HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler 1 GB Review 9

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler 1 GB Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler is available online for $130.
  • 20% performance increase over last generation
  • Cheaper than other HD 7770 cards
  • Very quiet cooler
  • Excellent energy efficiency
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Native full-size HDMI & DisplayPort output
  • Adds support for PCI-Express 3.0 and DirectX 11.1
  • Support for multiple independent audio streams
  • Not overclocked out of the box
  • Price too high to be competitive
  • CCC Overdrive limits too low
  • Voltage controller not very overclocker-friendly
AMD's new Radeon HD 7770 delivers a substantial improvement over the previous generation HD 5770. The HD 6770 was just a HD 5770 with a "6770" sticker slapped on it, so the upgrade has been overdue. Averaged over all our testing we see more than 20% higher performance from the reference clocked HD 7770 vs. the HD 5770. This puts the HD 7770 on the same performance level as NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 460, or a bit below the HD 6850.
The HIS HD 7770 iCooler is really just a reference card, running the same clock speeds, using the same PCB, which is colored blue though. As a result the card's performance is exactly the same as the AMD reference design. The only difference I could spot is that HIS has replaced the plastic cooler shell with their own, and they installed a different fan. In our testing we see excellent noise results from the HIS HD 7770 iCooler, making it whisper quiet in idle and barely audible under load - a great improvement over the reference design. This actually makes it the quietest HD 7770 card we have tested so far. Good job HIS!
In terms of overclocking we see GPU clock reach a slightly lower level than other HD 7770 cards, but memory makes up for that, reaching the highest speed we have seen from a HD 7770 to date.
Overall the HIS HD 7770 is a good choice if you are looking for something similar to the reference design. I wonder why HIS didn't overclock their card, there is plenty of headroom to do so, which would have helped gain an extra advantage, especially if it came at no additional cost for the end user. Talking about cost, at $130, the HIS HD 7770 is the cheapest HD 7770 currently available, which certainly makes it an interesting choice if you really must have a HD 7770. If you are willing to consider other products, then something like a HD 6850 or HD 6870 might offer better performance per Dollar.
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