Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 2GB OC Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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Sapphire HD 7790 2GB OC Introduction:
Over the past month OCC has looked at few of the HD 7790 offerings, including cards from Sapphire, PowerColor and most recently XFX's Black Edition. What each of these cards had in common, besides the custom cooling, factory overclocks, and custom PCBs, is the use of a 1GB frame buffer: a pretty common strategy on cards in the $150 price point. Sapphire is bucking that trend with the introduction of the HD 7790 2GB OC model by upping the frame buffer to 2GB while still staying competitive on price at $159.
When I looked at the launch card from Sapphire it included a big factory overclock on the 28nm Bonaire GCN core and the 1GB frame buffer. To top it off Sapphire used a Dual-X cooling solution to make sure that, with the impressive clock speeds, the silicon was kept cool. Aside from the change in frame buffer size, what sets the HD 7790 2GB OC apart from the Dual-X equipped version I looked at is the change in cooling solution design, the addition of a metal backplate that serves to add structural rigidity, as well as additional cooling fins that push through the PCB to help cool the additional GDDR5 memory ICs on the back of the PCB. A single aerofoil fan is used to help cool the HD 7790 2GB OC.
Another point of difference is the slightly lower clock speed of 1050MHz on the Bonaire core while the memory gets clocked similarly to the 1GB-based Dual-X at 1600MHz. Sapphire's FleX functionality feature allows the end user to connect to three displays without the use of an active adapter to reduce additional costs of using a single large surface display of three monitors. Just on feature set alone there are some differences, but how will the added frame buffer help the HD 7790 with in-game performance?
Sapphire HD 7790 2GB OC Closer Look:
The packaging used on this version of Sapphire's HD 7790 looks similar to that of the 1GB version but has "Ruby" locked and loaded for battle. Information on the front of the package shows you get a 28nm-equipped AMD GCN core that supports Eyefinity, AMD APP acceleration, and PCIe 3.0. The top right of the package shows that this HD 7790 sports a 2GB frame buffer, is factory overclocked, and comes with a 1.8 meter HDMI cable. The back side of the package expands on the capabilities illustrated on the front panel.
Internally the packaging is consistent with what Sapphire has been using for some time. Concerned with the environment, Sapphire uses packaging that is 100% recyclable papers. Inside, the accessory bundle and card are packed in a form fitting cardboard shell. Not a company to skimp on the accessories, Sapphire has included the documentation, driver disk, DVI to VGA adapter, 1.8 meter HDMI cable, Crossfire bridge connection, and a 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCIe power adapter.
Similarly equipped to the HD 7790 Dual-X, the 2GB OC should prove to be a good addition to Sapphire's lineup offering the gamer on a budget a higher level of performance.