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Sapphire HD6790 CrossfireX Review

Rating: 9.0.

For most of us the AMD HD6990 is a pipe dream, the cost is very hard to justify. Let’s not forget that unless you are gaming at super high resolution or across multiple screens it is often not needed. With the recent release of nVidia’s GTX550 ti, AMD have decided to update their popular HD5770, with the new HD6790 targeting the £120 sector. Today we are looking at the custom Sapphire HD6790 model which features an enhanced heatpipe cooler and PCB design.

AMD are marketing the HD6790 at modest mainstream 1080p settings, with ‘balanced performance and price’ being the key talking point. This is the same strategy they used with the HD5770, and it makes sense as it is one of the most widely used resolutions among enthusiast gamers, especially if you game on a giant HD LCD or Plasma television.

In our launch review today we are going to work out how the HD6790 slots into the performance marketplace and will be comparing against the HD5770 and GTX550 ti with some newer game titles. Just as importantly we are looking at CrossfireX scaling as many enthusiast users will buy one now and another later to upgrade gaming performance.

AMD HD6790
Compute Power 1.34 TFLOPs
Core Clock Speed 840mhz
Shader Architecture VLIW5
Stream Processors 800 ALU
Texture Units 40
ROPs/Z-Stencil 16/64
Frame Buffer 1GB GDDR5
Memory Width/Speed 256 bit, 4.2 Gbps

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  • Will I am

    Really good price for what you get, nice cooler too.

  • Vic

    Well let’s be honest, it wouldn’t take much to outperform the 550 ti

  • Fisshy

    Very nice card. Some very good work on AMD’s driver side.
    Image quality looks amazing for a card at this price and performance is on par with the price sector.
    It’s a shame that even with the much improved [email protected] Core 16 this card wont fold nearly as many PPD as a GTX550Ti. That kind of sours the whole deal to me.

    Stellar Review Zardon. Nice addition of the overall scoring on the conclusions page.

    Proud KitGuru Folder (Team 196420) and Gamer.

  • Kenji

    I really hate the way they change the naming conventions on these. why not call it the 6770 and be done with it?

    Otherwise its impressive for the price and fascinating to see the CFX results showing it often close between GTX570 and GTX580, for a fraction of the price.

  • Raymond

    These are extremely impressive little boards, for the price I cant see it getting much better than this.

  • Francis

    I am very impressed with the performance results, I hear some of them will be 110 quid too, bargain really.

  • Joseph

    That cooler is identical to the 5870 version, thats a nice way to do it. saves them development money on a new cooler too.

  • Ben

    The biggest problem is that 5830 has dropped in price, XFX are selling their 5830 XXX for 85 inc vat.

  • Guilherme

    How GTX550 Ti loss on Resident Evil 5?

    HD 6790 – Max FPS 72
    – Min FPS 57
    Average – 64,5

    GTX550 Ti – Max FPS 72
    – Min FPS 60
    Average – 66

    To me this is a victory by a green team… Well, the result yet remains in favor to red team, with 7 victory vs 5 victory.

    On games the battle is very difficult, 4 wins for each team. I was thinking, if is possible make this test in 1650×1050.

    After all, 1650×1050 is the better choice for both cards. 2560×1600 and 1920×1200/1080 is more High-end resolution.

    Maybe put more games DX11 e more titles. Just a idea. Anyway, good reviews! Thx for that.

  • We don’t post maximum frame rate figures Guiherme. The 72 fps is the average figure, not the maximum.

    Thanks for the comments, glad you like the reviews.

  • SilentWolf

    Hey guys, why would anyone buy a GTX 580 (AU~$500) when you can get two 6790’s and crossfire them for less than AU$300? Is there something I’m missing?

  • quasimodo

    because most users doesn’t have an XFire capable board to do this and some doesn’t want to Xfire at all.