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Written by David Ramsey   
Wednesday, 15 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 Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. All of the tests in this review were run with DX11 graphics.

According to the Steam hardware survey, as of December 2011 the most popular desktop resolution (for Steam users) is 1680x1050 pixels, with a 17.59% share, with 1920x1080 pixels coming in second with only 7.7%. I ran most tests at both 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 (I continue to prefer the 16:10 ratio of 1920x1200 to the mysteriously more popular 1920x1080 resolution).

I used a combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.

Note: AMD has not rolled the drivers for their new GCN video cards into their standard Catalyst release yet, so we're stuck with mysterious numbers: in this case the driver supplied with the Radeon 7770 video card is known as "ATI Driver 8.932.5-120116a-131942C-ATI".

DX11 Cost to Performance Ratio

For this article Benchmark Reviews has included cost per FPS for graphics performance results. Only the least expensive product price is calculated, and does not consider tax, freight, promotional offers, or rebates into the cost. All prices reflect product series components, and do not represent any specific manufacturer, model, or brand. These retail prices for each product were obtained from on 12-February-2012:

  • $139.00 GeForce GTX 460
  • $190.00 GeForce GTX 560
  • $330.00 GeForce GTX 570
  • $135.00 Radeon HD 6850
  • $240.00 Radeon HD 6950
  • $180.00 Radeon HD 7770 (MSRP of XFX R7770 Black Super Overclocked Edition with Double Dissipation)

Intel X79-Express Test System

  • Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF, BIOS 0906
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3960X
  • System Memory: 16GB Kingston HyperX Genesis DDR3-2133
  • Primary Drive: Western Digital Velociraptor 300G
  • Monitor: 27-Inch Widescreen LCD (up to [email protected])

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • Aliens vs Predator
    • High Settings: (High Quality, 4x AA, 8x AF, SSAO, Shadow Sampling, Tessellation, Medium Shadows)
  • 3DMark11
    • "Performance" settings (resolution set to 1920x1200 from standard 1920x1080)
  • Lost Planet 2
    • 4x AA, Middle Shadow Detail, Middle Texture, Middle Render, DirectX 11 Features)
  • Batman: Arkham City
    • FXAA (medium), DX11 features on, Normal Tessellation, High Detail, Dynamic Shadows, Motion Blur, Distortion, Lens Flares, Light Shafts, Reflections, Ambient Occlusion, PhysX off
  • Metro 2033
    • High Settings: (High Quality, MSAA 4x, 4x AF, Advanced DOF, Tessellation)
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.5
    • High Settings: (High Quality, Normal Tessellation, 8x AF, 4x AA)
  • Crysis 2
    • High Quality, 4xAA, DirectX 11 features, Edge AA, Normal Resolution Textures

Video Card Test Products

Graphics Card GeForce GTX 460 GeForce GTX 560 GeForce GTX570 Radeon HD6850 Radeon HD6950 Radeon HD7770
GPU Cores 336 384 480 960 1408 640
Core Clock (MHz) 675 822 732 775 850 1120
Shader Clock (MHz) 1350 1645 1464 N/A N/A N/A
Memory Clock (MHz) 1800 2100 1900 1000 1300 1300
Memory Amount 1GB 1GB 1280 MB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 2GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 320-bit 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design (675 MHz GPU/1350 MHz Shader/1800 MHz vRAM - Forceware 285.62)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Reference Design (822 MHz GPU/1645 MHz Shader/2100 MHz vRAM - Forceware 285.62)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design (732 MHz GPU/1464 MHz Shader/1900 MHz vRAM - Forceware 285.62)
  • ATI Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design (775 MHz GPU/1000 MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 11.12)
  • PowerColor PCS+ HD6950 Vortex II (850 MHz GPU/1300MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 11.12)
  • XFX 7770 Black Super Overclocked Edition with Double Dissipation (1120 MHz GPU/1300 MHz vRAM - ATI Driver 8.932.5-120116a-131942C-ATI)



# 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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