Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7750 are code-named Cape Verde. They’ll slot-in just above the HD 6700-series that is actually based on venerable “Juniper” technology, as found on the HD 5770 – just don’t get us started on rebranding and codenames, people.
These are the lowest-end cards built using AMD’s new Graphics Core Next architecture. Is 28 nm manufacturing, a fresh design, and new functionality enough to warrant upgrading existing value-oriented champs like the Radeon HD 6850 and GeForce GTX 460.
Compared to Tahiti, a 4.31 billion-transistor, 365 square millimeter die, Cape Verde sports 1.5 billion transistors in a 123 square millimeter package. Its most complete configuration consists of 10 Compute Units, each one composed of four Vector Units containing 16 Stream Processors. All told, that’s as many as 640 shaders based on the Graphics Core Next architecture.
Both the HD 7750 and HD 7770 really delivered when it came to performance-per-watt. At the default settings, the idle and load power rating was a sparse 99W and 161W for the HD 7750. As for the HD 7770 it managed to run at a low 106W during idle and 212W under full load. So, what both cards lack in overall performance they make up for in sheer power efficiency. However, after we over-voltage the HD 7770 the power consumption increased substantially.
The dual-slot Radeon HD 7770’s beefier heat sink and fan manage much lower load temps, second only to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 460 1 GB.
Although the Radeon HD 7750’s fan is small, and the noise it makes is higher-pitched/more noticeable, the readings from our Extech 407768 still fall below the GeForce GTX 560 and Radeon HD 6850.
We saw a distinct, near constant performance trend throughout all of our testing with the Radeon HD 7700 series cards. The Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition offered good performance in all of our tests that was typically higher than the previous-generation Radeon HD 6790. The Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition was also faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti, but it trailed the GeForce GTX 560, sometimes by a fairly large margin.
Instead of going up against the previous HD 6700/5700 cards, the HD 7770 1GB is priced to go against their HD 6850 and even the HD 6870 which proves to be a much more problematic comparison. In general, the Radeon HD 7770 1GB card is slower than the identically priced HD 6850 1GB card as well as the GeForce GTX 560 1GB card that runs only $25 more.
The Radeon HD 7750’s performance was also good considering its lower-price and more modest specifications, but its performance was typically lower than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti’s. It did, however, clearly outpace the previous-generation Radeon HD 6670.
The retail pricing for the HD 7770 and HD 7750 sit at $159 and $109 USD, respectively. At this price they sit just a bit higher than the Juniper architecture, but with the GCN design they should offer better gaming performance, more efficient parallel computing, Eyefinity 2.0 support, PowerTune technology, ZeroCore Power and Gen 3 PCIe support.
All in all, the Radeon 7750 and 7770 remain good entry level products, but aren’t the knockout products we’d hoped for, and neither match up the mainstream excellence first exhibited by Radeon HD 5770/50 a long time ago.
So overall, the Series 7700 comes recommended, though it is not as revolutionary as the R5770 release was. But it will still offer good performance at a good price (once they settle and drop a little). If we focus at the Radeon HD 7770 primarily then the performance level is just under that of the R6850 but we prefer the R6850. And with a pricetag of 159 USD / 135 EUR it really is battling is with the GeForce GTX 460 though.