SAPPHIRE HD 7750 ULTIMATE Reviewtacohunter52 - March 19, 2012
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If you're going to be building an all out gaming beast, you probably will not and by all means should not, be using a passively cooled video card! In fact, you probably won't care about how much noise the card makes in the first place. However, if your machine's sole purpose is to be used in an HTPC, silence is key! Nobody wants to hear fans spinning while they're enjoying a movie, so for this purpose the Sapphire HD 7750 ULTIMATE is perfect! At $129, it does come in slightly more pricey than other HD 7750 video cards, but this is one of the few times when the price difference isn't such a big deal. Sure you could buy a cheaper card and replace that pesky stock cooler. But, that would probably just cost the same, if not more, than you would have spent on the HD 7750 ULTIMATE to begin with. This passively cooled card from Sapphire is ideal for any machine, where keeping everything as quiet as possible is more important than having the most powerful GPU available!
Performance wise...well, you're getting what you pay for. You can't expect to pay $129 and get a top notch, current gen, GPU. However, the HD 7750 is perfectly capable of playing most any game currently out with fairly decent settings. Not only that, but I did run a few eyefinity benchmarks and, if you turn the settings down a bit, the card delivers borderline playable framerates, spread across three 1920x1080 screens. So in reality, this card is capable of turning your HTPC into a light and silent gaming machine!
The passive cooler Sapphire equipped the HD 7750 ULTIMATE with is a thing of beauty. While the temperatures weren't anything exceptional, they were perfectly capable of competing with the reference cooler. Not only that, but when it comes to noise, the passive cooler blows the reference design out of the water! Although the passive cooler will certainly do its job alone, I would probably mod a silent fan to it. Why not have even lower temperatures if you can! In fact, this card's passive cooler design, along with how well the cooler performed, earned it an OCC silver award!
When all is said and done, I would definitely recommend the Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate for someone looking to build, or upgrade, an HTPC. The card is perfectly silent and will give a fair amount of performance for its cost. However, if you want to purchase the most powerful card you can for $130, your money could probably be better spent elsewhere!
- 28nm GCN core
- Passive and Silent cooler
- Cooler performs as well as the reference cooler
- Draws power from the PCIe slot