Sapphire doubles memory for hot-clocked Radeon HD 7790


— 6:00 AM on April 16, 2013

Just a few weeks after the release of AMD's Radeon HD 7790 graphics card, Sapphire has rolled out a second hot-clocked edition. The existing "OC" model combines a 1075MHz GPU speed with 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 6.4GT/s—modest improvements over the reference config's 1GHz GPU clock and 6GT/s memory. For an encore, Sapphire has whipped up a 2GB OC edition that doubles the onboard memory. This new model has the same memory speed as its 1GB counterpart, but the GPU runs 25MHz slower, at 1050MHz.

The 2GB card also has an updated cooler; the heatsink is connected to a metal plate covering the memory chips on the back of the circuit board. Sapphire says this design improves "PCB rigidity" and lowers memory temperatures by as much as 13°C.

While the back plate is a nice touch, the cooler doesn't look as beefy as the unit affixed to the 1GB OC card. That cooler has dual fans, but just a single spinner is nestled in the heatsink adorning the 2GB model. Perhaps that's why the GPU on that card runs just a tad slower.

Both versions of the Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 OC have DisplayPort, HDMI, and dual DVI outputs. Thanks to the firm's FleX tech, you can run three-way Eyefinity setups without using the DisplayPort out. Even with 2GB of memory, though, the 7790 doesn't have enough horsepower to run the latest games at the ultra-high resolutions possible with triple-display configs. Heck, you probably don't need more than a gig of video RAM to play the latest games on a single 1080p monitor. However, with the PlayStation 4 packing 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, future titles may be more capable of exploiting additional graphics memory.

Sapphire's press release doesn't mention a price for the 2GB card, but I'd expect it to ring in a little higher than the 1GB version, which is currently selling for $160. The only other 2GB variant of the 7790 I see at Newegg is a Gigabyte card priced at $170. Those prices include two free games, by the way. Thanks to the latest incarnation of AMD's Never Settle Reloaded bundles, anyone who buys a Radeon HD 7790 is entitled to download codes for BioShock Infinite and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.

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