Our opinions on this freshman 'Cape Verde' chip are dependent on UK pricing. If the $95 US price converts somewhere near the actual exchange rate without too much mark-up, it'll be available at £80 or less, and if that's the case you'll be getting some great performance returns for your outlay if you skipped a generation or two in your graphics card upgrade schedule.
If that UK price falls closer to the £100 mark though, it'll be a misfire, rather than one of those classic AMD bargains you wait for with each new gen's advent. The HD 7750 is quicker than its big Nvidia rival, the GTX 550 Ti, and its predecessor, the HD 5770 - but not the HD 6770.
General performance is limited primarily by a slender 128-bit frame buffer, however the die-shrink down from 45nm to 28nm and increase in transistor count that comes with it gives this Southern Islands card a definite edge in tessellation-heavy tasks. It's apparent in its strong Heaven 2.5 score, but in non-synthetic benchmarks the performance gain from the new architecture isn't as noticeable.
Overclocking the HD 7750's a mixed bag, too. On the one hand, it handles big core and memory clock increases smoothly and without crashes - we had ours cranked up to 900 MHz on the core clock from the 800 MHz stock setting without any glitching or hangs.
The downside though, is that we didn't really achieve a whole lot of performance increase by doing so – it only reported a 0.1 FPS increase when we ran the Heaven 2.5 benchmark. That, along with general performance, is likely to change as the 7700 series' drivers mature though.
We'll get a better idea of the HD 7750's true worth when firm UK prices arrive, AMD's drivers optimise and third parties get their overclocking mitts on it, but at present all evidence points to a strong budget card that'll appeal to anyone playing at 1080p or lower, and keeps an eye on power efficiency.
We're hoping there's more potential under the bonnet for overclocking performance than we were able to extract with the early drivers, since AMD's flagship 7-series card the HD 7970 overclocked so damn well.
If it doesn't work out that way, this card still offers enough stock performance over its peers to make it worth a look.
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