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First of all, thanks a lot to HIS for giving us the opportunity to review this video card.

About HIS

HIS is a graphics card company that primarily builds ATI-based products. They are a Christian company as well. This is part of their company statement: "HIS was established in 1987 with the mission to produce the highest quality graphics cards in the industry. Besides strong devotion to excellent products and services, HIS has been conducting business with the aim to "Glorifying God". Honesty and integrity are the two key principals of how HIS are conducted. Ethical business practice has been an everyday commitment to our clients, vendors, and investors." Most of us pick a video card based purely on chipset and price. It's good to see HIS is more than a typical ATI card manufacturer - they have a mission that CCG can agree with. Even so, this review is based on the quality of the product reviewed; no unnecessary bias has gone into the review process.

HIS HD 7770
*1000MHz core clock
*1GB GDDR5 128bit interface
*Memory Clock 1375MHz
*PCI Express 3 support
*DirectX 11.1 support
*Shader Model 5
*OpenGL 4.2 support
*HDMI 1.4a, Display Port 1.2, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

The Comparison

HIS HD 7750
*800MHz core clock
*1GB GDDR3 128bit interface
*Memory Clock 1125MHz
*PCI Express 3 support
*DirectX 11.1 support
*Shader Model 5
*OpenGL 4.2 support
*HDMI 1.4a, Display Port 1.2, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

HIS HD 5870
*850mhz core clock
*1GB GDDR5 256bit interface
*Memory Clock 1200MHz (4.8GHz effective)
*PCI Express 2.1 Support
*DirectX 11 support
*Shader Model 5
*OpenGL 3.1 support
*HDMI,DVI, HDTV 1080p support

HIS HD 5570
*650MHz core clock
*1GB GDDR3 128bit interface
*Memory Clock 1800MHz
*PCI Express 2.1 Support
*DirectX 11 support
*Shader Model 5
*OpenGL 3.1 support
*HDMI, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

Asus GTX560 (factory over clocked)
*810MHz core clock
*1024MB GDDR3 256bit interface
*Memory Clock 1002MHz
*PCI Express 2.0, takes 2 slots
*DirectX 11 support
*OpenGL 4.1 support
*Dual DVI

Benchmark System

*Intel Core i7 860 2.8GHz
*Gigabyte P55-UD4P motherboard
*OCZ 8GB DDR3-133
*Seagate 160GB 7200RPM
*Creative Labs X-Fi

We ran the benchmarks using a 64 bit version of Windows 7 Professional. Windows gave the 7770 a 7.5 rating in desktop and gaming graphics. With the exception of 3DMark 11, most of these benchmarks were ran at 1920x1200 wide screen resolution. The NVIDIA driver used was 285.62 and the ATI cards used a beta 12.1 driver provided by HIS.

3DMark 11

These results were obtained using the performance test at the default resolution of 1280x720. The HD 7770 (turquoise) gets a respectable score and beats the 7750 with room to spare.

Heaven Benchmark 2.5

Unigine’s Heaven Benchmark was the first to incorporate Direct X 11. The HD 7770’s new processing design beats the powerful HD 5870, thanks to vastly improved tessellation performance. The GTX 560 doesn’t have that much of a lead.

Cinebench 11.5

Cinebench is a great tool for testing Open GL performance. The HD 7000 series are the only models that feature OpenGL 4.2 support. In this test it slightly trails the 7750 by a fraction of a frame per second; they basically tied. Smaller differences in video card performance must not greatly affect this benchmark.

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 will bring any powerful system down to its knees. We had the graphics maxed and recorded the temperatures and frames per second using a beta version of MSI’s afterburner software. All of the video cards struggled here. The HD 7770 is playable but not recommended with an average of 29FPS. The 5570’s performance was painful to watch. The HD 7770’s idle temperature was 36 degrees Celsius and BF3 brought it up to 52 degrees.

Skyrim

Skyrim is a popular game that offers enhanced textures to make video cards work even harder. The 7770 averages close to thirty five frames per second and is playable with the graphics set to Ultra. The temperature stayed at a reasonable 46 degrees. Battles were unpleasant with the HD 5570.

Dirt 3

Dirt 2 was one of the first games to support Direct X 11 and we love games that offer built in benchmarks. Dirt 3 does not disappoint; the benchmark shows more snow than dirt making it pretty to watch. The HD 7770 gives a playable performance averaging 37 FPS which is more than half of the GTX560’s output.

Crysis Warhead

This venerable Crytek engine still punishes video cards to this day. These cards struggled. This benchmark was run under the Very High setting which is not recommended; the GTX560 and HD 5870 tied at 29FPS. I wouldn’t attempt to play Crysis on the 7770, but if you insist, you might want to consider lowering the detail.

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV has a unique cell shaded, comic book style look to it. Most of the cards did well and the HD 7770 is just shy of 100FPS. The moves go by so fast in benchmark mode, but with the HD 5570, you can see every move done at a realistic speed. It was the only card to get a D rating. The 7770 earned it’s A.

Conclusion

While the HIS HD 7770 can hold its own in popular games, its strength lies in its new architecture, with its improved processing power and multimedia features. The improved processing power was really evident in the Heaven benchmark with its heavy tessellation. I was very impressed that it did better than the much more powerful 5870 in this area. The HDMI 1.4a feature that this card supports includes not only 4k video output, but stereoscopic 3D. With a price tag of $150, this is a great card for budget gamers that will handle many popular titles with ease. Like many cards in this price bracket, you’ll have to scale down the graphics with game engines infamous for crippling PC’s.

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