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Sapphire HD7770 1GHZ Overclock Edition Review

Unlike the slightly disappointing VTX3D HD7770 1GHZ Edition which we also reviewed today, Sapphire have designed a dual heatpipe cooler from the ground up, specific for their HD7770 1GHZ OC Edition.

This cooler enhances the value of the HD7770 as noise emissions are reduced significantly. In fact this overclocked HD7770 solution is basically inaudible and we have to applaud Sapphire for using such high quality fans on their recent coolers. We were very impressed with the Sapphire HD7950 OC Edition cooler, and they are using similar high grade components on the more modestly priced HD7770 1GHZ OC.

As we mentioned in our other HD7770 review today, AMD are very keen to highlight the fact they have released the ‘World’s first 1GHZ CPU’. To be honest, it is hard to get excited about this, as the reference card only offers a small performance boost when compared directly to the HD6790 from the last generation. AMD may have pushed out a 1GHZ ‘default’ clock speed, but they have also reduced the Shader count from 800 to 640 between the old and new cards which inflicts a performance penalty. Fortunately Sapphire have injected a high level of overclock into this specific card today (1,150mhz core) which boosts the performance by a noticeable margin.

While the high end enthusiast audience are willing to pay a premium for a quality, third party cooling solution, this lower end sector is much more price aware. Getting confirmed pricing information just before an AMD launch isn’t easy, but Sapphire have indicated that this overclocked Edition @ 1,150mhz will retail for £129.99 inc vat in the United Kingdom. This is initially the price we expected for the reference clocked card so we feel that the modified Sapphire card delivers good value for money.

The biggest competition comes from the last generation AMD hardware such as the HD6790 and HD6850. While the HD6790 isn’t quite as fast, nor does it offer the same power efficiency, a special Sapphire cooled version can be found for £30 less online. If you are on a very strict budget, then this card still offers capable performance at the lowest possible price. HD6850’s are available for £108 inc vat online today.

The reference clocked HD7770 needs to sell for £110 inc vat in our opinion and it would be even better if Sapphire could reduce the price of this Overclock Edition by £10. As it stands the HD7770 seems slightly overpriced.

Aria will have a selection of HD7770’s available on launch day.

Pros:

  • Sapphire cooler is class leading.
  • very quiet.
  • good overclocks ‘out of the box’.
  • overclocks even more with manual tweaking.
  • positive power efficiency.

Cons:

  • A price reduction would help.

Kitguru says: Sapphire have produced the best HD7770 on launch day, and we love their latest, quiet cooling systems.

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Rating: 8.0.

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