The Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 is a graphics card that offers good value at around the £100 mark.

In the past we’ve taken ATI and nVidia to task for their stupid naming systems, their products brandishing arcane strings of numbers that often bear scant resemblance to the relative speed of the card. Recently though, with the 6000 Series, AMD has been more careful to create a set of names that have helped identify where each new card or chip sits in the range. So careful, in fact, that, in the case of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6770, it has done little more than take the old 5770 and rename it. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The 5770 has been a great little card for the money, a welcome port of call for gamers with around £100 to spend. However, those who buy the Sapphire Radeon HD 6770, believing it to be a significant improvement over previous £100 cards, will be disappointed.

The Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 comes with a pair of DVI ports, and individual connectors for DisplayPort and HDMI 1.4a. The latter has a small improvement over the 5770’s HDMI 1.3, while the 6770 also has slightly better Blu-Ray support.

The Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 card’s design is surprisingly chunky, and Sapphire’s version take the excellent Vapor-X technology for cooling. Not that much is needed – a single 6-pin connector from the PC’s PSU takes care of the card’s lowly power requirements. Its TDP is a modest 108 watt, identical to the 5770.

See also: Group test: what's the best budget graphics card?

Sapphire has tweaked the specs a little. Not particularly dramatically though – the 850MHz core clock goes up to 860MHz, while the memory clock of 1200MHz (4800MHz DDR effective from 1GB of GDDR5 RAM) remains the same. The Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 is still limited by a 128-bit interface, while the chips share the same number of texture units and stream processors.

Given the similarities, it’s not surprising that there’s little difference in speed either. Indeed, it’s notable when there’s as much as 3fps between them. In Heaven, the Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 produced 26.4fps (1280x800) and 19.2fps (1680x1050). That compares with 25.7fps and 18.7fps for the 5770 – no more than 0.7fps apart.

In Crysis, the figures of 28.6 and 19.3fps for the Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 compare with 26.8 and 17.7fps for the 5770. This time round the lead is as high as 1.8fps. For Stalker, the gap went up 2.4fps at 1680x1050.

TEST RESULTS:

Heaven DX11 (1,280x800 / 1,680x1,050 / 1,900x1,200): 26.4 / 19.2 / 17.5
Crysis (1,280x720 / 1,680x1,050 / 1,900x1,200): 28.6 / 19.3 / 16.4
Battleforge (1,280x800 / 1,680x1,050  1,920x1,200):  34.6 / 18.2 / 14.1
Stalker Pripyat (1,680x1,050 / 1,920x1,200): 25.3 / 21.6    

Heaven DX11 (1,280x800 / 1,680x1,050 / 1,900x1,200): 26.4 / 19.2 / 17.5
Crysis (1,280x720 / 1,680x1,050 / 1,900x1,200): 28.6 / 19.3 / 16.4
Battleforge (1,280x800 / 1,680x1,050  1,920x1,200): 34.6 / 18.2 / 14.1
Stalker Pripyat (1,680x1,050 / 1,920x1,200): 25.3 / 21.6        

Sapphire Radeon HD 6770: Specs

  • ATI Radeon HD 6770
  • 1GB GDDR5
  • 860MHz core clock
  • 1200MHz Memory Clock (4800MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 128-bit memory interface
  • 800 stream processors
  • 40 texture units
  • 16 ROP Units
  • PCI-E interface
  • 1 x 6-pin power connector
  • DirectX 11.0
  • 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI 1.4a, 1 x DP
  • 2-year warranty
  • ATI Radeon HD 6770
  • 1GB GDDR5
  • 860MHz core clock
  • 1200MHz Memory Clock (4800MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 128-bit memory interface
  • 800 stream processors
  • 40 texture units
  • 16 ROP Units
  • PCI-E interface
  • 1 x 6-pin power connector
  • DirectX 11.0
  • 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI 1.4a, 1 x DP
  • 2-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 is an improvement over the 5770, but it's marginal – the differences could be gained as much from a new Bios. But that doesn't stop the Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 being a good-value graphics card offering decent performance around £100.

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