD Southern Islands GPU
Closer Look: XFX Radeon HD 7770
FX-777A-ZDSC Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX11: 3DMark11
DX11: Crysis 2
DX11: Batman: Arkham City
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.5
XFX 7770 Super OC Temperatures
Power Consumption and Overclocking
XFX Radeon 7770 Final Thoughts
XFX R7770 Black Edition Conclusion

VGA Power Consumption

Like AMD's Tahiti GPU, the Cape Verde is fabricated on a 28nm process. There are two advantages to making transistors smaller: you can make 'em faster, and they use less power. Both are true here, but AMD didn't stop there, since their Graphics Core Next architecture has a number of clever power-saving features.

Like a modern CPU, a Cape Verde GPU will aggressively clock itself down when its full capabilities aren't needed, reducing current draw with what AMD calls "PowerTune". But they go even further, with "ZeroCore" technology turning off entire sections of the chip when they aren't in use. This features work amazingly well.

To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. A baseline test is taken without a video card installed inside our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using FurMark. Below is a chart with the isolated video card power consumption (not system total) displayed in Watts for each specified test product:

Situation Power Card delta
Windows login, no video card 101 watts --
Windows login, video card 104 watts 3 watts
Windows desktop 107 watts 6 watts
Windows desktop, display sleep 102 watts 1 watt
FurMark load 224 watts 123 watts

Video Card Power Consumption by Benchmark Reviews

VGA Product Description

(sorted by combined total power)

Idle Power

Loaded Power

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 SLI Set
82 W
655 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Reference Design
53 W
396 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Reference Design
100 W
320 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Reference Design
46 W
350 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Reference Design
74 W
302 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 Reference Design
39 W
315 W
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Reference Design
48 W
299 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Reference Design
25 W
321 W
ATI Radeon HD 4850 CrossFireX Set
123 W
210 W
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design
65 W
268 W
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Design
21 W
311 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Reference Design
42 W
278 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Reference Design
31 W
246 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design
31 W
241 W
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design
25 W
240 W
ATI Radeon HD 6970 Reference Design
24 W
233 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Reference Design
36 W
219 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design
14 W
243 W
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 11139-00-40R
73 W
180 W
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 Reference Design
85 W
186 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Reference Design
10 W
275 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Design
9 W
256 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Reference Design
35 W
225 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (216) Reference Design
42 W
203 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Reference Design
58 W
166 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Reference Design
17 W
199 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design
18 W
167 W
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Reference Design
20 W
162 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Reference Design
14 W
167 W
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design
24 W
157 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reference Design
8 W
164 W
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design
20 W
139 W
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Reference Design
31 W
133 W
ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 GDDR5 Reference Design
37 W
120 W
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design
16 W
122 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Reference Design
22 W
115 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Reference Design
12 W
112 W
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Reference Design
9 W
70 W
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.

It's obvious that AMD's power-saving technologies work incredibly well. The card uses almost no power when your system's simply sitting there in Windows; in fact, the power use is so low in these cases that it's hard to discern among the "noise" (power usage will fluctuate by several watts even in an "idling" system).

XFX R7770 Super OC Overclocking

XFX calls this card a "Super Overclock" edition. AMD's standard clocks for the graphics cores and memory of a 7770 GPU are 1,000MHz and 1125MHz, respectively; XFX pushes these to 1,120MHz and 1,300MHz as shown in the GPU-Z screenshot below. Note: Although GPU-Z doesn't check the "OpenCL" box in the "Computing" section, the card does in fact support it.

xfx_r7770_black_edition_gpuz.jpg

This is a pretty aggressive overclock, and I found out just how aggressive it was when I tried to push it further. Even increasing the maximum power limits by 20%, I wasn't able to get the card to complete benchmark runs at a mere 1150MHz. That means I couldn't increase the GPU core frequency by 2.68 percent. There's virtually no overclocking room left in this card.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: XFX Radeon R7770 Black Edition Video CardAli 2012-02-16 02:32
People please wait again for another 3 or 4 months to get this product come to its true place ... i m getting frustrated with such high pricing strategy from AMD
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# Voltage ControlChris 2012-02-16 08:11
I might be wrong, but I did not see if this card allows control of the vCore. This is a must have option IMHO. Not all cards allow this. For Example, the VisionTek 6850's are not able to up the voltage. Not even flashing the BIOS with a custom profile will work.
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# RE: Voltage ControlDavid Ramseyd 2012-02-16 08:17
Right now the various hacking tools (MSI Afterburner) for the AMD GCN graphics cards are in a pretty primitive state. I wasn't able to get voltage control working for the 7970 and 7950 cards, and didn't even try with the 7770. I'm sure this will change in the future, though.
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# No physx a con?Pat 2012-02-16 10:09
I don't understand why bmr keeps giving AMD cards a negative because they have no physx. It's not like they even have a choice since physx is proprietary. It's like holding nVidia cards responsible because they don't support eyefinity. I respect your opinion on including this, I just would be interested why you choose to include that.
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# RE: No physx a con?David Ramseyd 2012-02-16 10:20
According to NVIDIA, PhysX is an open standard anyone can write to. They were saying this as early as 2008. There are doubtless behind-the-scenes reasons nobody else has implemented it; and there are competing physics engines like Havok and Bullet, but it all begs the point: it's a significant advantage to NVIDIA cards since so many games use it. Your Eyefinity example isn't a good one since NVIDIA provides equivalent functionality with their "Surround" feature. I tend not to weight either of these too heavily since only a tiny fraction of users run triple monitor setups.
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# RE: XFX Radeon R7770 Black Edition Video CardPat 2012-02-16 10:40
I know you don't push it too much which I appreciate because there are enough people that don't understand what it means exactly. I don't begrudge nVidia for owning physx but as far as I know it will only run on nVidia hardware. Sure, the software may be open for development but if it isn't able to run on anything but nVidia cards doesn't that make it being an open standard kind of pointless? As for the eyefinity example. I realize it's not the clearest example but my point was that it's an AMD technology that nVidia doesn't have. You bring up that nVidia has surround however surround isn't exactly equivalent considering anything I can find about says it supports a max of three monitors whereas eyefinity supports 6. I'm not saying one or the other is better just that they're different in functionality. I can see your point though and the more I think about it, the more I see the reason for including physx. I just haven't seen it come up as a topic on here before. It would be interesting to see a review on physx, not in pure numbers but rather simply did it look/feel much better with physx? Hey, maybe with enough pressure AMD would pick it up and use it. I can dream huh?
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# RE: RE: XFX Radeon R7770 Black Edition Video CardDavid Ramseyd 2012-02-16 10:46
How much of a difference PhysX makes depends of course on how well the developer uses it in a game. Probably the best showcases for the technology are the Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City titles. The games are perfectly playable without PhysX but it really adds to the atmosphere when it's enabled.

You're right about Surround being limited to 3 monitors, which is probably why AMD has been showing off 5-monitor setups of late. I know one or two people with triple monitor setups, but the only 5-monitor setup I've ever seen was an an AMD press event. Impressive, yes; real-world utility, well...
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# RE: XFX Radeon R7770 Black Edition Video CardPat 2012-02-16 11:25
Well I like the battle that's shaping up with this gen of cards. nVidia has their advantages, AMD has theirs (primarily first strike). I just hope nVidia punches back hard enough that they force AMD to drop prices. This HD 7770 would be just what I need to replace the 8800GT that recently died in my spare computer. Unless you know something about the next nVidia cards you'd like to share ;)
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# RE: RE: XFX Radeon R7770 Black Edition Video CardDavid Ramseyd 2012-02-16 12:12
If you Google "Kepler", you'll know everything about the forthcoming NVIDIA cards that I do...
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# RE: RE: RE: XFX Radeon R7770 Black Edition Video CardPat 2012-02-16 12:13
Just teasing. I look forward to a review on one as soon as you get it though! bmr is my go to!
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# Good and bad,...realneil 2012-02-16 11:35
I like the looks of this card. It's striking.
But the price turns all of that off immediately. If the price were to fall a ~good~ bit, I could see running a pair of them in my A8-3850 Vision PC. The low power usage and lower heat appeal to me.
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# RE: Good and bad,...Pat 2012-02-16 12:07
Yeah I think if they can get down to $130-$140 that'd be great. I mean, yeah I'd like it to drop more but I don't see that happening unless nVidia REALLY kicks their butt in this segment
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# amd is overpricedAMD Radeon 2012-02-16 21:10
yes, amd is now selling high price vga card

you know, it is still have driver issue with crossfire
check this AMD Radeon 7970 Crossfire Skyrim Benchmark
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# Debating...Professor Oak 2012-07-05 19:20
I read through all the reviews, and I found one of these cards used for $110, would that be a good price for it?
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# RE: Debating...David Ramsey 2012-07-05 21:24
New, the cards are currently $144 at Newegg. So you could save $30 with the used one, I suppose.
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