MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC Edition: Mid-Range Graphics

Article Index:   
How We Configured Our Test Systems: We tested the graphics cards in this article on an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard powered by a Core i7-3960X six-core processor and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR3-1866 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the system UEFI and set all values to their "high performance" default settings and disable any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The memory's X.M.P. profile was enabled to ensure better-than-stock performance and the hard drive was then formatted and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the installation was complete, we fully updated the OS and installed the latest DirectX redist along with all of the drivers, games, and benchmark tools necessary to complete our tests.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-3960X
(3.3GHz, Six-Core)
Asus P9X79 Deluxe
(Intel X79 Express)

Asus Radeon HD 7790 Direct CU II
Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 OC
MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC
Radeon HD 7770
Radeon HD 7850
GeForce GTX 660
GeForce GTX 650 Ti
GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST

Western Digital Raptor 150GB
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network
 Relevant Software: 
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX April 2011 Redist
AMD Catalyst v13.3 Beta 3
NVIDIA GeForce Drivers v314.21

Benchmarks Used:

Unigine Heaven v4
3DMark "Fire Strike"
Batman: Arkham City
Hitman: Absolution
Alien vs. Predator
Metro 2033
Sleeping Dogs
Crysis 3

Unigine Heaven v4.0 Benchmark
Pseudo-DirectX 11 Gaming

Unigine Heaven v4.0
Unigine's Heaven Benchmark v4.0 is built around the Unigine game engine. Unigine is a cross-platform, real-time 3D engine, with support for DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11 and OpenGL. The Heaven benchmark--when run in DX11 mode--also makes comprehensive use of tessellation technology and advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion). It also features volumetric cumulonimbus clouds generated by a physically accurate algorithm and a dynamic sky with light scattering.

The MSI Radeon HD 7790 kicked off our benchmarks with some solid scores in Unigine Heaven. In fact, it provided frame rates that were even with (or close to) the pricier ASUS and Sapphire 7790s. But it fell a little further behind when it came to the overall Heaven score. And because the MSI card didn't top any of its fellow 7790s, it also couldn't match the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST.

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TheGamerTech one year ago

Not to belittle MSI and their card or anything, but these factory overclocked cards, in many cases, just don't offer enough increased performance to just the additional cost. Sure, they're great for people who don't want to tinker with their clock speeds, but it isn't like it is difficult to get a card with a nice, capable cooler and use an aftermarket tool to do the overclocking yourself. Or spend the same amount of cash, or a smidge more, and buy the next model card up instead. :)

realneil one year ago

[quote user="TheGamerTech"]Not to belittle MSI and their card or anything, [/quote]

MSI is great.

A card that's OC'd by the factory still carries a warranty at the faster speeds. If ~you~ OC a card and fry it, it's not covered. I understand that a lot of us tweak our cards a little bit more than what they come set at.

Also, an OC'd card usually already has better than stock cooling on it.

slacking one year ago

FYI, I have this card and it overclocks to 1225 core clock, 1662 (6648 effective) memory clock with no problems. If you can manage to sell the two crappy games it comes with on Ebay, then this card is a steal.

Casecutter one year ago

Good review but hardly useful to the folk looking to spending $120-170 for two reasons…

It's inappropriate to assume "cards in this class" can run with such levels of graphic quality or even test 2560x resolution when isn't providing real world inference.  I mean none of the cards that logically fall into the competition of a 7790 are really providing good playable results on Ultra/AAx4/AFx16 settings (perhaps Metro, Batman).  Mostly the rest of the results aren’t telling folks much, they know they'll need/should "concede" on some settings.

Beside the settings, the CPU (i7 Hyper-Threading) and system, is far from what anyone envisioning stuffing a $120-170 card with.  Now almost every site testing video cards runs max system spec's so, not to have CPU bottle necks which is understandable. I can't chastise you that’s what most do, but between settings and system spec’s what you provide is nothing like what most buying this should ever intend to appreciate.  It would be far better for a site like yourselves' to start this review saying; we are going to test this "class" of cards with a modest, may I say normal system that folk looking at hardware of this level would be using. 

I've found only one other site that tested that way, and the outcome is quite surprising.  Your charts just communicate what every other reviewer shows, this "class of card" aren't capable of enthusiast level of eye-candy.  Although, you could be the one showing just a little tuning back on one or so settings can still provides an exhilarating experience with just "entry level box".  Buyers and the graphic card companies would rather have you revealing what can be done with a $120-170 card gaming than basically showing they perform as well as more expensive cards.

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