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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

DX11: Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror, and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows. Metro 2033 uses the 4A game engine, developed by 4A Games. The 4A Engine supports DirectX-9, 10, and 11, along with NVIDIA PhysX and GeForce 3D Vision.

The 4A engine is multi-threaded in such that only PhysX had a dedicated thread (although PhysX is disabled for this test), and uses a task-model without any pre-conditioning or pre/post-synchronizing, allowing tasks to be done in parallel. The 4A game engine can utilize a deferred shading pipeline, and uses tessellation for greater performance, and also has HDR (complete with blue shift), real-time reflections, color correction, film grain and noise, and the engine also supports multi-core rendering.

Metro 2033 features superior volumetric fog, double PhysX precision, object blur, sub-surface scattering for skin shaders, parallax mapping on all surfaces and greater geometric detail with a less aggressive LODs. Using PhysX, the engine uses many features such as destructible environments, and cloth and water simulations, and particles that can be fully affected by environmental factors.

  • Metro 2033
    • DirectX 11, High quality, 4xAA, 4xAF, tessellation, DOF, "Frontline" scene, no PhysX


NVIDIA has been diligently working to promote Metro 2033, and for good reason: it is the most demanding PC video game we've ever tested. When their flagship GeForce GTX 580 struggles to produce 26 FPS at 1920x1200 with DirectX-11 anti-aliasing turned two to its lowest setting, you know that only the strongest graphics processors will generate playable frame rates. All our tests disable advanced PhysX options.

Cost Analysis: Metro 2033 (1920x1200)

  • $139.00 GeForce GTX 460 costs $7.32 per FPS
  • $190.00 GeForce GTX 560 costs $9.84 per FPS
  • $330.00 GeForce GTX 570 costs $11.38 per FPS
  • $135.00 Radeon HD 6850 costs $7.11 per FPS
  • $240.00 Radeon HD 6950 costs $8.28 per FPS
  • $180.00 Radeon HD 7770 costs $10.40 per FPS
  • Test Summary: There's no doubt that this is a very demanding game. What Crysis was to top-end video cards a few years ago, Metro 2033 is now, with even the strongest single-GPU cards struggling to break 30 frames per second at 1920x1200. And note that this is with PhysX features turned off! No card here could break the 30fps barrier, although the GTX 570 and HD 6950 came very close. None of the other cards produced playable frame rates at that resolution with these settings.

    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



    # 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?
    Report Comment
    # 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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