AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB Reference Video Cards in CrossFire

We've got the reference model AMD HD 7750 on hand, so we CrossFire it with our HIS one because we can. Let's check out performance!

Manufacturer: AMD
14 minutes & 13 seconds read time


AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB Reference Video Cards in CrossFire 02

I grabbed our reference AMD Radeon HD 7750 video card from the package, installed it in my testbed and thought I'd see how overclocking went. Firing up MSI Afterburner it came as no surprise that we didn't have voltage adjustment. So, heading into the Catalyst Control Center I maxed out the core clock and memory clock which was +100MHz and +400MHz QDR respectively.

3DMark 11 fired up and froze straight away. All of a sudden I found myself with something that was going to become real boring, real quickly. Of course it then clicked that just because we don't have a CrossFire connector it doesn't mean CrossFire can't be used.

Looking at the AMD website for the HD 7750 you'll find that CrossFire is of course supported on the model and I figured why not pair it up with our HIS HD 7750 we looked at and see what kind of performance we can get. It would be interesting to see what would go down with CrossFire scaling on this lower end model which carried with it no CrossFire bridge.

We're not quite sure how many people are out there wondering how the HD 7750 would go in CrossFire and up until a few hours ago we weren't either. We wonder what can this $200ish US setup do for us, though.

There's only one way to find out, but before we do that the first thing we need to do is take a closer look at the reference HD 7750 which of course doesn't come with a package since it did come from AMD directly. Once we've done that we'll take a quick look at our testbed and cover the cards we're using today before we get into the performance side of things.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB Reference Video Cards in CrossFire 04

You're not going to see anything too exciting with the reference HD 7750.

We've got a heatsink fan over our core which takes just a single slot up and we've got no external power connector CrossFire Bridge. On the I/O side of things we've got a Dual-Link DVI port alongside a HDMI and DisplayPort connector.


Since our HIS HD 7750 carried with it the reference clocks, there's no real surprise here when it comes to the numbers we're looking at. You can see the core clock speed comes in at 800MHz while the 1GB of GDDR5 carries a clock speed of 4500MHz QDR.

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Before we get into the testbed side of things and the cards we'll be comparing today the last thing we want to do is make sure that CrossFire is working. Looking above it seems to be as we can see it's enabled via 2 GPUs.

The best way to find out everything is going along well, though, is to run 3DMark 11, which we'll do in just a second.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

There's a few things that we want to look out for today with one of the main being the kind of performance gain we get when we throw a second HD 7750 into the mix. Can we still see some of those gains of around 100% even when a CrossFire connector isn't seen?

Along with that we'll see how the CrossFire setup compares to some single GPU setups which include the HD 7770, HD 6950, HD 7950 and GTX 560 Ti to round off the line up here today.

Let's get started!

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

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3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting off with 3DMark 11 we can see some really nice gains from the setup which put it around 100%. Unfortunately we don't start off with the highest of scores so even doubled we find performance lines up almost exactly with a single HD 6950.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.5

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New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Heaven again sees awesome gains, but what's more interesting is we get a better idea of the way AMD have improved tessellation performance. While the HD 6950 and HD 7750 CrossFire setup scored almost identical in 3DMark 11, the HD 7750 CF setup sits a good chunk ahead here thanks to those improvements.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test

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Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

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Thanks to improvements under H.A.W.X. 2 we see some really good numbers here that put the setup even just ahead of the HD 7950 in this case. It's worth remembering, though, that the HD 7750 by itself was giving us some pretty strong numbers with an 87 FPS average at 1920 x 1200.

Benchmarks - Mafia II

Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

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Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Looking at Mafia II performance you can see moving to CrossFire brings our numbers to a playable level at both resolutions. Not quite 100% gains, but strong gains none the less. Compared to the other setups, though, we see in this case overall the numbers fall a little behind the HD 6950 in this case.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

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Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Thanks to some awesome CrossFire performance and a bit of fluctuation we end up with a gain of about 110% at 1680 x 1050 which is enough for us to break the 60 FPS mark and put it ahead of the HD 6950 which sits under 60 FPS.

Moving to 1920 x 1200, though, we can see the CrossFire setup still struggles to hit that 60 FPS mark we want to see for a smooth gaming experience.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

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Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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Like Lost Planet 2, Aliens vs. Predator was going to be a struggle to bring our numbers up to 60 FPS as our 1680 x 1050 performance was only 29 FPS. While we see 100% gains, that's still only good for a 58 FPS average at 1680 x 1050 and 45 FPS one at 1920 x 1200 putting the setup a good chunk behind the HD 6950 here.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used:

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

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Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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Gains again that equate to around the 100% mark mean that we're seeing some strong FPS with that 60 mark being broken at both resolutions putting the setup ahead of the HD 6950.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

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Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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We again move from this truly horrible, unplayable number, in this case 36 FPS at 1680 x 1050 under Metro to an extremely solid 67 FPS at the same resolution. Overall you can see this puts our setup almost dead even with the HD 6950 in this case.

Benchmarks - Dirt 3

Dirt 3

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage:

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DiRT 3 boasts more cars, more locations, more routes and more events than any other game in the series, including over 50 rally cars representing the very best from five decades of the sport. With more than double the track content of 2009's hit, DiRT 3 will see players start at the top as a professional driver, with a top-flight career in competitive off-road racing complimented by the opportunity to express themselves in Gymkhana-style showpiece driving events.

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Dirt 3, just like Metro 2033, sees us move from 33 FPS to 64 FPS, or more importantly unplayable to playable. 1920 x 1200 still lags behind and overall we can see under Dirt 3 performance lines up almost spot on with the HD 6950 again.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

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The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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FarCry 2 was already offering us some strong FPS and moving to CrossFire just helps those numbers improve. Overall we can see numbers that sit just ahead of the HD 6950 in this case.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB Reference Video Cards in CrossFire 31
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While we can see FarCry 2 moves from an unplayable 16 FPS minimum to a playable 38 FPS. Looking at Aliens vs. Predator and Mafia II, though, we see the setup again struggle to give us playable FPS.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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In the heat department the hottest card idles a bit warmer than a single one, but overall load heat is good thanks to a lot of breathing room between the small cards.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Noise levels on the setup are pretty strong overall sitting in the bottom half of the pack. Idle noise is really good with the setup being very quiet.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Power draw as you'd expect looks good coming in at a bit over 350 watts. Most power supplies aren't going to have an issue with this kind of setup.

Final Thoughts

To be completely honest I find myself a little shocked; I really had fun testing the HD 7750 CrossFire setup and it's really quite amazing to see the performance gains you're able to get out of the $220 video card setup.

In the end, though, I'm not too sure who is going to be looking at a setup like this. No doubt something like the upcoming HD 7800 series are going to be more interesting for around the $220 mark per video card.

We can also see that while we do see some awesome gains from the setup that equate to a little over 100% at times thanks to fluctuation, when we move to 1920 x 1200 on most newer engines, the setup continues to struggle to offer us playable FPS.

This is a really cool and fun setup, but that's about it; it's really just cool and fun and not all that practical for most people. In the end, sitting alone or in CrossFire the HD 7750 still carries the same problems when it comes to its current pricing against the HD 6850, which is around $135 after rebate or the HD 6870 at just $5 - $15 US more.

In time the HD 7700 series is going to find a place as AMD sell out of HD 6800 series cards; but like we've said so many times already, there's still plenty of stock on the market at a really aggressive price point helping take a lot of the shine off these new HD 7700 series cards.

The most appealing aspect of the reference design is the single slot cooler. Every other card we've seen so far has opted for a dual slot design and it's nice to see that the HD 7750 can work with no issue under a single slot format.

If we see the price drop a bit, companies become more creative with the cooling solution and see the HD 6800s finally leave the market, the HD 7750 and just the HD 7700 series on a whole can start to see some success. For now, though, the HD 6800 is still here in force, and it's at the price point it is. Because of that, as we've said in all our other HD 7700 pieces, that's the model I'd be currently looking at for the moment.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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