Graphics, Hardware

AMD Fills The Gap: The Radeon HD 7790

So, as we had accurately speculated about the AMD Radeon HD 7790’s imminent release. Well, now that the card has arrived, we can tell you some interesting details about this new GPU and some of the features and specifications that it sports.

First and foremost, this card’s goal is to fill a pricing and performance gap left between the AMD Radeon HD 7770 and the AMD Radeon HD 7850. This gap exists between the MSRP price of $120 and $180. Similarly, there exists a performance gap within this price range as well. The AMD Radeon HD 7790, however will sit right in between these two price points at $150 and is expected to deliver similar performance that one would expect between the 7770 and 7850. In order to do this, AMD actually decided to spin a new ASIC in order to offer some new features on the 7790.

As you can tell from the slide above, this card has 896 shader cores, a 1GHz core clock, 1GB of GDDR5 and consumes up to 85w. Additionally, it does support up to 6 displays, but that is dependent upon the OEM’s output connector design as many will only fit 3 and some could theoretically build a card with 6 mini-DP connectors.

Some of the new features on the AMD Radeon HD 7790 are centered around power savings and ‘boost’ clocks. In the slides below, you can see where AMD has made the improvements to their card’s clock speeds and power consumption based on GPU loads. The first slide shows the current states that AMD employs and the second shows the new states implemented by AMD in the HD 7790.

As you can tell from the slides above, AMD has doubled the amount of states and essentially created a stepping process from no power all the way up to boost power in order to properly clock based on load and need.

The card itself will ship at 1GHz and AMD appears to finally done away with the 1GHz edition naming scheme (amen) and decided that since everything is going to be at least a GHz that it’s pointless to keep calling everything a GHz edition. Additionally, this card will be capable of a theoretical max compute of 1.79 TFLOPS and will have a 128-bit memory bus supporting 1GB of memory, however some vendors may release 2GB versinos of this card as well.

A nice spread of all of the offered AMD Radeon HD 7790 cards from the usual suspects: ASUS, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire and XFX. We currently have a Sapphire card in our possession and will be doing a review of it shortly.

Last but not least, let’s not forget AMD’s bundling strategy and all of the games that are optimized for AMD (below). While the HD 7790 may not come with the full never settle reloaded bundle, some retailers will be bundling this card with Bioshock when you buy the card. So, be mindful of that promotion and check to see if your retailer is participating in the promotion. A $60 game for free on a $150 card is a big deal, especially if you planned on buying the game already.

AMD has provided us with performance benchmarks, but we will not be publishing any benchmarks until we have tested the card ourselves. Look out for our review in the coming weeks. We’re currently in the bay Area covering GTC and GDC next week, so watch for news from AMD out of there as well.