Since the launch of the Northern Islands graphics cards, AMD has filled the market with high-end and mid-range graphics cards that were based on either the Barts or Cayman GPU. AMD also catered to the
lower-end market with graphics cards such as the HD 6770 and HD 6750.
With the recently released of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti, there was a hole in AMD’s lineup that needed to be filled. To close all the gaps and ensure they have a high performance graphics card that competes at
the $150 price point, AMD is releasing the latest graphics card from the Northern Islands series – the HD 6790.The HD 6790 uses a variant of the Barts GPU dubbed the “Barts LE”. This new core includes 800
Stream processors that are organized in 10 streaming multiprocessor units, which gives the core two blocks of 400 Steam Processors with each block having a dispatch unit. In addition, the reference Barts LE
core is clocked at 840MHz and includes 40 Texture units, 16 ROPs and a compute power of 1.34 TFLOPs. This should give it an impressive performance for an entry-level graphics cards, but AMD has also ensured the HD 6790 will not be limited by its memory sub-system by giving the card a 1GB frame buffer with a 256-bit interface.
By increasing the memory bandwidth, the HD 6790 should not only perform better than other similarly priced graphics cards but also scale better at higher resolutions. According to AMD, the sweet spot for this card is really found in resolutions up to 1080p. The HD 6790 is designed to offer excellent gaming performance at a price that won’t break the bank, and for this reason AMD has set the launch MSRP to $149. This places the HD 6790 directly between the HD 6850 and HD 5770, and sets it up to go head to head with the GTX 550 Ti. So, it should be interesting to see which card comes out on top. Both feature strong internal specifications for their market position, and also have a robust memory interface. Along with the Barts LE core and 256-bit memory bus, the HD 6790 also includes full support for AMD’s latest technologies such as Eyefinity and HD3D
AMD has officially released the new mainstream graphics card called the Radeon HD 6790. When viewed in terms of price, this card has a price range that balanced with his rival from NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. From AMD’s own stronghold, the HD 6790 is right under his predecessor, the Radeon HD 6850. At present, a card from Sapphire Radeon HD 6790 has been present in CHIP Test Center. This card comes with AMD’s reference specifications and priced at U.S. $ 168. Some features such as AMD Eyefinity Technology, HD3D AMD, CrossFireX and AMD have also been held. Here is a comparison of technical specifications of each class graphics card that has a balanced performance.
Two 6-pin power connector is required to supply power to the card. As cooler, Sapphire uses three heat-pipe that distribute the heat directly into the heatsink and so on will be discarded through an 8 cm fan in the middle of the card.
In the sales package, Sapphire was to include a variety of fittings ranging from disc drivers, quick guide, and 6-pin power connector by the two, and an adapter DVI to D-Sub. If you intend to use the GPU-based cards with this LE Barts, prepare power supply with power 500 Watt.
Overall, the HD 6790 is designed for gamers looking for a high performance, low cost solution to play the latest DX11 titles and in many ways it is really an ideal solution for its price point. At $149 the HD 6790 offers users good performance in resolutions up to 1920×1200, and can even do so with relatively high settings. In our testing, the stock HD 6790 was able to perform better than the GTX 550 Ti in most of our in-game benchmarks, and once overclocked it was able to compete with more expensive cards, including the HD 6850. In addition, the HD 6790 scaled incredibly well together in CrossFire.
This allowed the dual HD 6790 graphics cards to compete with high-end models such as the HD 6970 and GTX 570 in games that scale well with CrossFire.
The performance of the HD 6790 is in large part due to AMD increasing the memory bandwidth beyond what is usually found on graphics cards in this price range. In today’s graphics market it is standard for a $149
graphics card to have a 128-bit memory bus. Nvidia shook up the rules with the release of the GTX 550 Ti by using a 192-bit bus, but AMD has taken it even further and decided to use a full 256-bit memory interface. This reduces memory bandwidth limitations and allows the graphics card to perform better at higher settings and resolutions. Of course, the HD 6790 is not meant to be used at the 2560×1600 resolution levels and our testing shows this; the performance sharply declined when the settings were above 1920×1200. However, most gamers for now use displays at or below 1080p, so AMD has hit the sweet spot in terms of price to performance.
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