Haven already taken a look at a few HD 7770 cards and even in Crossfire I had a good idea of what to expect when we got our first HD 7750 in. Little did I know Sapphire would throw us for a curve and send their new HD 7750 Ultimate Edition. A few long time readers may remember that we have covered Ultimate Edition cards in the past and they have always ended up being good performing cards that are dead silent and almost always very cool looking cards also with their specially designed full cover heatsinks. Let’s take a look to see what Sapphire did this time with their mid-range performance card with silent performance.
Product Name: Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate
Review Sample Provided by: Sapphire
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Radeon HD 7750
PCI-E 3.0 x16
1024MB / 128-bit GDDR5
800 MHz Eclk / Effective 4500 MHz Mcl
2 slot Passive Cooler
VGA (Via included adaptor)
DVI to VGA Adaptor
Maximum Display Resolution
D-Sub (VGA): 2048 x 1536 @85 Hz.
DL-DVI-I: 2560 x 1600@60Hz
HDMI 1.4a: 4096x2160@60 Hz
Display Port 1.2 : 4096 x 2160@ 60Hz
Maximum Display Support: 6 Displays via Sapphire VID-2X
The packaging for the HD 7750 Ultimate looks like a normal Sapphire card at first glance. But you may double take when you realize that the character on the front isn’t like their other cards, this time we have a ninja, for good reason. Along with the Ninja on the front you also have a large Ultimate logo that is much larger than the Sapphire HD 7750 above it.
Around back you have a full feature breakdown taking up over half of the back. Besides the breakdown you also have a collection of award logos that Sapphire cards have received, rumor has it we may see a LanOC Award there in the future.
Inside the packaging is a cardboard box. Inside you have a cutout for the card with all of the included papers and driver disc tucked away on top. There is a small cardboard box on top that houses the included HDMI cable. The card itself is wrapped in a static protectant bag then tucked into the protective foam to keep it safe.
Warning, hot surface! Sapphire made sure to include a nice warning right on the top of the heatsink, without a fan this card is bound to end up hotter than most other cards after a hard core gaming session. With the heatsink wrapping around the top of the card touching it is a little more likely than other cards. But let’s be honest the main reason they had to put this sticker on is because everyone is going to want to touch this sexy card, it looks great!
I still hate seeing that blue PCB when black PCB’s are all the rage right now but this photo also gives you a good look at how small the HD 7750’s PCB is compared to the heatsink. You can see it overhanging over the back of the card along with how it loops over on the top. Because of that you won’t be able to pack another card right up against the HD 7750 Ultimate, not that you would want to.
The front of the card, in-between the heatsinks and above where the card bolts to the GPU itself Sapphire has included a black plate with the sapphire logo on it. This plate looks a lot like an engine cover . From this point of view you can see two of the heatpipes that pull heat out to the outside “wings” of the heatsink to help keep things cool.
The rear PCI slot has a variety of connections including DVI, HDMI, and a full sized DisplayPort. You also have a full length vent, but considering this card does not have a built in fan I don’t think that vent will be blowing out any air. I would have rather seen a second DVI connection be included in this case.
Our Test Rig
Asus Rampage IV X79 Motherboard (testing this review was done on a Gigabyte Assassin2 due to me damaging our Rampage 4 just before testing)
http://www.highspeedpc.com/ Test Bench
Kingston 1600Mhz DDR3 Quad Channel Ram
Kingston Hyper X 120 SSD’s in Raid 0
Our Testing Procedures
Battlefield Bad Company 2 (1920x1080 – high settings, first scene starting after the cut scene, recorded using fraps)
Dirt 2 (1920x1080 – 4x MSAA – high settings, in-game benchmark)
Dirt 3 (192x1080 - 4xMSAA - high settings, in-game benchmark)
Metro 2033 DX11 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 11; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Metro 2033 DX10 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 10; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Total War: Shogun 2 Direct X11 Benchmark High setting
Crysis 2 Using Adrenaline Crysis 2 benchmark two runs. The first set of runs set to ultra-settings, 1080p, 4x Anti-Aliasing, DX11, Laplace Edge Detection Edge AA, on the Times Square map, with hi res textures turned on. The second benchmark set to Xtreme at 1080p, no AA, DX9, Edge Blur, Hi-Res Textures turned off on the Times Square Map.
Battlefield 3 Using Fraps with the game set to Ultra settings with 4x MSAA Antialiasing Deferred, 16X Anisotropic Filter, at 1920x1080.
Synthetic Benchmarks For video cards our synthetic benchmarks are limited to 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage 2011. 3DMark Vantage is run with PPU turned off with results from both the performance and high settings. In 3DMark Vantage 2011 we run both performance and extreme benchmarks
FurMark We use Furmark to push the video card to the limit and test its cooling performance. Keep in mind that FurMark pushes cards well beyond what they would ever do in game. Our tests are done using the built in 1080p benchmark.
Cooling and Noise
While doing cooling and noise testing in Furmark, you would expect for a little give and take considering the HD 7750’s lack of a fan at all. Obviously this card is dead silent, but it’s going to run a little hotter right? As it turns out, no! In fact my cooling results after running through the 1080p benchmark on Furmark show the HD 7750 Ultimate at a very low 44 degree’s. Doing our testing on our test bench means we don’t get the same heat buildup that other cases would have, I would expect this number to be higher in some cases. But it does go to show you that if you have good cooling in your case you won’t have any problems at all keeping this card cool, much cooler than the overclocked HD 7770’s we have tested in the past.
Where does the HD 7750 fall as fare as performance is concerned? Our Futuremark 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11 benchmarks are the best way to see how the cards fall. Our HD 7770’s came in around the HD 6870 but the HD 7750 comes in much lower showing us performance similar to the HD 6770 and the HD 5770. How does it compare to Nvidia’s offerings? Performance is just in between the 550 Ti and an overclocked 550 Ti in most cases.
In Game Performance
Most of our In Game benchmarks are designed to push the limits of ALL video cards including high end multi card configurations. Because of that it’s not really surprising that the HD 7750 only gave us playable frame rates in Battlefield Bad Company 2. Most of our other tests include cranked up AA, something this card can’t handle. The Battlefield Bad Company 2 results do show you that you shouldn’t have any trouble playing any game with the HD 7750 as long as you’re willing to turn the settings down slightly. That means no AA/multisampling and in extremely demanding games avoiding ultra or high texture settings.
Overall and FV
Every time we get one of Sapphires Ultimate Edition cards in I am always blown away at their cooling power considering their noise output(silent). The HD 7750 Ultimate is no different; in fact its cooling performance was so good that I really wish they would have done this with a slightly warmer card like the HD 7770 so we could see even better performance. Speaking of performance the HD 7750 isn’t anything to write home about, giving you performance similar to the HD 5770, a card that has been around for a very long time. But having said that, there is no way that two years ago that the HD 5770 could have been turned into a Silent card due to its heat output. That shows you the improvements in AMD’s thermal output along with improvements in Sapphires heatsink design. This card is not for everyone, but if you are looking to avoid the typical noise from GPU’s, this is the best performing option on the market right now.