As sure as snow in winter or sun in summer, AMD has yet another refresh to its graphics card portfolio this spring. The Radeon HD 6790 is only a couple of misplaced digits away from the far more illustrious HD 6970, but you should be able to tell the two apart by another, altogether more significant spec: the new mid-tier card retails at $149. Predictably, its performance offers no threat to AMD's single-GPU flagship, but the 6790's 840MHz graphics and shader clock speeds plus 1GB of GDDR5 running at an effective 4.2GHz data rate don't seem like anything to sniff at either. Reviewers agreed that it's AMD's slightly delayed answer to NVIDIA's GTX 460, and with the latter card exiting retail availability to make room for the (oddly enough) less powerful GTX 550 Ti, AMD's new solution looks set to be the better choice at the shared $149 price point. Alas, being limited to 800 Stream processors and 16 ROPs does expose the HD 6790 to being cannibalized by AMD's own Radeon HD 6850 (which can be had for sub-$150 if you're tolerant of rebates) and that turns out to be exactly what happens. A solid card, then, but one that would require an even lower price dip to make economic sense. Benchmarks await below.
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Radeon HD 6790 sneaks in at under $150, leaves reviewers wanting more for the money
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