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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

XFX Radeon 7770 SOC Final Thoughts

The fact that this card came in last or next to last on most of these tests is an artifact of the cards I had available to test it against. Performance-wise, it competes well with the NVIDIA GTX 460 and the Radeon HD6850, which is very impressive when you consider that Cape Verde represents the bottom end of AMD's new GCN-based cards. Ideally this card should be compared to the older Radeon 6700 series cards. The GCN competitor to the HD 6800 series will be the as-yet-unreleased Pitcairn-based GPUs.

But marketing positioning details mean little to the average gamer: what counts is the performance. And while technically the performance of the R7770 Black Super Overclocked Edition with Double Dissipation is impressive considering it's the low end of AMD's new lineup, out in the real world it's different: why would you buy this $179.99 card when a $134.99 HD 6850 will match or beat it in most performance benchmarks?

You might then ask what other features the HD7770 has that the HD6850 doesn't. Well, how about:

  • DirectX 11.1 support
  • Ability to support up to 6 monitors simultaneously (with extra-cost cables)
  • Ability to support 4K ultra-high-resolution displays
  • Power savings, especially in CrossFireX configurations
  • Texture compression features mean that 1GB video RAM might take you a little further than 1GB on an older card

While these are all nice features, they all pale into insignificance next to the cruel calculus of frames per second. This card is simply too expensive for the level of performance it returns.

xfx_r7770_black_edition_face.jpg

AMD's Tahiti cards startled everyone with their high prices, but many enthusiasts are willing to pay that kind of money because these cards represented the highest single-GPU performance available. The Cape Verde is just as impressive from a performance point of view: it moves today's low-end video card performance solidly into what was previously mid-range performance territory. Unfortunately it does so at prices that are higher than many existing mid-range cards of similar performance. An NVIDIA GTX 460 will return similar performance with the added benefit of PhysX, while costing up to $40 less. A Radeon HD6850 provided similar cost/performance benefits.



 

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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