It's traditional for a graphics chip manufacturer to release its high-end products first, and then start issuing more mainstream and affordable solutions some months later. AMD, though, has been rather bucking the trend in recent times.
Although we've already seen the cream of its crop (last month's AMD Radeon 7970), this very much cheaper chip has followed with almost indecent haste. Not that it's a poor deal for the consumer. Since it'll be the likes of the 7750 that draws in the typical user, it's good to see the latest technology already being delivered in a cost-effective package.
While the 7970 had the codename Tahiti – another entrant in AMD's 'Southern Islands' family – the 7750 is named Cape Verde. Again it is the product of AMD's much vaunted 28nm manufacturing process, and also follows the new Graphics Core Next, a newly organised approach to handling graphics data that should pay dividends in the future.
However, given that the 7750 costs less than one-quarter the price of a 7970, it's inevitable that the budget card sees a number of cutbacks. And many of these are heavy indeed.
The Club 3D Radeon HD 7750 comes with 1GB of GDDR5. While that may be a far cry from the 7970's 3GB, a 1GB helping is still ample for mainstream gaming purposes.
Cutting the memory interface from 384-bit to 128-bit is a rather sizeable drop, though, and the core clock (a mere 800MHz) and memory clock speed (1125MHz, or 4500MHz when the GDDR5 is taken into account) have also seen huge falls.
Indeed, the resulting memory bandwidth of 72GBps is a fraction of the 7970's figure of 220GBps. We also see hefty cutbacks to the stream processors (512) and texture units (32), both of which are again a quarter of the complement provided with the 7970.
Do note though that many of these specifications are competitive with those of similarly priced cards. The 128-bit memory interface is disappointing - an AMD Radeon HD 6790, for example, has a 256-bit version.
Club 3D Radeon HD 7750: Performance
Actually, the comparison with the 6770 is a good one. That card is similarly priced, and has many of the same specs. However, the 6770's equivalent in AMD's new range would be the slightly more expensive 7770 (which we'll cover soon).
In realworld testing we found the 7750 to be more or less on a par with the 6770.
In BattleForge, the 7750 scored 31.3 and 27.5fps at resolutions of 1680 x 1050 and 1900 x 1200 respectively. This compared with 32.1 and 29.1fps in the case of the 6770, and 34.9 and 30.6fps respectively.
In each case, the 7750 was around 1-1.5fps behind the 6770, and 4-4.5fps slower than the 6790.
It was a similar story in Crysis 2. Here the overall scores were slower, but similar differences were maintained. 19.9fps at 1680 x 1050 for the 7750 allowed it to almost keep up with the 6770 (20.5fps), while the 6790 (23.1fps) was a good 3.2fps faster.
In Stalker: Call of Pripyat, the 7750's figure of 30.8fps at 1680 x 1050 left it just 0.4fps adrift of the 6770, and a whole 3.3fps away from the 6790.
Overall, then, the 7750 is barely slower than the 6770, and around 3-5fps behind the 6790.
The 7750 isn't just about speed, though. Indeed, the card design is extremely light on power. So much so that you don't need any extra power connectors from the PSU.
The thermal design power of 55W tells you exactly how light on power this is - the 6770 cards, for example, have TDPs in excess of 108 watt.
The card itself isn't totally silent, and there is a low hum from the cooling system. This Club 3D Radeon HD 7750 is a very early version of the 7750, and we would hope future cards to have superior cooling systems which would make this card pretty much inaudible. For now, it's quiet but not soundless.