A Closer Look at the HD 7770 and HD 7750
A Closer Look at the HD 7770
With a centrally located and quiet running 92mm cooling fan and a relatively short 8.25” length, the HD 7770’s reference design looks like a spitting image of NVIDIA’s GTX 550 Ti. Of course the card is decked out in AMD’s signature black and red colour scheme but it should be noted that only a few board partners will be shipping this design to the retail channel. Sapphire, HIS, XFX, Gigabyte, MSI and ASUS will all be going down a different route with custom heatsink designs and some will likely be charging a premium as well.
Taking a tour around the HD 7770 we can see that it uses a relatively simple design without much in the way of additional cooling vents due to the small amount of heat output from its 28nm core. AMD has also kept Crossfire setups to two cards (versus the tri card capability of higher end products) by placing a single interconnect on this board’s side.
Efficiency is the name of the game here so this card only needs a single 6-pin connector even though its 80W of power consumption could in theory be fulfilled by the PCI-E slot. We’re guessing the extra power connector is in place to aid overclocking and ensure there’s enough overhead if the user chooses to increase PowerTune limits.
The backplate uses the same layout we’ve seen from every other HD 7000-series card with a single DVI connector along with two mini DisplayPort outputs and a single HDMI. This setup will allow a single HD 7770 to control up to six monitors in an Eyefinity group but some of AMD’s board partners won’t be shipping any adaptors with their boards. This means running just two DVI equipped monitors will be impossible unless additional dongles are purchased through a third party. Others will simply be including a mini DP to DP adaptor.
The PCB on the HD 7770 1GB is the usual reference black and is quite simple looking but doesn’t house any surprises. The heatsink covers a basic 3 + 1 phase power distribution setup and a mere four modules of GDDR5 memory.
The Radeon HD 7750 1GB
AMD’s HD 7750 is one small card with a length of just 6.7” or barely longer than a PCI-E x16 slot. There could be low profile versions released over the next few months but for the time being, most will stick to the reference PCB design.
Due to the low power needs of the HD 7750, AMD has been able to avoid the installation of a PCI-E power connector, instead allowing all of the power to come from the motherboard’s PCI-E slot. This bodes well for this card’s use in small form factor systems and other applications.
Unfortunately, while heat production may not be all that high, not one board partner we have talked to has expressed any confidence in the small reference heatsink and every one of them has elected to go the non-reference route. Some have even decided to release passive versions as well.
Output connectors have received a change as well with the dual mini DisplayPorts being replaced by a full sized single DP output alongside the usual HDMI and DVI ports. This still allows for up to six monitors if a DisplayPort hub is used but also ensures much broader out of box monitor / HDTV compatibility for lower end systems.
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