• Chipset: AMD Radeon HD 7790
  • Core Clock: 1050MHz
  • Memory Size: 1GB DDR5
  • Pros:
  • Relatively powerful card
  • Good value
  • Eyefinity support
  • Cons:
  • Gets rather noisy

One For The Budgeteers

Variants of its high-end graphics cards are not the only thing on AMD’s mind, as they have recently announced a number of new mid-range GPUs that are more suited to those who want a smooth gameplay experience, without burning too big of a hole in their pockets. Introducing the new AMD Radeon HD 7790.

The model we managed to get our hands on is the MSI HD 7790 with Afterburner technology that adds a multitude of features on top of the GPU. The card is powered by AMD’s Cayman GPU, and also has the GCN architecture features built into the card as well.

The HD 7790 needs only one 6-pin PCIe power plug to power the card up, and comes with the standard variety of DVI and mini DisplayPorts that have featured prominently in many AMD graphics cards.

The MSI model is cooled by a heatsink block, the heat of which is blown away by a single 10mm fan placed on top of the card. A simple and elegant solution for a card that doesn’t really emit that much heat in the first place.

Performance-wise, the 1GB DDR5 HD 7790 does a fantastic job with video decoding, able to decode 1080p videos with minimal fuss. Gaming is also one of the card’s strong suits, as depending on the game, it’s capable of smoothly crank out detailed graphics at 720p with high settings, and in some cases, 1080p at medium to high settings.

A word of caution though: the fan can get loud at high load, and it’s quite audible even amidst a lot of gunfire and other loud sounds. Having said that, this is not really a big issue, and other manufacturer versions of the card might function differently.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The AMD Radeon HD 7790 is a great card to consider if you’re building a budget gaming rig or multimedia centre. It won’t play the latest games at 1080p with max settings, but with some tweaks here and there, it’ll run almost any game smoothly.

(previously published in issue May 2012)