AMD RADEON HD7770: Graphic card review

AMD RADEON HD7770: Graphic card review
For any PC gamer, the graphics card is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you're thinking about upgrading your machine. We've hit the end of this last generation of graphics cards, and with the new AMD and Nvidia GPUs coming sometime around the tail-end of this year, prices are about as low as they're likely to get. That said, we could see new silicon filling the gaps in this generation, like the HD 7870XT, but that may still not drive prices down.

This generation has seen AMD become a far more aggressive competitor over price than it has in the past, and that means us consumers get far more graphical grunt for our money going for a Radeon card over an equivalently priced GeForce card. The example in the sub-£100 market is the HD 7770 going up against the GTX 650. That's a complete mismatch in terms of gaming performance, with the Radeon card posting significantly better results in the latest games than the Nvidia GPU.

At 1080p resolutions and the graphics settings on full there's at least a l0fps difference between the two GPUs in most titles. Batman: Arkham City is the exception, but in other Nvidia and AMD-sponsored titles, the gap is at least as wide. When that’s around 25fps for the AMD card against the I4fps for the Nvidia, the difference is essentially between being able to play and not being able to play at all.

The fact though that you can nail playable frame rates at the top settings-and that includes 4x AA as standard in our gaming benchmarks - at the familiar 1,920 x 1,080 resolution is fantastic. And it shows just how much graphical power is available for such a relatively small outlay these days. This is the sort of performance that we were seeing from the £200 to £250 graphics cards found in the previous generation.

If that's the jump in performance from the last generation to this, what about the new GPUs that are on their way? From what we’ve heard, the new HD 8000 and GTX 700 series of cards - from AMD and Nvidia respectively - are unlikely to herald the sort of performance improvements we’ve seen in the last round.

The new graphics cards are only set to offer incremental improvements, so we wouldn't expect to see much more graphics pace comingout of the £100 segment in six months' time, unless you can find a cheap HD 78501GB under the ton mark.

That AMD card is our budget choice if you can stretch to the £125 it currently costs, as it absolutely hoses the competition in all of our benchmarks - it even offers playable frame rates at the crazy-high resolution of 2,560x1.600. 

With a strict £100 limit on your upgrade, the HD 7770 won't disappoint- it's a proper gaming-capable GPU offering amazing performance for a great price.

AMD Radeon HD 7770
Price £89
Manufacturer AMD
GPU Cape Verde XT
Radeon cores 640
Core clock 1,000MHz
Memory clock 1.125MHz
Memory capacity 1.024MB