HIS HD 7750 GPU Review

AMD recently came out with its Tahiti and Graphics Core Next architecture with a bang in the HD 7970 and HD 7950. Today, HIS released the first of at least two mainstream cards, the HIS HD 7750. We are going to put the card through its paces and see how it fares in our testing.

Specifications and Features

Below are some slides (Courtesy AMD) showing the some of the features and architecture of the card. The 7700 series of cards come equipped with the “Cape Verde” graphics core which utilizes all of the features as the 7900 series cards do including  ”Graphics Core Next”, but with disabled stream processors, ROPS, and memory bandwidth. This translates in to a more efficient and powerful clock for clock solution versus previous generation mid-range cards, including a large boost in compute power versus the previous generation.

You can see a few more details on this architecture from a great article at Anandtech.com.

Graphics Core Next Architecture

Graphics Core Next Architecture (AMD)

Cape Verde Core up to Tahiti

Cape Verde Core up to Tahiti (AMD)

"Never Settle"

"Never Settle"

Looking at the slide/table below, you see its 28 nm, 1.5 billion transistor die has 512 stream processors, a core clock of 800 MHz, and memory coming in at 1125 MHz. Board power is coming in at a very low 55 W. This is so low in fact that all power comes from the slot so there is no need for external power sources. I tried to get a GPUz screenshot of the card, with version 5.9 but it wouldn’t read a thing on it! No clock speeds, BIOS, barely anything.

Specifications (AMD)

Specifications (AMD)

HIS HD 7750 Specifications
Process 28 nm
Transistors 1.5 billion
Engine Clock 800 MHz
Stream Processors 512
Compute Performance 819 GFlops
Texture Units 32
Texture Fillrate 25.6 GT/s
ROPs 16
Pixel Fillrate 12.8
Z/Stencil 64
Memory Type 1 GB GDDR5
Memory Clock 1,125 MHz (4500 MHz)
Memory Data Rate 4.5 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 72 GB/s
Typical Board Power 55 W
AMD ZeroCore Power <3 W

Photo Op

The first shots you see here are the HIS retail packaging. On the front is an Excalibur sword along with the mention of its maximum resolution, memory type and quantity as well as showing off the PCIe3 badge. On the backside of the box it goes in to a few more details about the features such as SM5, 7.1 Audio, OpenGL 4.2, as well as listing the suggested PSU requirement (400 W+). Inside the retail packing is a black box holding the card, driver disk (not pictured), and DVI to HDMI adapter. It fits nice and snug inside its foam packing made specifically for the card. So there shouldn’t be any worries so long as the courier doesn’t decide to play soccer with your package before getting to your home, but no amount of appropriate packaging would prevent that kind of abuse anyway.

Retail Packaging - Front

Retail Packaging - Front

HIS Retail Packaging - Rear

HIS Retail Packaging - Rear

Box in a box

Box in a box

HIS 7750 sitting snug in its home

HIS 7750 sitting snug in its home

Well folks, there she is…her diminutive little self. I can say it’s been a long time since I owned a card that was this short and looks pretty quaint on the test bench compared to the other monsters that have sat there before. This is your first glance at the iCool cooler from HIS. According to HIS, the iCool cooler is less than 28 dB while in 2D mode. While I don’t have any equipment to measure dB levels, I do know it’s hardly audible at idle even if it’s the only fan running on the PC. With any other fan running this cards noise just seems to vanish. One thing to note is that the memory is not actively cooled by the heatsink, but two of them are VERY close to touching it. It almost appears as if a thermal pad should be there, but isn’t. Regardless, I’m sure they don’t put out a lot of heat, but that doesn’t leave much high hope for overclocking it perhaps. Much ado about nothing on the rear of the card. One thing that you haven’t seen on this card is a PCIe power plug. This card is powered by the slot only. Taking a look at the outputs in the third picture, you can see 1x DVI (2560 x 1600 max resolution), 1x HDMI 1.4a (4096 x 3112 max resolution), and 1x DisplayPort 1.2 (4096 x 2160 /display).

HIS HD7750 with iCool cooler

HIS HD7750 with iCool cooler

Rear

Rear

Outputs (1x DVI, 1x HDMI1.4a, Display Port 1.2)

Outputs (1x DVI, 1x HDMI1.4a, Display Port 1.2)

Now it’s time to strip off its heatsink and see what is going on under the hood. Not a terrible thermal paste application here, but as usual, we will clean it up and strap the cooler back on. Notice the RAM is not cooled by this setup, though the heatsink comes so close to the memory IC’s that slipping in a thermal pad between them would likely help keep the RAM cool. The next photo here is a cleaned up shot of the core. On this particular die, I do not see any markings a mere mortal such as myself can decipher what is actually under the hood outside of what HIS tells us. But here she is in all her 28 nm shiny glory! Next to the core shot is the memory chips, which are made by Hynix. When looking up the number on these IC’s we find it is the same ones in the 7950 PCS+ that we reviewed here. At 1.5 V, that memory is rated for 1250 MHz. Even though the 7950 article doesn’t show it (published before I really pushed on the memory), this same vRAM went up to a stunning 1800 MHz on the 7950!!

HIS HD7750 with heatsink removed

HIS HD7750 with heatsink removed

"Cape Verde" up close and personal

"Cape Verde" up close and personal

Hynix GDDR5 up close and personal

Hynix GDDR5 up close and personal

Performance and Overclocking

Test System

  • Intel i7-2600K CPU (Overclockers.com Approved!)
  • Asus Maximus IV Extreme
  • G.Skill RipjawsX 2 x 4 GB 2133 MHz CL7 @ 1.65 V
  • OCZ 60 GB Vertex 2 SSD (Overclockers.com Approved!)
  • Seasonic 1 kW Platinum PSU
  • HIS HD 7750
  • Windows 7 64 bit Operating System
  • Catalyst 12.1 (8.932.2)

Benchmarking Method/Settings

  • All Synthetic benchmarks were at their default settings
  • Alien vs. Predator was run at its default setting (textures high, no AA), and the highest it offered (4x AA, textures set to highest)
  • Hawx 2 was run at a resolution of 1920×1080 with 8x AA and every setting at its highest (DX10)
  • Dirt 2 was run at a resolution of 1920×1080 with 8x AA/16x AF and all settings at their highest
  • Stalker: COP was run at a resolution of 1920×1080 using Ultra settings, 4x AA with tessellation enabled using the Sunshafts portion of the benchmark only
  • Unigine Heaven (HWbot) was run with the “extreme” setting

Test bench

Test bench

Synthetic Benchmarks

Taking a look at the metrics here, this card handily beats out the 6750 in 03 and 06 putting up 54.8k scores at stock in 03 and 17.5k in 06. This card really puts a hurting on the 6750 in 03, which is surprisingly still a GPU-heavy benchmark. Those are pretty respectable scores though for a such a diminutive (physically) card. Although it’s clearly not a direct translation, it does allude that it can play some older titles fairly well. We will see a bit later if that does translate.

3DMark 03

3DMark 03

3DMark 06

3DMark 06

Moving on to benchmarks that are a bit more modern, The Song Remains the Same (love Led Zepplin!) with the 7750 besting the 6750 by almost 18% in Vantage and 15% in 3DMark 11. In Heaven, this card simply put a hurting on the 6750 at almost 48% better. Seems like the Graphics Core Next is showing up the GLIW architecture from the previous generation so far. Again, we will see a bit later how this translates to tessellation heavy games.

3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage

3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Heaven (Hwbot)

Heaven (Hwbot)

Game Benchmarks

Aliens vs. Predator is a DX11 game using tessellation. Looking at these results, the FPS for the High Quality tests at 1920 x 1080 don’t come close to 30 FPS. You would have to lower the resolution and likely disable AA to get to 30 FPS here. The good thing about this benchmark is we run it at two different settings. Without AA and one ‘notch’ lower texture settings, this becomes ‘playable’ when overclocked.

Dirt 2 is a DX11 title as well, using tessellation on some textures such as banners, the crowd, and water making things a bit more realistic. This game is wholly playable with the settings cranked getting over 41 FPS average on the benchmark. Hawx 2, to nobody’s surprise is playable without the tessellation being used. Even with it on, the frame rates would still be WELL over playable. The last game in this testing is Stalker: Call of Pripyat. Another DX11 tessellation heavy game. At the settings we test, the FPS are below our magic 30 FPS threshold, but barely when overclocked. Again, jumping down a notch on the settings or the resolution will likely yield a pretty good game experience.

Dirt 2

Dirt 2

HAWX 2

HAWX 2

Stalker: Call of Prypat

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

Temperatures/Cooling/Power Consumption

At the time of publishing, I am unable to get any temperature readings from this card outside of CCC, so no maximum readings here as there is no logging in CCC. I tried the latest version of GPUz, Afterburner, and TriXX, and none would show any sensor information. I’m sure support for these cards won’t be a long time coming. CCC showed this card to idle at 33 °C with 39% fan which was inaudible to me over three Yate Loons at 800 RPM. After running 3DMark11 fully overclocked, I jumped out as soon as I could to see the temperature at 49 °C. Again, I am not sure what the peak temperature was. Getting in to the power side of things, as you have read/seen above, this board does not have any external power source, it all comes from the PCIe slot. The slides state typical board power around 55 W which is well under the 75 W maximum the slot can give. Using 3DMark11 and the system noted above at stock speeds, power consumption peaked at 147 W in the combined test (as it uses the CPU heavily as well) at stock speeds. So if you are gaming with this system at stock, this should be a worst case type number your system will draw from the wall. In the graphics tests the system peaked at 142 W.

Pushing the Limits

Due to the limits of any software overclocking, I was only able to push the core to 900 MHz and the memory to 1250 MHz. So any boost here will be solely from the CPU. With that fact staring me down, I did not even run these tests as it is not an accurate reflection of the card in the synthetic tests, and most game benchmarks did not respond to the CPU speed increase much anyway. As soon as updated software becomes available, I will update in the comments section.

Conclusion

Being a hardcore enthusiast, it’s awfully tough to wrap my head around a mainstream card these days. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the results here. The HIS HD 7750 is able to play some of the titles with settings on their highest at 1920 x 1080 and accomplishing achieving playable frame rates such as Dirt2 and HawX2. Yet a couple of others showed like in Alien vs. Predator with the highest settings, things were getting a little shaky and dropping below the magical 30 FPS mark which many deem the line in the sand for playable frame rates. This card isn’t supposed to be able to pound through games with the settings at their highest. It’s a mid-range gaming card and with that either a lower resolution can be used, or turning the settings down a bit in modern games will help bring the frame rates back up. It does handily beat its predecessor (if only by name) the 6750 in nearly all tests. So it uses less power by almost 20% and performs better. With pricing on this card coming in between $100-200 (according to AMD slides), and I’m guessing much closer to $100, you have a pretty solid card so long as your expectations are cognizant of the class of card the HD 7750 fills. You will not be able to play some of the latest GPU crushing titles like BF3 with the highest settings and loads of AA at 1920 x 1080 without things falling below 30 FPS as an average. Turning settings down a notch or two will need to happen to get the most enjoyable gaming experience. Older games, or ones that are not as hard on the GPU, will yield even better results. The overclocker in me is hopeful that the hardware used will allow for software voltage additions to push on the clocks even more. With or without the additional overclocking, and as long as this card is no more than $150, but preferably lower, you have a solid budget gaming card.

~Earthdog

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23 Comments:

57udl3y's Avatar
I can't see past "Photo Op" anyone else?
Mjolnir's Avatar
Same issue here. Lol. o.O
DavidJa's Avatar
same here just tried in firefox and ie it just cuts off mid sentence.
txus.palacios's Avatar
It looks like something blew up on editor mode?
David's Avatar
Me neither, taking a look now.
David's Avatar
Looks like half of the article got lost between the final revision and publication. I've dug up the most recent complete revision and updated the article.

Hopefully we should be sorted now! Apologies for this.
Janus67's Avatar
Nice review, Joe.

While reading the Anandtech review of the hardware, it looks to be decent as long as you aren't pushing it at high res or high settings. Then again it looks to be more of an HTPC card as well and not really made for high-end gaming.

At least price/performance wise at around $100 it may fit in a bit better than the 7770 that can't beat a 6850 for the same (or cheaper) price. Although for about the same price the 550ti beats the 7750 in pretty much every benchmark.


Also, it looks like (due to the publishing issue) that the BF3 results weren't included. Also the signature line at the very end is messed up.
Mjolnir's Avatar
^To be fair though; the GTX 550 Ti requires a 6-pin connector. This card requires none. So performance/watt ratio is solid.
Roachgod's Avatar
I wonder if the card will overclock well or if it may be constrained by the supply from the pci bus instead of having a 6 or 8 pin power connector also.
Mjolnir's Avatar
Well the OC seemed to be constrained by the limits of CCC. So perhaps with a tiny voltage boost you could hit 1ghz? And allow it to perform a lot better?
moocow's Avatar
The card is limited by the power it recieves from the pcie power connector. I found that out through testing mine. If you slap something like an untouchables onto it, I'm sure it could clock to the moon much like the 7970.
Aldakoopa's Avatar
7770 and 7750 are cheap and powerful. I'm impressed. I wish I hadn't just built my computer now so I could get a mobo with PCIE 3.0 and one of those cards. Oh well, when the time comes to upgrade in the future I'll have even more powerful choices.
manu2b's Avatar
Nice review again Joe!
azuza001's Avatar
I ordered this card this morning to drop into my old Gateway HTPC system. It's running an old Phenom 9650 with 3 gigs of ram and a 2400 pro (ugh) and I'm hoping for it to allow my girl to be able to play Skyrim. Great review, now I have a better idea of what to expect from it.
pwnmachine's Avatar
Another great review from the dawg.
freakdiablo's Avatar
Looks like you were right about the price being close to $100 - 3 are on newegg, the HIS one you reviewed and an Asus card for $110, and an MSI card with a dual slot cooler for $120. Good price for the numbers it's putting up.
MattNo5ss's Avatar
I was curious about performance per dollar, so I'll just leave this here...

105600
Mjolnir's Avatar
110? That'd be worth it.. Over here the 7770 costs 180.. Which is 10 more than a better performing HD 6870. I can only estimate the HD 7750 to be around 150-160. Ish. Sigh. Our HD7970 Asus Direct Cu II model just came in too.. At 770 dollars. lolwut. ><
Janus67's Avatar
While those numbers are almost always true (low to midrange cards are better performance pier dollar) I'd love to see a graph of cards that are comparable to the 7750 including yesteryear cards like the 6850, etc.
MattNo5ss's Avatar
I can add 6750 and 6780, we don't have a 6850 review...

Prices at release:

105617

Cheapest current prices:

105616

Personally, if I were to decide on one of these cards, then I would probably use both the relative performance chart and the performance/$ chart together.
pinky33's Avatar
Great chart. I hope you continue to post charts like this with future cards as they come out. Both AMD and Nvidia.

Also I like charts showing watt/performance with both idle and load.

Thanks for posting this. Definitely not a chart seen on other sites often.
Janus67's Avatar
Thanks Matt, that is an excellent chart there!

I wish we had a 6850 review, but those numbers will do in a pinch
Aberration's Avatar
Neat card. Much better efficiency than my old 285GTX, but the performance isn't any better. :/

Maybe the 7770 will be an economical step up.
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