Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB Dual-X Review

March 22, 2013 | 07:00

Tags: #bonnaire-xt #graphics-core-next

Companies: #amd #sapphire

Power Consumption (Idle and Gaming)

Putting a realistic, repeatable load on a GPU to get a decent idea of its real world power consumption and thermal output has long been something with which we've experimented here at bit-tech. We've found that synthetic benchmarks such as FurMark thrash the GPU constantly, which simply isn't reflective of how a GPU will be used when gaming.

It's such a hardcore test that any GPU under scrutiny is almost guaranteed to hit its thermal limit; the mark at which the card's firmware will kick in, speeding up the fan to keep the GPU within safe temperature limits. Conversely, simply leaving a game such as Crysis running at a certain point also isn't reflective of real-world use. There's no guarantee that the GPU is being pushed as hard as other titles might push it, and the load will vary between play-throughs.

We used to use the Canyon Flight test of 3DMark 06, as this was a punishing and repeatable test. However, we've now adopted Unigine's Heaven 3.0 benchmark, as its DirectX 11 features will stress all the parts of a modern GPU. Using our regular Unigine benchmark settings, we watch the power draw from the wall between the grass field scene and the second dragon scene - this is the toughest portion of the test for both Nvidia and AMD hardware.

Power consumption (idle)

Windows 7 Aero Desktop

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB
  • 98
  • 99
  • 100
  • 104
  • 104
  • 105
  • 106
  • 110
0
25
50
75
100
125
System Power consumption in Watts

Power consumption (load)

Unigine Heaven Benchmark (2,560 x 1,600, default settings)

  • AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 1GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • 144
  • 161
  • 167
  • 178
  • 186
  • 196
  • 216
  • 230
0
50
100
150
200
250
System Power consumption in Watts

Thermal Performance (Idle and Gaming)

We also have GPU-Z running in the background, and leave the Unigine benchmark running for ten minutes to record a peak GPU temperature. We present the temperature as a delta T (the difference between the temperature of the GPU and the ambient temperature in our labs).

Heat (idle)

Windows 7 Aero Desktop

  • Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 1GB
  • 4
  • 6
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 12
  • 14
0
3
5.5
8
10.5
13
15.5
Delta T in °C

Heat (load)

Unigine Heaven Benchmark (2,560 x 1,600, default settings)

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 1GB
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB
  • AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB
  • 30
  • 33
  • 34
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 44
0
10
20
30
40
Delta T in °C

*as there's no stock model of the HD 7850 2GB, it is not included in these graphs

Read our performance analysis.
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