Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition review

A budget pixel pusher, but is it a false economy?

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For

  • Cheap
  • Decent frame rates at low detail

Against

  • Not fast enough
  • Struggles with higher detail settings
  • Not great value for money

Can any card as cheap as the Sapphire HD 7770 GHz really be a good idea? False economies are certainly a major fear when it comes to PC components. It's no good if this card offers great on-paper bang for buck if it doesn't deliver a good enough gaming experience.

First, the on-paper bit. We're talking AMD's latest GCN shader cores to the tune of 640. For context, you get only 768 of the things in the Xbox One. What's more, this card's core is clocked at 1GHz to Xbox's 853MHz. Not much in it for raw pixel pumping, then.

But there's more to it than that. Part of the problem is the meagre 1GB of graphics memory and 128-bit memory bus. Then there's the fact that the detail levels in PC games almost certainly already outstrip anything that's likely to hit the Xbox One. Which is why the Radeon 7770 GHz chipset puts out such poor frame rates in most of our benchmarks. In fact, Grid 2 is the only game for which it manages playable frame rates at 1080p.

Benchmarks

1,920 x 1,080

DirectX 11 gaming performance
Sleeping Dogs: Frames per second: Higher is better (Min/Avg)

Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition: 13/19
Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC: 16/24
AMD Radeon HD 7850: 19/28
Asus GTX 650Ti Boost Direct CU II OC: 18/28
Nvidia Geforce GTX 760: 24/41
Asus HD 7870 Direct CU II TOP: 25/36
Asus HD 7950 Direct CU II: 27/39
Nvidia Geforce GTX 770: 30/52
Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Vapor-X: 36/52
Nvidia Geforce GTX 780: 36/60
AMD Radeon HD 7990: 59/97
Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan: 31/65

Grid 2: Frames per second: Higher is better
Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition: 34/43
Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC: 40/50
AMD Radeon HD 7850: 42/52
Asus GTX 650Ti Boost Direct CU II OC: 39/52
Nvidia Geforce GTX 760: 56/73
Asus HD 7870 Direct CU II TOP: 57/73
Asus HD 7950 Direct CU II: 56/71
Nvidia Geforce GTX 770: 67/90
Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Vapor-X: 73/87
Nvidia Geforce GTX 780: 71/85
AMD Radeon HD 7990: 50/60
Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan: 75/93

Company of Heroes 2: Frames per second: Higher is better
Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition: 11/19
Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC: 13/21
AMD Radeon HD 7850: 15/28
Asus GTX 650Ti Boost Direct CU II OC: 11/22
Nvidia Geforce GTX 760: 15/31
Asus HD 7870 Direct CU II TOP: 22/39
Asus HD 7950 Direct CU II: 21/35
Nvidia Geforce GTX 770: 20/40
Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Vapor-X: 28/46
Nvidia Geforce GTX 780: 27/49
AMD Radeon HD 7990: 26/44
Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan: 31/55

Metro: Last Light: Frames per second: Higher is better
Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition: 13/22
Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC: 19/28
AMD Radeon HD 7850: 20/30
Asus GTX 650Ti Boost Direct CU II OC: 14/33
Nvidia Geforce GTX 760: 8/45
Asus HD 7870 Direct CU II TOP: 19/39
Asus HD 7950 Direct CU II: 21/40
Nvidia Geforce GTX 770: 24/56
Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Vapor-X: 25/51
Nvidia Geforce GTX 780: 21/65
AMD Radeon HD 7990: 23/75
Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan: 27/70

BioShock Infinite: Frames per second: Higher is better
Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition: 13/28
Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC: 14/34
AMD Radeon HD 7850: 21/41
Asus GTX 650Ti Boost Direct CU II OC: 17/47
Nvidia Geforce GTX 760: 15/65
Asus HD 7870 Direct CU II TOP: 19/51
Asus HD 7950 Direct CU II: 16/57
Nvidia Geforce GTX 770: 21/78
Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Vapor-X: 19/74
Nvidia Geforce GTX 780: 23/91
AMD Radeon HD 7990: 14/123
Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan: 21/98

Heaven: Frames per second: Higher is better
Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition: 13/19
Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC: 13/23
AMD Radeon HD 7850: 16/28
Asus GTX 650Ti Boost Direct CU II OC: 17/31
Nvidia Geforce GTX 760: 21/43
Asus HD 7870 Direct CU II TOP: 18/36
Asus HD 7950 Direct CU II: 20/40
Nvidia Geforce GTX 770: 24/52
Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Vapor-X: 23/51
Nvidia Geforce GTX 780: 780 29/69
AMD Radeon HD 7990: 30/100
Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan: 30/77

Verdict

Grid 2 aside, we're looking at sub-30 frames per second. You'll have to crush the detail settings to get things running smoothly, which makes this board a non-starter. The same applies to even the cheapest Radeon HD 7770 boards. Performance isn't nearly good enough, so however low the price is, you aren't getting value.

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelHD 7770
HDMIYes
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 7000
DisplayPortYes
Maximum Resolution4096 x 2160
Brand NameSapphire
Standard Memory1 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 3.0 x16
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width128 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFireX
RAMDAC Speed400 MHz
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
DVIYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs2
Number of DVI Outputs1
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height110 mm
Cooler TypeFan Cooler
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Form FactorPlug-in Card
Length210 mm
ManufacturerSapphire, Inc
Memory Speed5000 MHz
Product NameRadeon HD 7770 GHz Edition OC Graphic Card
Package TypeLite Retail
Manufacturer Part Number11201-02-20G
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sapphiretech.com/en/
Marketing Information

The new SAPPHIRE HD 7700 series is a new family of graphics cards targeting the enthusiast on a budget and mainstream users looking for increased graphics performance. It is based on the second family of GPU's from AMD built in its new 28nm process and featuring the highly acclaimed GCN optimised graphics processing architecture.

Package Contents
  • Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition Graphic Card
  • Driver CD
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • Power Cable
Limited Warranty2 Year
Thickness43 mm
API SupportedDirectX 11.1, DirectCompute, OpenGL 4.2