In January 2011 AMD has revealed the mid-range models of its newly designed Radeon HD 7000-series.
Compared to its predecessors, the 6000-series graphics cards, the current generation is manufactured not only in 28nm instead of 40nm design, also the chip architecture is completely new. Accordingly the expectations were high that the Radeon HD 7000 cards will bring a big performance gain.
In the meantime pretty much the entire press has tested the 7750 and 7770 HD Radeons and has come to a unanimous verdict:
The new AMD mid-range-cards deliver the same performance with greatly improved efficiency.
And: Almost all of them interpret this insofar as unpleasant as gamers - in their opinion - expect significantly higher performance gains.
Well, quite possibly they may be true. Many hardcore gamers just want to put as much power as possible into their computers. No matter how much energy these parts are consuming, sometimes even no matter whether they really need this power.
AMD with its two mid-range 7000 Radeons is going the road of efficiency-increase, even though with different tactics for one of each:
· The Radeon HD 7750 is opted according to the economic minimization-principle - the same output of computing power while reducing the energy-consumption compared to predecessors
· The Radeon HD 7770 AMD is opted according to the economic maximization-principle – get out the maximum of computing power at the same energy-consumption
The Radeon HD 7750 delivers a minimally slower performance in games, especially in GPGPU applications a minimally faster performance than the Radeon HD 6770. On average both of them deliver virtually the same performance.
Compared to its direct predecessor HD 6750 it's clearly superior in all applications.
But there is one crucial difference: The 7750s maximum power-consumption is 61 watt - compared to 86 watt of the 6750 and even 108 watt of the 6770.
This is around a 53.5% (!) better performance per watt.
The Radeon HD 7770 in turn with 108 watt has the same maximum power consumption as its direct predecessor HD 6770. Performance-wise, its playing in the same league as the higher placed 6000-models Radeon HD 6790 and HD 6850 – in gaming closer to the 6790 in GPGPU applications closer to the 6850.
At the same power consumption level, the HD 7770 offers the performance of a 1 ½ class’s higher ranked model of the previous generation. You could say that it’s a kind of fictitious Radeon HD 6830 in permanent power-saving mode.
Anyway in terms of power-consumption for graphic-cards I have an explicit view:
Graphics cards with power consumption of at least 150 watt in terms of resource-efficiency are borderline, cards with a power consumption of 200 watt or more for most purposes are intolerable.
At resolutions up to 1600 x 900 pixels AMD's Radeon HD 7770 really is an excellent choice, offering really powerful graphics performance. On 22-inch computer-screens you simply don’t need more.
To me AMD with its efficiency strategy is on the absolutely right way, from an ecological point of view even on the only possible way. Thus eco-sexy.