Manufacturer: AMD UK Price (as reviewed):£102 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed): approx. $160 (ex. tax)
When it comes to budget graphics cards, there are usually a few compromises to be made in terms of the graphics settings/fps ratio. It’s a reason that graphics cards such as the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB are so popular; they can handle games at popular resolutions and high settings – what more can a gamer ask for?
However, not everyone fancies splashing out more than £150 on a graphics card. The same money can buy you an awesome CPU such as the Core i5-2500K – hardware that will be far more beneficial if you’re only a light gamer and spend most of your time editing videos or photos. Thankfully, AMD has had a couple of good offerings at the low end, and for good reason – you only have to look at forum signatures and databases such as the Steam Hardware Survey to see graphics cards such as the HD 5770 1GB are by far the most popular.
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The Cape Verde architecture
To refresh this budget range, AMD has launched two new graphics cards – the HD 7770 1GB and the HD 7750 1GB, priced at £130 and £100 respectively. On price alone, it looks as if AMD is clearly looking to do away with anything it currently has in the £80-130 price bracket, which includes the HD 5770 1GB, HD 6770 1GB and even the HD 6850 1GB, which you can often find for less than £100.
The HD 7750 1GB we’re looking at here is very obviously a simple beast, in that it has a single block of aluminium for a cooler, which is just slim enough for the graphics card to occupy no more than one slot. It’s also free of additional power connectors, getting all the juice it needs from the PCI-E slot alone – something the reference HD 5770 1GB failed to do and required a 6-pin power connector for it to spring into life.
To be able to do this, AMD has relied on the super-low power consumption of its new 28nm GPUs, with the HD 7750 1GB apparently sporting a ‘typical board power’ of just 55W. Combined with the lack of cables and single-slot cooling, this could be shaping up to be a great choice for a small, low power gaming rig.
As far as specifications go, they’re obviously very modest compared to AMD’s other 7000 series cards – the HD 7950 3GB and HD 7970 3GB - despite both being loosely based on the same architecture. Tahiti XT is the architecture used with the HD 7970 3GB, which sported 32 individual compute units, 2,048 stream processors and 32 ROPs.
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In comparison, the HD 7750 1GB has eight compute units, 512 stream processors (the HD 7770 1GB has 640), and half the ROPs at 16. It’s certainly a hack and slash job, but it’s nothing more than you’d expect given it’s sub £90 RRP. The HD 7750 1GB’s core speed is 200MHz slower than the HD 7770 1GB at 800MHz, but it sports the same 1GB of GDDR5, which runs at 1,125MHz (4.5GHz effective), providing a memory bandwidth of 72GB/sec.
Graphics processor AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB, 825MHz
Pipeline 512 stream processors, 16 ROPs
Memory 1GB GDDR5, 4.5GHz effective
Bandwidth 72GB/sec, 128-bit interface
Compatibility DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1
Outputs/Inputs DVI, HDMI, mini DisplayPort
Power connections None
Size 168mm long, single-slot
**please note that due to the HD 7750 1GB retailing for £100 and not £85 when it hit the shelves, we've amended this review, in particular the scores and conclusion to represent the new higher cost.**