Sapphire HD7730 hits SA: review roundup

Sapphire Radeon HD7730 header hardware

AMD has been working hard on a successor to their incredibly popular budget graphics card, the Radeon HD6670.

The HD7730 is the result of work done by AMD’s engineers, and its timing is particularly crucial to the arrival of Kaveri later in 2013.

The Radeon HD7730 is a completely new design based on the Graphics Core Next architecture (GCN), and uses both DDR3 and GDDR5 memory technologies to fit into different price ranges.

Its primary purpose will be for use in a dual-graphics configuration with future AMD Kaveri APUs, themselves packing GCN cores on the same die as the processor.

While we are still waiting for a broader range of pricing from SA retailers, a good price starting point for consideration is around R1,000 for the Radeon HD7730.

Geforce GT640 Radeon HD6670 Radeon HD7730 Radeon HD7750
Shader cores  384  480  384  512
Texture units  32  24  24  32
Manufacturing process
 28nm  40nm  28nm  28nm
Core clock speed  900MHz  800MHz  800MHz  800MHz
Memory clock speed
 891MHz (DDR3)  900MHz (DDR3), 900-1000MHz (GDDR5)  900MHz (DDR3), 1125MHz (GDDR5) 1125MHz (GDDR5)
Memory bus size  128-bit  128-bit  128-bit  128-bit
Memory bandwidth
 28.5GB/s (DDR3)  28.8GB/s (DDR3), 64GB/s (GDDR5)  28.8GB/s (DDR3), 72GB/s (GDDR5)  72GB/s (GDDR5)
TDP  65W  44W (DDR3), 60W (GDDR5)  47W  55W
RRP (US $)  $80 – $140  $60 – $98  $60  $90 – $155

The HD7730 is cheaper than the DDR3 version of the competing Radeon HD6670 and the Geforce GT640; those two cards are more expensive, more power-hungry, and slower than the HD7730.

The HD7730 will come with either 2GB of DDR3 memory or 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The DDR3 version is somewhat redundant, however, because it has less than half the memory bandwidth, limiting the card’s true performance to just slightly faster than its competitors.

In benchmarks, the GDDR5 version finds itself on average 20% faster than the HD6670 when comparing DDR3 variants, while the GDDR5 adds another 30% on top of that.

There is a noticeable gap between it and the HD7750, with the higher-end card being 50% faster on average. Compared to the GT640, it’s only 10% faster, but is much cheaper and more efficient.

Glowing reviews

Reviews of the Sapphire HD7730 have been positive, with it being crowned the new super-low budget king for the time being.

Tom’s Hardware noted that the Sapphire HD7730’s success hinged on its price, and given time, it may drop below $60.

KitGuru found the card to be a remarkably capable performer even at 1080p with modern games, although they recommended sticking to 720p for more consistent performance. They awarded the card with their “Worth Buying” award.

Reviews: Toms Hardware, Kitguru

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Sapphire HD7730 hits SA: review roundup

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