XFX HD Radeon 6790 ReviewRHKCommander959 - May 5, 2011
Category: Video Cards
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AMD is continuing to push lower and lower on the scale of new GPUs. The Barts core used on the 6870 and 6850 has been chopped up further to make the 6790s, perhaps by quality binning and using cores that couldn't pass as a full Barts core. Early speculation thought unlocking the core to the equivalent of a 6870 or 6850 was possible but AMD has said that the sections were physically cut and unlocking is impossible. Whether or not the 6790s can be unlocked or not remains to be seen for sure. The core has over 1.7 billion transistors on a 40nm fabrication node attached to the PCB with a 256-bit memory bus and 1GB of GDDR5. The clock speed has been increased on this core to 840 MHz core and 1050 MHz memory for factory reference. 800 Shaders are enabled on the core. The paper specifications are very similar to the prior generation's 5770.
The card under review here is from XFX and is set for stock clocks. The card features dual PCIe power connections and a dual-fan heat sink with three heat pipes with direct contact. The outputs are compromised of two DVI ports (one of which is VGA), two mini DisplayPorts and an HDMI port.
The box from XFX is similar to their other offerings in dimensions. The box is predominately black and red with two red blower motors (although the card uses fan impellers not blower motors). The front is plenty descriptive of the main features. PCIE 2.1, 1GB GDDR5 memory, dual-fans, et cetera. Rotating to the back side lists the specifications and features very well, covering most of the important details. The middle explains some of AMD's video technology like Eyefinity for multiple screens, DirectX 11 support, HD3D 3D gaming and accelerated parallel processing APP technology. The bottom reiterates many of the features listed to the left and on the front. Most everything is listed except the speeds but most consumers wouldn't be interested in that anyway unless looking for an overclocked card.
The first side has AMD and XFX's logos and web address and explains Stereoscopic 3D gaming at length. The main information is that 3D glasses and hardware are needed to game in 3D. They also suggest visiting www.ddd.com for middleware support. The other side is virtually the same except it has bubbled information where the 3D information was on the other side.
The first long side has the least information on it out of all the sides but is still nicely decorated and has the card model and brand on it. The last side has the barcodes and system requirements, included components, suggested usage, and a few of the capabilities of the card listed. The card is also RoHS and FCC compliant. A proof of purchase is located at the bottom right corner.
The standard XFX black box is inside of the main packaging. The design is always the same except for the dimensions which change slightly for each card model. The company website www.xfxforce.com and company logo are printed on the top. Opening the box reveals a tray holding the manuals, power supply advertisement, driver disk. There are usually some accessories but this card has none.
Removing the tray and paperwork shows the video card in its antistatic bag. The box has been designed to fit around the card shape decently. It also provides a good amount of structural protection with three layers of cardboard between the outside world and the card. The box is even formed around the PCIe slot and the I/O bracket!
Four very similar papers are included in the accessories: graphics drivers, quick install, driver guides, and warranty information. They all match each other except for the words on the front and the contents. Also the driver packet has a notch at the top to aid in pulling the disk out. An advertisement for the XFX PRO series PSUs is also included to show off their designs. There is also a door hanger with a World War 2 theme except these Zeros have XFX logos on them. Flipping the door hanger over shows the serial number and warranty information for the video card.
With everything unpacked and detailed, it is time to move on and get a closer look at the card itself.