PowerColor HD 6790 ReviewRHKCommander959 - April 4, 2011
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The PowerColor Radeon HD 6790 provided decent performance and overclocking capability while operating with good temperatures. When overclocked it was able to catch up to some of the higher-up cards. It also scores several frames higher than a 5770 which it is replacing basically. The design looks OEM with a similar heat sink to ones used on other cards such as the new Sapphire HD 6790. Power requirements are low considering the card only has one six-pin power connector. This means that the TDP is a fair bit under 150W. With four different outputs supported, this card is a great drop-in for media and office users. It supports HDMI 1.4 for 1080p television with 7.1 surround sound capabilities, has mini DisplayPort for future proofing as well as being able to convert it to another output such as HDMI, DVI, and so on and, a DVI port with an adapter to convert it to VGA. The only people who can't hook up are using S-video and unlikely to exist in this market. I couldn't hear the card operating over the case fans unless I manually set the fan speeds. Even then, this card at 100% is much quieter than most blower-motor based solutions running at 50%!
The cons and other things worth noting are as follows: the heat sink base-plate is rough although, it is more important to be flat than it is to be smooth; the card is flexible since it has little support. This isn't a big problem, it just means that care is needed when shipping and installing the card; the fan shroud is in the way of the six-pin power connector when you try to uninstall a connection and can cause the card to flex if the user isn't being extra careful when trying to remove it; and lastly, there is no CrossFireX dongle. Note that the card works perfectly. These are just things to be aware of. Looking at the card from the point-of-view of a typical consumer, the only problem would be that the shroud is in the way of the release clip for the power connector.
Competition could be strong depending on the price point for these cards as NVIDIA have a strong mid-range offering with good prices as seen with the GTX 460 and GTX 550 Ti cards. Overclocking to 1GHz from 840MHz is no small feat and this card did it without having to up core voltage, and it also overclocked the memory to 1235MHz from 1050MHz. If priced properly, this card would be a great contender in the mid-range market!
- Good operational temperatures
- Many connectivity options
- AMD Eyefinity
- Quiet operation
- Good overclocker
- Great multimedia card
- Shroud gets in way when unplugging power