AMD Radeon HD 6790 review

A confusingly branded shoestring gaming card

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Our Verdict

An encouraging focus towards budget cards from AMD, but simply too underpowered.


  • Solid in-game performance
  • Super-wide 256-bit memory bus


  • Built on old technology
  • fails to outperform the competition

Tired of the ultra high-end, stupidly expensive graphics cards? How about more of a budget offering in the shape of an AMD Radeon HD 6790 then?

In the red corner- AMD. In the green corner, Nvidia. Age-old adversaries locked in an epic technological arms race.

Lately the battles have been fought at the high end of the price spectrum, atop Mount Expensive, both parties chucking massive dual-discrete GPUs at each other in the shape of the AMD Radeon HD 6990 and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 590.

However, it's the more affordable cards that ultimately win the war.

Last generation, AMD focused its energy on such volume cards and came up trumps.

The hugely powerful AMD Radeon HD 5970 threw this philosophy out of the window though, and with the current generation of cards, it's back to a performance blow-for-blow assault on Nvidia's array of hardware.

As a result prices are tumbling and therefore the thrifty gamer isn't exactly spoiled for choice at the budget end of the market either.

The AMD Radeon HD 6790 contains all the same numbers as the Radeon HD 6970, the more prodigious mathematicians amongst you may have noted, however, it's built around the Barts LE chip rather than the more powerful Cayman Pro found in its almost-namesake.

Actually, this is a closer relation to the AMD Radeon HD 5770. It sits between this and the Radeon HD 6850, so it might have been more logical to call it the HD 6770.

Never mind.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerATI
Chipset ModelHD 6790
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 6000
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameSapphire
Standard Memory1 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.0
Bus Width256 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFireX
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs1
Number of DVI Outputs2
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Cooler TypeFan Cooler
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Form FactorPlug-in Card
ManufacturerSapphire, Inc
Memory Speed4200 MHz
Product Model11194-00-20G
Product NameRadeon HD 6790 Graphics Card
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part Number11194-00-20G
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The new SAPPHIRE HD 6790 shares many all the capabilities of the successful SAPPHIRE HD 6800 series, including multi-screen gaming with AMD Eyefinity, support for all the advanced graphical features of Microsoft DirectX 11 and delivering spectacular video clarity, speed and visual effects, including 3D stereoscopic displays.

Package Contents
  • Radeon HD 6790 Graphics Card
  • CD
API SupportedDirectX 11.0, OpenGL 3.2, DirectCompute