HIS Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition Graphics Card Review



Product: HIS Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition
Company: HIS
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: October 25th, 2012

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler

Examining the HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler box reveals little about the card that isn't already featured on any AMD Radeon HD 7770 box. The basic features are covered, clearly showing this card is PCI-Express (version 3.0) and what size power supply is recommended (450W) with requisite power connector (one 75W 6-pin PCI-Express power). The box art depicts Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur, which HIS now puts in your hand to conquer the gaming world. Huh.

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler

As a member of the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series based on the GCN architecture, the card supports DirectX 11.1 (SM5), OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.2 and C++ AMP. The card has four outputs and supports four display eyefinity but includes only a single DVI to VGA adapter, no DisplayPort or HDMI dongles here. The board has one DVI output, one HDMI output and two mini-DP outputs.

Graphics Core Next Compute Unit
Southern Islands Features

Opening the box you find the HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler nestled in its crush resistant foam packing, with the accessories under the foam insert. A removable foam top and piece complete the packing, which seems well designed to protect the card in transit.

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler

At first glance the iCooler doesn't appear to be different from stock design, but side by side comparison shows that the fan and shroud are different, the fan blades more sculpted and, instead of plastic Radeon red, are now a transparent HIS blue. The shroud design itself is different with a rounded back end scalloping at the sides to give different airflow characteristics. Both cards vent from the backplane and the rear of the card, while the HIS card appears to offer much more airflow back into the case. The effect of this may reduce the static pressure load of the fan, increasing the cooling ability at lower speeds and therefore quieter under load.

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler
HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler

The heatsink itself is the same as the painted black stock one, just in brushed aluminum. The base is one of the roughest we've seen in a while, very clear tooling on the contact surface and not much 'mirror finish' to indicate an easy heat transfer. The factory thermal paste is well applied, not the usual square of pink nasty stuff or excessive amount of substandard paste. The reference design backplate is omitted; instead the four retention screws are sprung and plastic washer mounted. Neither the AMD reference nor HIS iCooler shroud is removable without unmounting the heatsink from the card, but this isn't necessary for simple cleaning as the design permits the fan to be removed from the heatsink independently.

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler
HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler

The PCB appears to be completely identical to AMD reference design in layout and is made using HIS aquamarine color scheme. The AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition is rated with an average game power use of 80W and Powertune limit of 100W. Using AMD Vision Engine Control Center or the HIS iTurbo software the limit can be adjusted +- 20%, raising it up to 120W max, still a long way from the theoretical electrical 150W supplied by PCI-E x16 slot (75W) and 6-pin power input (75W).

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler
HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler

The GPU core clock is reference, At 1Ghz Edition to use AMD's marketing parlance, and no boost option is available on the HD 7770. The memory clock is similarly unchanged from stock at 1125MHz / 4.5Gbps, and the capacity is still 1GB. The memory on the HIS board is Hynix H5GQ2H24MFR t2c GDDR5, which is rated at 5Gbps at 1.5v, so there should be some overclocking headroom.

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler
HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler

Included with the card is a case sticker and driver CD, which includes some ancient wallpapers and out of date calendar pictures. You can download the HIS iTurbo software from the HIS website, and get the latest drivers from AMD.