How We Configured Our Test Systems:We tested the graphics cards in this article on an AsusP9X79 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.
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
16GB GSKILL DDR3-1866 Western Digital Raptor 150GB Integrated Audio Integrated Network
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
Alien vs. Predator
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.