XFX Double Dissipation R7750 Review
Reviewed by: BluePanda
Reviewed on: June 27, 2012
XFX has been in the market competing in gaming-oriented video cards with both AMD and NVIDIA for some time. Over the years, they have also made PSUs, cables, adapters, and the unique WarPad mouse pad – something I showed you about a year ago. Today, we'll be taking a look at what XFX is really known for – GPUs such as the R7750 Double Dissipation 1GB Black Edition card. I always have found it funny how rare it is to actually find a card from XFX that isn't a "Black Edition" card – other than the lower end GPUs, most of their cards start out a bit overclocked.
If you know XFX at all, you'd know the technology behind the Double Dissipation; two fans to air-cool everything including the GPU, heat sinks, VRMs, and PCB board. It's designed to cool effectively without adding extra noise to your case – a noble deed to ensure double the fans doesn't mean double the noise. One truly unique feature about this card is the fact that it is a bit faster than your typical 7750. It's actually clocked 100 MHz faster than the reference card, which would otherwise be at 800 MHz. It's also ready to handle up to three displays; great for those wanting to set up an Eyefinity build. There are 4 available outputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI, 1x Single-Link DVI, 1x HDMI, and 1x Display Port. Let's dig deeper to see how this card looks and performs.
The XFX R7750 is packaged in a neat smaller-sized box that is only a little bit bigger the size of the card itself. Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it really is only about an inch or two wider in every direction. Good things do come in small boxes – so we hope! The front of the box is decorated with the Double Dissipation logo – two Ds back to back – with a big X subtly behind it. The Double Dissipation feature is explained in detailed diagrams below the R7750 name, while the upper corner screams out the BE feature – a 100 MHz overclock. Strangely, it really doesn't say "Black Edition" anywhere on the box.
The back of the box is full of features and "X" puns intended with the planned categories: "Xpertise", "Xformance", Xperience", "Xcelerate", and of course, "Xfactor". Each section has its own quick little blurb or image for a quick understanding that this card is ready to perform. The sides of the box get a little nerdy with a great list of key features including the 128-bit floating point HDR rendering.
Opening up the box is always the best part. XFX keeps things interesting with a neatly-packed "black box" to open up. Most video cards I've ever gotten, high-end or low-end, have always come in just plain brown cardboard. The black color somehow made my day – that and the little XFX logo as if I might have forgotten what I bought opening up the box.
Opening up the little box inside the box…you'll find another box…well, sort of. You'd actually find a bunch of papers and underneath that, the card in its static pajamas ready to be awakened. It is packed in there nice and snug, with no way for bed bugs to bite – or more to say, the delivery man to destroy. The aforementioned stack of papers also consists of some warranty information, a door hanger, a driver disc, and some more information on XFX, with a flyer or two to direct you to buying new dongles or even a new PSU. At least, they give you a DVI-to-VGA adapter to start with.
To the next page! I'll give you some pictures to really see what the card looks like, now that you know the box inside and out – you deserve more.
Out of its static pajamas, the XFX 7750 is definitely a fine-looking card. It has an aluminum shroud with a black XFX-cut stripe down the center – almost like a racing stripe. The side of the shroud features an eye-catching red color and screams out "XFX R7750" with another cut-out. From this angle, you can see the two obvious fans on top that create the Double Dissipation team, as well as the fan connectors on the PCB just peeking out at the bottom. It is very nice looking and isn't shy to stand out a little.
Flipping the card over, you can see the back side of the PCB with all the solder points and traces – always an elegant feature to any piece of hardware. You can also see the four main spring-loaded screws that hold the cooler to the GPU itself. It has a core clock speed of 900 MHz, as previously mentioned, with 512 shaders. The memory clock is set at 1125 MHz and the card has the bare minimum of memory at 1 GB – good enough for most gaming, but if you are going to be running above 1080p with maxed out settings, you might want a little more. It has all the "newest" features including GDDR5, OpenGL 4.2, and DirectX 11 – it's a card ready for today's and tomorrow's games.
Here, we have a quick walk-around the card, taking a picture from the front, right, back, and left sides to give you a full look at the card itself. The front sides give you a nice look at the fins for the heat sink beneath the shroud (you'll see these better just ahead), a nice slab of copper for cooling, and a few capacitors here and there. It's not super flashy from this angle, but not bad overall.
Looking at the end, there is only one 6pin connector, meaning it can't pull more than 150 W between the board and plug (though the TDP is rated at a measly 55 watts). If you are counting those pennies with your power bill like I am, this is a pretty decent alternative to some of those other power-hungry friends we all know and love. The plug is also on the end of the card rather than the side, so it is set up nicely for cable management – so long as you don't have a super short case. Then again, even the tiny little Outlaw from BitFenix isn't too small for a card like this.
The other end of the card shows off the XFX cut-out on the back plate, as well as four distinctive outputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI, 1x Single-Link DVI, 1x HDMI, and 1x Display Port. Just remember, you won't be able to run both DVI ports with the HDMI output, so you have to plan ahead if you don't have the required cables; just remember, you only get two of the three.
Taking a look from the ends, you again see the 6-pin power plug and another angle of the heat sink fins. You can also see the fan blades just below the edge of the surface, ready to blow air right down across the card. Two fans plugs are connected to the PCB, though the shroud hides a bit more of what is inside. The back end of the card shows the four outputs – it should be clear what they are from the photo.
Overall, the XFX 7750 is an attractive-looking card. It has the specifications to hang in there for some gaming or as a nicer beefy home theater card. It might not be exactly what you are looking for if you want to max out your settings while running Eyefinity, but at least you can run Eyefinity with this card (perhaps with older games). It is exactly what it is supposed to be; cool, quiet, and able to provide more than your silly onboard video.
As always, for a little fun and even closer look, I like to take apart the card and see exactly how the cooling is set up for the chip, as well as what is hidden beneath the shroud, heat sink, and all those cooling fins. Pulled apart, the XFX 7750 looks to be rather simple in build at this level, though you do get a little closer look at the PCB and the full chunk of copper being used to help dissipate heat from the GPU.
A close-up of the copper block and you can see it comes with a nice solid layer of thermal compound – the chip was nice and settled into the solid chunk, really increasing that thermal conductivity between the chip and copper.
The chip itself is quite a pretty one too – a little bit of green and brown on this one. You can even catch the AMD logo in the light and read the "Made in China" right off the die. I've always loved the close-up detail of anything electronic. The Cape Verde core from the AMD 28 nm Southern Islands line is quite easy to make out, and quite small as well! Within its 1.5 billion transistors lie 512 stream processors (shaders, if you're old-school), 32 texture units, and 16 ROPs. The 1 GB of GDDR5 memory is attached to the core via a 128-bit bus running at 1125 MHz (4.5 GHz effective) and the chips themselves are manufactured by Hynix (part number H5GQ2H24MFA, rated for 5 GHz). Let's move on to the next page to see how the core and memory overclock under this nice cooler!
1 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x Single-Link DVI
1 x HDMI (with 3D)
1 x Display Port
900/1125 MHz Core Clock
28 nm Chip
512 x Stream Processors
1024 MB Size
4500 MHz Effective
22.5(L) x 11.12(W) x 3.81(H) cm
DVI to VGA Adapter
- GCN Architecture
- PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface
- Bullet Physics Engine Support
- DirectX® 11-capable graphics
- OpenGL 4.2 support
- Image quality enhancement technology
- AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology
- AMD App Acceleration
- AMD HD3D technology
- AMD CrossFire™ multi-GPU technology
- Dual-GPU scaling
- Cutting-edge integrated display support
- 3GHz HDMI 1.4a with Stereoscopic 3D Frame Packing Format, Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio
- Dual-link DVI with HDCP
- AMD PowerPlay™ power management technology
- Automatic power management with low power idle states
- AMD PowerTune technology
- Intelligent TDP management technology
- Dynamic clockspeed/performance enhancement for games
- AMD ZeroCore Power technology
- Ultra-low idle power when the system’s display is off
- Efficient low power mode for desktop work
- Secondary GPUs in an AMD CrossFire™ technology configuration power down when unneeded
- AMD Catalyst™ graphics and HD video configuration software
- Software support for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP
- AMD Catalyst™ Control Center - AMD Catalyst™ software application and user interface for setup, configuration, and accessing features of AMD Radeon™ products.
- Unified Graphics display driver - AMD Catalyst™ software enabling other PC programs and devices to use advanced graphics, video, and features of AMD Radeon™ products.
All information provided by: http://xfxforce.com/en-us/Products/Graphics-Cards/AMD/AMD-Radeon-HD-7000/AMD-Radeon-HD-7750/FX-775A-ZDP4.aspx
Testing of the XFX Double Dissipation R7750 will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should accurately provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.
The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing, with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA Control Panel, if applicable. I will first test the cards at stock speeds, and then overclocked to see the effects of an increase in clock speed. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. All NVIDIA comparison cards will be using the 301.42 drivers; AMD cards will be using Catalyst 12.4 drivers.
- Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
- CPU Cooling: Corsair H100
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68AP-D3
- Memory: Mushkin 991996 Redline PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 16 GB
- Video Card: XFX Double Dissipation R7750
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: Corsair Force GT 240 GB SSD
- Case: Corsair 650D
- Optical Drive: N/A
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1
Comparison Video Cards:
- NVIDIA GTX 670
- Sapphire 7770 Vapor-X
- ASUS GTX 560Ti Direct CU II
- ASUS GTX 580 Direct CU II
- ASUS GTX 570 DIrect CU II
- XFX HD 7950 BE
- XFX HD 6970
- XFX Double Dissipation R7750 — Core 1000 MHz, Memory 1250 MHz
Overclocking an AMD GPU is about as simple as it can get. I simply used Catalyst Control Center to raise the GPU and memory clock speeds using the sliders. As with any overclocking using CCC, the PowerTune slider was slammed all the way to the maximum of +20%. With such high stock clocks, it wasn't easy to push the card much further – maxing out the sliders was definitely not as good an option as you might do with lower factory-clocked cards. It was pretty easy to push the card up to 1000/1250 and run fully stable.
Maximum Clock Speeds:
Testing for the maximum clock speed consists of looping Unigine 3.0 for 30 minutes; each to see where the clock speeds fail when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment fails, then the clock speeds are adjusted and the test is re-run until each card passes the testing.
- Gaming Tests:
- Metro 2033
- Batman: Arkham City
- Battlefield 3
- Sid Meier's Civilization V
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0
- DiRT 3
- Mafia II
- 3DMark 11
- Power Consumption
Part first-person shooter and part survival horror, Metro 2033 is based on the novel of the same name, written by Russian author, Dmitry Glukhovsky. You play as Artyom in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, where you'll spend most of your time traversing the metro system, with occasional trips to the surface. Despite the dark atmosphere and bleak future for mankind, the visuals are anything but bleak. Powered by the 4A Engine with support for DirectX 11, NVIDIA PhysX, and NVIDIA 3D Vision, the tunnels are extremely varied. In your travels, you'll come across human outposts, bandit settlements, and even half-eaten corpses. Ensuring you feel all the tension, there is no map and no health meter. Get lost without enough gas mask filters and adrenaline shots and you may soon wind up as one of those half-eaten corpses, chewed up by some horrifying manner of irradiated beast that hides in the shadows just waiting for some hapless soul to wander by.
- DirectX 11
- 16x AF
- Global settings = High
- PhysX = On
In Metro 2033, the R7750 just can't keep up with the big boys. These settings are definitely below playable, but the scores are still respectable for what the card is.
Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum released in 2009. This action-adventure game based on DC Comics' Batman super hero was developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Batman: Arkham City uses the Unreal 3 engine.
- DirectX 11
- 4x MSAA
- 16x AF
- Global settings = Very High
- PhysX = off
In Batman: Arkham City, the R7750 performed at the bottom end of the lineup (though this is to be expected). The game is playable at these settings as long as you don't mind the occasional stutter.
Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. Battlefield 3 uses the Frostbyte 2 game engine and is the direct successor to Battlefield 2. Released in North America on October 25, 2011, the game supports DirectX 10 and 11.
- 4x AA in CP
- 16x AF in CP
- Game settings = High
BF3, despite the somewhat low FPS, ran quite smoothly for the most part. It wasn't perfect, but dropping a few settings would easily crank the FPS up to the very playable range.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0 is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on the Unigine engine. This was the first DX 11 benchmark to allow testing of DX 11 features. What sets the Heaven Benchmark apart is the addition of hardware tessellation, available in three modes – Moderate, Normal, and Extreme. Although tessellation requires a video card with DirectX 11 support and Windows Vista/7, the Heaven Benchmark also supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11, and OpenGL 4.0. Visually, it features beautiful floating islands that contain a tiny village and extremely detailed architecture.
- 8x AA
- 16x AF
- Shaders = High
- Tesselation = Extreme
- Measurement = FPS
It's almost painful to compare this card to the others of higher pedigree. The extreme tessellation option really takes its toll on the XFX R7750 in this test, but it's still a respectable score for a card that's solidly on the cheap end of GPUs.
Civilization V is a turn-based strategy game. The premise is to play as one of 18 civilizations and lead them from the "dawn of man" to the space age. This latest iteration of the Civilization series uses a new game engine and massive changes to the way the AI reacts throughout the game. Developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K games, Civilization V was released for Windows in September of 2010. Testing will be done using actual game play with FPS measured by Fraps through a series of five turns, 150 turns into the game.
- 8x MSAA
- Global Settings = High
- DirectX 11
In this game, the performance is playable with no issues. Being a turn-based strategy game, it's easy to tolerate the somewhat choppy frame rate. Dropping the settings down a notch would make it buttery smooth.
DiRT 3 is the third iteration of this series. Published and developed by Codemasters, this game uses the EGO 2.0 game engine and was released in the US on PC in May of 2011.
- 8x AA
- 16x AF in CP
- Ultra Settings
DiRT 3 performance has the XFX R7750 not horribly far behind the Sapphire 7770. If you want completely fluid gameplay, you'd want to lower a few settings though...
Mafia II is a third-person shooter that puts you into the shoes of a poor, Sicilian immigrant, Vito Scarletta. Vito has just returned home from serving overseas in the liberation of fascist Italy, to avoiding his jail sentence, to finding his family in debt. The debt must be repaid by the end of the week, and his childhood friend, Joe Barbaro, conveniently happens to have questionable connections that he assures will help Vito clear it by that time. As such, Vito is sucked into a world of quick cash. Released in North America for PC in August of 2010, the game was developed by 2K Czech, published by 2K, and uses the Illusion 1.3 game engine.
- 4x AA
- 16x AF
- In-game settings = High
- Ambient Occlusion = On
For Mafia II, the XFX R7750 fell just below the Sapphire 7770 Vapor-X by about 10 FPS at stock and OC'd.
3DMark 11 is the next installment in Futuremark’s 3DMark series, with Vantage as its predecessor. 3DMark 11 is designed solely for DirectX 11, so Windows Vista or 7 are required along with a DirectX 11 graphics card in order to run this test. The Basic Edition has unlimited free tests on performance mode, whereas Vantage is only allowed for a single test run. The advanced edition costs $19.95 and unlocks nearly all of the features of the benchmark, while the professional edition runs $995.00 and is mainly suited for corporate use. The new benchmark contains six tests; four of which are aimed only at graphical testing, one to test for physics handling, and one to combine graphics and physics testing together. The open source Bullet Physics library is used for physics simulation and although not as mainstream as Havok or PhysX, it still seems to be a popular choice.
With the new benchmark, comes two new demos that can be watched, both based on the tests. Unlike the tests, however, these contain basic audio. The first demo is titled "Deep Sea" and involves a few vessels exploring what looks to be a sunken U-Boat. The second demo is titled "High Temple" and presents a location similar to South American tribal ruins with statues and the occasional vehicle around. The demos are simple in that they have no story – they are really just a demonstration of what the testing will be like. The vehicles have the logos of the sponsors MSI and Antec on their sides – the sponsorships helping to make the basic edition free. The four graphics tests are slight variants of the demos. I will use the three benchmark test preset levels to test the performance of each card. The presets are used as they are comparable to what can be run with the free version, so that results can be compared across more than just a custom set of test parameters.
- Default test settings
- Entry test: 1024 x 600
- Performance test: 1280 x 720
- Extreme test: 1920 x 1080
As expected, the XFX R7750 wrote up some of the lowest scores in the batch; however, as I've mentioned before, the cards in comparison are much higher-end and have a higher price tag respectively.
Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine's Heaven Benchmark Version 3.0, with EVGA's Precision overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920x1080 using 8xAA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card's BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a 20-minute cool-down, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.
- Monitoring with EVGA Precision
- Unigine Heaven 3.0 1920x1080 8x AA
- 5-run sequence
- 20-minute idle duration
- Temperature measured in degrees Celsius (ambient temperature is ~23 degrees)
The XFX R7750 won the game here in load temperatures. It may not have the lowest idle temperature, but it did fit right in with other cards under similar cooling setups.
Power consumption of the system will be measured at both idle and load states, taking into account the peak wattage of the entire system with each video card installed. I will use Unigine's Heaven Benchmark version 3.0 to put a load onto the GPU using the settings below. A 15-minute load test will be used to simulate maximum load with the highest measured wattage value recorded as the result. The idle results will be the lowest wattage value recorded with no activity on the system.
- Unigine 3.0 Heaven Benchmark
- 1920x1080 Resolution
- 8x AA
- 15-minute load test
- 15-minute idle test
- Measurement is in watts
Overall, the temperatures and power usage were the most impressive from the XFX R7750. At both idle and load, the usage was remarkably low.
Overall, the XFX R7750 performed as expected. It’s hard for the review to give it much credit in the results section when compared to the compared cards; those were some tough competitors. For a 1 GB card with such a low power draw and awesome temperature profile, this card is a winner – at least, depending on what you want to do with it. Personally, I wouldn’t call it your next hardcore gaming card, but that wasn’t what it was designed for. It’s a great mid-range video card that can handle all the newer games – just maybe not with Eyefinity and maxed out settings. But for getting to play the games and at such an affordable price, this card can’t be beat. The cost is low enough, whether you are getting into building your own rig for the first time, or if you’ve been doing it a long time – it is a card that is right for the price.
The XFX R7750 didn’t blow me out of the water with results, but I didn’t expect it to. It did overclock very easily by just maxing out the sliders, though there wasn’t a huge gain from this, given that it comes clocked somewhat high right out of the box. Again, the temperatures and energy consumption are the high selling points for this card. If you often leave your rig running all day and night, I’m sure your power bill shows this extra amount every month. This is a perfect card for any home theater or mid-range gaming rig. Overall, it won’t make Skyrim run like real life, but will run the game quite nicely. It is a price, power, and temperature winner.
- Low power consumption
- Low idle and load temperatures
- Cost effective
- A little lower on the “high-end” range of things
- Not a ton of memory to work with for high resolutions