AMD Radeon HD 6790 Graphics Card Review

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The AMD Radeon HD 6790 performed well throughout our entire battery of tests considering its affordable price point. It finished roughly 10% to 20% percent behind the higher-end Radeon HD 6850 and competed favorably with the recently released, and similarly priced, GeForce GTX 550 Ti. The Radeon HD 6790 and GeForce GTX 550 Ti roughly split our benchmarks, with each card “winning” a handful of tests. The 6790 led in 3DMark11, Metro 2033, Just Cause 2, AvP, and F1 2010, while the 550 Ti led in FarCry 2, Lost Planet 2, and in Unigine Heaven. Overall though, considering the margins of victory in the given apps / games, we’d give the Radeon HD 6790 a slight edge over the GeForce GTX 550 Ti.

AMD's Current, Mid-Range GPU Product Stack Through Q2, 2011

AMD has set the price of the Radeon HD 6790 at $149, but has stated that some board partners are likely to offer mild discounts or mail-in-rebates that could bring street prices down a bit. We’ll have to see how things pan out over the next few days and weeks, but if pricing ends up closer to $149, or even higher, which is not out of the realm of possibility with current-gen Radeons, gamers have some tough decisions to make. Stock GeForce GTX 550 Ti cards can be found for as low as $115 (after MIR) and some overclocked models, like the Zotac card we used in our testing, can be found for $135, currently (again, after a MIR). We’d prefer to not have to deal with rebates, but a $15 to $35 savings for a similarly performing graphics card, in this price range, is nothing to sneeze at. Also consider that higher performing cards like the Radeon HD 6850 can currently be found for as little as $145 or around $179 for an even faster, factory overclocked model, and coughing up a few extra bucks becomes pretty enticing.

Ultimately though, the new Radeon HD 6790 seems to do exactly what AMD intended, it fills the price gap between the Radeon HD 5770 and 6850 and competes favorably with NVIDIA’s recently released direct rival, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. All of these initial pricing questions will be answered in the near future and what we’ll all be left with is a more competitive battle in the sub-$150 GPU market, which will only benefit budget conscious gamers in the long-run.

  • Good Performance
  • Relatively Low Power Consumption
  • Eyefinity Support
  • Quiet


  • Much More Performance Available For Minimal Extra Investment
  • GeForce GTX 550 Ti card available for as little as $115


Related content