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::>Graphics cards > 2012 > 04 > MSI R7770-2PMD1GD5/OC

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12-04-2012


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Overview and testing the video card MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC

Since the official presentation of graphics cards AMD Radeon HD 7770 has been almost two months ago, and all the major partners of the giant graphic from Sunnyvale have managed to present their alternative version of the video cards based on Radeon HD 7770, which is a central part of the 28 nm GPU with code-named Cape Verde XT. Despite the fact that in terms of pure performance, the price for these products continues to be a little high ($ 160) in the absence of direct competitors of the "green" camp, graphics cards based on Radeon HD 7770 are well-deserved popularity among users. The target audience for these video cards are the gamers who do not plan to spend too much money to upgrade the graphics subsystem, but they also need a modern solution that can provide a comfortable frame rate in the current game projects in the resolution of Full HD at medium and high image quality settings . Among the other advantages of AMD Radeon HD 7770 (which we discussed in a separate article in more detail), it should be noted the progressive architecture GCN (Graphics Core Next), low power consumption and heat dissipation, which provided a transition to a thin 28-nm process technology, support of a number of proprietary technologies AMD (Eyefinity 2.0, ZeroCore, Power Tune, HD3D) and ultra high resolution displays.

Today, in our test lab we got video MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC (R7770-2PMD1GD5/OC) , which differs from similar solutions, primarily through the use of a proprietary cooling system and the availability of a factory overclock, the as evidenced by the prefix «OC» in its name.

Model

MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC
( MSI R7770-2PMD1GD5/OC)

GPU

ATI Radeon HD 7770

Supported API

Microsoft DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2

Support for proprietary technologies

CrossFireX, Avivo HD, Eyefinity 2.0, AMD HD3D, AMD Power Play, Zero Core

The number of pipelines

640 unified

Core Clock, MHz

1020

Memory Frequency (effective) MHz

1125 (4500)

The amount of memory MB

1024

The memory bus, bit

128

The type of memory

GDDR5

Bus type

PCI-E 3.0 x16

Maximum resolution

Up to 2560x1600 Dual-link DVI
Up to 2048x1536 VGA (via adapter)
Up to 4096x2160 HDMI (2560x1600 in 3D
mode)
Up to 4096x2160 DisplayPort

I/O ports

1x DVI-I Dual-Link DVI
1x HDMI 1.4a
2x mini DisplayPort

Support for HDCP and HD-video decoding

There are
protocol support Unified Video Decoder 3.0, Video Codec Engine, the ability to play Blu-ray 3D

Dimensions, mm

236 x 111

Downloads

New drivers can be downloaded from
- the manufacturer's website GPU
- from the site support.

Website

http://ua.msi.com/

From the table with the specifications, we see that this is a slightly revised version of a graphics accelerator based on the AMD Radeon HD 7770. Almost all of the characteristics of this solution coincides with the recommended specifications for AMD's reference Radeon HD 7770, and the exception is only increased by 20 MHz graphics core frequency. Of course, the factory-overclocked GPU to 2% will not significantly affect the level of performance of this product, but at the same time, the positioning of the video as "overclocked" allows the manufacturer to set a little higher price for it. Also it should be noted that for those who are not willing to overpay for a factory overclocking, can use a model MSI Radeon HD 7770 (MSI R7770-2PMD1GD5), which is initially operating at the manufacturer's recommended GPU frequencies and has a slightly lower cost. About the original cooling system, which, in essence, is the most important feature of MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC, will be discussed in the relevant section of our review, and begin our acquaintance, traditionally, with a study package.

A box of medium size, which supplied video card has a concise, but at the same time, nice design. On the front side, in addition to the model's index and the utility company's logo MSI Afterburner, there is a list of supported video card technology and mention of the fact that this version is overclocked graphics accelerator. A small icon is also reported that the production of graphics used the solid capacitors, and it should have a positive impact on the lifetime and stability of the video card.

Back of the packaging is more informative: here you can see the minimum system requirements for the computer on which you plan to install MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC, and the main characteristics of the product, which are presented in 29 languages (including Russian). Note that the power supply system with a video card MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC must have a capacity of not less than 450 watts and be equipped with a 6-pin power connector PCI-E Power.

A package content of the card MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC can not be called rich, which is broadly related with the positioning of this unit. At the same time, there are no any special complaints about, after all the most essential accessories that customers may need during the operation, are presented:

  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • Instructions for installing and using video;
  • The adapter mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort;
  • The adapter DVI-to-VGA;
  • Power adapter with two 4-pin peripheral to single 6-pin video card power.

It should be noted that the bridge CrossFireX, intended to combine two graphics cards based on GPUs AMD Radeon HD for common calculations, was absent in the bundle, but some parties of MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC (R7770-2PMD1GD5/OC) include this staff accessory.

To display the image to monitor, the video card MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC provides the following interfaces:

  • 1x Dual-Link DVI;
  • 1x HDMI 1.4a (with the possibility of transmission of 7.1-channel surround sound and 3D-images 1080p);
  • 2x mini DisplayPort 1.2.

Сonsidering the presence of two adapters, the user should have no problems with connecting the monitor, plasma display or projector. It is important that solutions based on Radeon HD 7770 support work with monitors and LCDs with ultra high resolution (7,680 × 4,320 pixels), which is in the present moment is a good stepping stone for the future. Also recall that, thanks to the support of technology AMD Eyefinity 2.0, you can connect this graphics accelerator up to 6 monitors with a total resolution of 8192 x 8192 pixels, however, to connect more than three devices to output the image, you will need to purchase additional active adapters.

The printed circuit board of graphics accelerator MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC carried out in dark brown color and has a length of 236 mm, which can be installed in virtually any modern gaming chassis format Middle-Tower. Design and layout of the PCB in general is similar to any "standard" model, developed by engineers of AMD. However, some developers have improved the basic elements, replacing some part of the capacitors in the power system stabilization of the GPU on solid, which should positively affect the durability and stability of the card.

Voltage regulator circuit is not changed in comparison with "reference" and is also made to the formula 3+1 phase using a PWM controller L6788A manufactured by STMicroelectronics, which has been used for many models based on AMD Radeon HD 5770 - a very popular predecessor, Radeon HD 7770.

In order to supply power to MSI Radeon HD 7770 OC, in addition to bus PCI Express 3.0, used a 6-pin connector, which passed to the back edge of the printed circuit board.

The presence of connectors for CrossFireX bridge allows you to combine two graphics cards based on graphics processors AMD Radeon HD 7770 for the joint calculations of graphical effects. For many users, much easier to buy a midrange card, and later "upgrade" the graphics subsystem, acquiring another accelerator for CrossFireX mode, than rather to buy a powerful graphics card game at once.

The other side of the PCB is almost devoid of the elements except for the PWM controller, and several other components of the module VRM.

This is how looks the graphics chip Cape Verde, made at rates of 28 nm process, which is considered a central part of the video card. It incorporates 640 unified processors and 16 ROP units, and the exchange of data between the graphics core and memory via 128-bit bus. The screenshot above shows its main characteristics.

ASIC Quality Indicator for the test card was 78.3%. Recall that the high value of this parameter indicates a low supply voltage of the GPU and offers hope for the best overclocking with air and liquid cooling. At the same time to experiment with overclocking with extreme cooling methods (liquid nitrogen, helium, dry ice) is better suited to low graphics ASIC Quality.

Standard GDDR5 video memory of 1 GB is typed using four chips of 256 MB manufactured by Hynix. The chips are labeled H5GQ2H24MFR T2C, and according to the documentation can operate at an effective rate of up to 6 GHz. Given that the memory card in the test was originally clocked at 4500 MHz, it makes sense to try to accelerate it in the process of manual overclocking.

As we noted at the beginning of the review, a proprietary cooling system is an important feature of this card.

The cooler consists of an aluminum heat sink of the original form with good fins and a plastic housing with built-in tandem of Power Logic 80 mm fans labeled as PLD08010S12HH and support for PWM speed control.

For a better distribution of heat throughout the area of the radiator in its design used a copper heat pipe with an inner cross section of 6 mm. The graphic processor has a contact with a heat pipe directly through a small layer of thermal paste, which should provide a more efficient cooling.

At the same time, the power of supply chains and memory chips have no contact with the main radiator and cooled by air stream, which generated by the fans.

To assess the effectiveness of the cooling system, we conducted our tests with a standard set of utility MSI Kombustor . Tests were conducted in two modes of cooler's work: automatic control and maximum fan speed.

In the automatic mode at full load GPU temperature does not exceed the mark of 74 degrees, which is good but not outstanding result, given the low heat generation 28-nm graphics chip Cape Verde XT. At the same time the fans were working at 67% capacity, producing a low noise level, which is only slightly stood out against the background of the system.

After we installed the fan speed to maximum and have tested one more time, we recorded a reduction in the maximum GPU temperature of 5 degrees, which does not imply a significant "safety margin" applicable CS, which could be used in the process manual overclocking. The level of noise emitted by the cooler in this mode is described as "above average" and its clearly audible in the background of the other components of the system.

In the absence of the load, the frequency of the GPU and the memory is automatically lowered, resulting in even lower power consumption and heat dissipation. The cooler is in this mode operates almost silently, and the temperature of the GPU does not exceed 33 degrees mark.


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