Mainstream gaming is all about 1080p. Monitors may be getting cheaper, making higher resolutions and multi-display setups ever more feasible, but Full HD is still sufficient for the average buyer. AMD knows it, and that's why this morning's announcement of the Radeon HD 7790 came with a straightforward promise: the ability to play the latest games at 1080p with high detail settings for a maximum outlay of $149. Such claims can't be waved around without being tested, and indeed The Tech Report, HotHardware, Bit.tech and other sites have just returned their verdicts. Read on for our review roundup.
Let's start with the upsides: pretty much all the sites listed here found that the Radeon HD 7790 met their expectations, providing a sensible compromise between the cheaper 7770 and the more expensive 7850 and generally staying toe-to-toe with NVIDIA's similarly priced GTX 650 Ti. The Tech Report found that the card coped admirably with Lara Croft's hair at 1080p with High details settings, far outpacing the 7770 with an average frame rate of 54 fps and also more consistent smoothness. Titles like Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and The Witcher 2 were hiccup-free at around 40 fps. HotHardware reported that the 7790-based cards it tested were "very quiet" and ran cool compared to other options -- in fact, it ran even cooler under load than the 7770.
And now the bad news: some games and resolutions are simply beyond the capacity of graphics cards at this price point. According to Bit.tech, Crysis 3 runs at just 21fps at 1080p with Very High detail settings, and the only consolation is that a 1GB GTX 650 Ti can't play the game either. Don't expect to go beyond 1080p either: HotHardware found that Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs both fell far below 30fps at 1,920 x 1,200, for example. Meanwhile, all these games -- even Crysis 3 at Medium settings -- ran smoothly on the Radeon HD 7850, which leads us to think we'd probably still stretch to that GPU if it popped up at a good price.
In any case, check out the full reviews and charts before making your mind up:
Read -- HotHardware
Read -- The Tech Report
Read -- Bit.tech
Read -- Hexus
Read -- Tom's Hardware
Read -- AnandTech