XFX recently moved focus to AMD cards after their long term relation with NVIDIA ended late last year. The Radeon 6000 series of cards from AMD is where XFX has focused over the past year. The Radeon 6790 GPU lies half way through the AMD Radeon 6000 family of cards. Priced at under Rs. 10,000, cards based on this GPU are designed for entry-level gaming rigs built with a budget of roughly Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 40,000.
The XFX Radeon HD6790, like any other stock Radeon 6790 runs at 840 MHz. There’s 1GB of DDR5 memory onboard it which is connected using a 256-bit bus. Onboard the GPU are 800 stream processors, 40 texture units, 64 ROP units and 16 colour ROP units all of which work in tandem to render the visuals we see on screen. The Radeon 6000 series was believed to be an all-new architecture and the hardware on the 6790 is a scaled down version of the faster cards in the family.
Plenty of connectivity options at the rear
In terms of connectivity, there are two DVI ports at the rear and a full-sized HDMI port and two mini DisplayPorts connectors at the rear. Support for 3D is present and obviously HDMI is spec-ed up to 1.4a to support 3D displays. 2-way CrossFire is also possible with a second card. The card allows you to connect up to four displays to it.
The usual black XFX PCB and the Crossfire connect in place
The Radeon 6790 needs two six-pin power connectors to run. In all, it’s estimated that the HD6790 requires roughly 150W of juice to run. A 450W to 500W power supply is a bare minimum if you’re running a decently configured system.
In design, it’s different from the reference Radeon HD6790 design which has the fan on one extreme. The XFX card has the fan in the centre The XFX Radeon HD6790 is a pretty long card. The heatsink and fan on the card are much smaller than the card but the plastic covering makes it look larger than it really is.
Two six-pin power connectors required to drive the card
The card takes up two entire slots. The heatsink embedded in the card cools only the GPU. There are heatpipes that run along the fins on the heatsink for better heat distribution and dissipation.
The performance of the XFX Radeon HD6790 is somewhat comparable to other cards in its price range. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX550 Ti is its closest rival. In the recent comparison test, we tested a bunch of these cards and frame rates across games ranged between 50 to the 80s in 1680×1050 resolution. This is a very playable frame rate for a card that is primarily a budget solution. This kind of frame rate should easily enable you to push the card to resolutions of 1920×1200. 3D Mark Vantage gave a respectable score of 13,914. Performance in games such as Resident Evil 5, Dirt 2 and Just Cause 2 end up being more impressive than some of the other cards. Mafia 2 and Far Cry 2 in comparison end up with lower scores than the GeForce GTX550 Ti cards.
Temperatures while running the card were a bit on the higher side. On idle, temperatures hover around 54C, which although higher than other cards is in within the acceptable range. On load, temperatures rise to roughly 77C, which is higher than what you get on a GeForce GTX550 Ti from Sparkle or Galaxy.
The XFX HD6790 ends up being the fastest card you buy for under Rs. 8,000. With a pretty solid design and an equally solid performance in most tests, the only complaint we have is the temperature under load.
Larger than you'd expect
If you’re building a budget gaming rig and are looking for a graphics card that can be accommodated within Rs. 35,000, this card is for you. If you want to see how it compares to all of the other cards in this price range, check out the entire comparison test.
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