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HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler 1GB Overclocked Video Card Review

HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler 1GB Overclocked Video Card Review

We take a look at what HIS is doing with the mid-range AMD Radeon HD 7770 and take the time to overclock it to see what it can do.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Mar 20 2013 1:41 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:31 PM CDT
Rating: 88%Manufacturer: HIS

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 25 IMAGES

I've made my opinion of the HD 7700 series known since the model launched roughly one year ago. What we can't deny is that over the past year the model has become more and more attractive as the price of it comes down. The series on a whole, though, has gone exactly as I thought and said it would.

We got a model that launched at a price that was too high, and with performance that was too low. Overall the model wasn't bad; it just hit at the wrong price point. I always said, though, as time went on, and as the price went down, and performance improved as we saw new drivers, the model would become more and more attractive.

This has happened in a slightly more extreme manner than originally thought, though, because of the model having such a long life cycle. For years it felt like we had new models every six to nine months, but as we just mentioned, this is a model that's been around for a year now.

The particular HD 7770 video card we're looking at today comes from HIS and is labeled as the HD 7770 iCooler 1GB. Since it feels like it's been forever since we've taken the time to overclock this model, we figured we'd do it today and find out just what kind of performance we're able to get out of it.

In no surprise, though, we've got to go through and do a couple of things before we get to that. The first thing we'll do is check out the box and see what main features are being highlighted on the model. Once we've done that we'll move inside the box to see what's going on with what will probably be a relatively small bundle before checking out the card itself. We'll quickly then take the time to have a look at the clock speeds the card carries out of the box before we overclock it and see what kind of numbers we're able to pull. Once that's done it's onto the fun stuff, we'll quickly cover our testbed and then get stuck into the performance side of things.

Package

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Having a look at the box we don't have a heap of information as it's quite small. The front gives us the model number and a bit of information while the back gives us a bit more of a run down along with a couple of the logos that HIS has acquired over the years. Overall there's nothing all that fancy, so we'll open up the box and check out the bundle that is being offered by HIS.

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Looking at the bundle you can see it's relatively small. We've got a driver CD, manual and case sticker packed in a lice little folder that we're used to seeing. We've got no CrossFire bridge, DVI to VGA connector or anything like that. Considering the lower end nature and price we didn't expect a lot in the bundle.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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The iCooler that HIS is using on the card isn't a new design and we've seen it before on lower end offerings. It tends to handle the GPU well and it will be interesting to see how we go when we overclock today.

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Heading to the back of the card we've got a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. Normally we'd move across the top and towards the front where we'd be greeted with a CrossFire connector. Being a HD 7770, though, means that we don't have one.

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Finishing up with the I/O side of things we've got a Dual-Link DVI connector on the right followed up with a HDMI and VGA port to round off connectivity.

Specifications

With no Turbo labeling on the card the HIS HD 7770 iCooler 1GB carries with it the default clocks that you'll see on a reference clocked HD 7770. That means the core comes in at 1000MHz while the 1GB of GDDR5 comes in at 1125MHz or 4500MHz QDR.

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As we mentioned earlier we're taking the time to overclock this video card today and looking above you can see we pushed the core up to 1120MHz. As for the 1GB of GDDR5 that got pushed to an even 5000MHz QDR.

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.

Above you can take a quick look at what's going on with our testbed. If you've seen any of our video card reviews over the last 12 months you should be used to seeing the same X79 setup we've been using for a while now. It continues to be the platform of choice for performance users due to the fact we can run x16 / x16 in CrossFire.

Quickly, though, before we get into the performance of the overclocked HIS HD 7770 iCooler 1GB let's cover the cards that you will see in our graphs here today. We've also got the HIS HD 7750 1GB IceQ X Turbo, HIS HD 7850 IceQ 2GB and the MSI GTX 660 HAWK 2GB.

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

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

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 out with 3DMark 11 we can see a decent jump in performance when compared to the overclocked HD 7750.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

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 also shows strong gains when compared to the overclocked HD 7750. We'll get a better idea of what's going on when we get into our gaming benchmarks from the next page.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

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With PSO2 only being tested at 2560 x 1600 it comes as no surprise that performance from the HD 7770 isn't great - even when overclocked. Let's keep going, though, to see what happens in our other games.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

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

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

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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At 1680 x 1050 you can see under Lost Planet 2 we're seeing only 42 FPS. You'd want to do some wiggling with the detail to bring that number closer to the 60 FPS mark for a solid gaming experience.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

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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Just Cause 2 manages to sneak in a decent 64 FPS at 1680 x 1050. Moving to 1920 x 1200 you can see we're below the 60 FPS number. With the in-game detail maxed out, though, we've got plenty of room to move if you want to game at a higher resolution.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012 players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

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F1 2012 like Just Cause 2 manages to pull in a playable number at 1680 x 1050 with a solid 62 FPS average. Moving to 1920 x 1200, though, you can see we drop to the 50's.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

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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Metro 2033 manages to fall short of the 60 FPS number at both resolutions. Again, though, we've got our game detail maxed out so there's indeed plenty of room to move.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

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Dirt Showdown also falls short of the 60 FPS number we want. Again, though, we've got plenty of room to move in the detail department so if we move some settings a bit south we're going to pick up those extra 11 FPS at 1680 x 1050.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

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It wouldn't matter what you did to the detail here, you simply wouldn't get the numbers you want due to the insane intensity of this game. That or it would look horribly ugly.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Sniper Elite V2 falls short at both resolutions. We need to pick up another 20 FPS at 1680 x 1050. It's not going to be easy, but we should be able to close that gap a decent chunk by setting the in-game detail a lot lower.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

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Sleeping Dogs performs extremely well with a solid 66 FPS at 1680 x 1050. 1920 x 1200 doesn't look too bad either with a 54 FPS average. While below that 60 FPS number we want, gaining those extra 6 FPS wouldn't be too difficult.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/

Buy It Here

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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Far Cry 2 across the board looks good and you can see we even manage to break the 30 FPS minimum at the ultra-high 2560 x 1600 resolution.

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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Overclocked you can see the temperature numbers are pretty solid coming in at under 60c at load.

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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The noise numbers are even better, though, sitting very close to the bottom of the pack.

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 numbers as you'd expect are pretty low with this HIS video card having the third lowest power draw numbers.

Final Thoughts

Sitting at around the $100 mark the HIS HD 7770 iCooler 1GB isn't going to break the bank and looking through the graphs you can see that the model manages to perform not too bad, especially when you consider the price it hits at. You can see under newer games like Sleeping Dogs and F1 2012 that the numbers are over 60 FPS at 1680 x 1050.

The good news, though, for the most part is that when we fall below the 60 FPS mark at that resolution we're generally speaking not too far away from where we want to be. Considering that we test with our in-game graphics quality settings maxed out, we've always got a lot of room to move.

In some games it's just going to be a matter of moving from Very High to simply just High. Others, though, are going to need a little bit more of a push and no doubt the ol' Medium option will have to come out sometimes.

Stepping away from the video performance and onto the cooler, no one is going to really fight too hard for the looks of the iCooler option that HIS have here. It's hardly the greatest looking cooler we've seen. Saying that, though, you can see that it's more than capable of doing a good job, even when you throw overclocking into the mix.

For the price, the HIS HD 7770 iCooler 1GB isn't a bad card at all. I'd rather spend the extra $80ish and move to the HD 7850, but if your budget isn't there, then it's not a bad option for lower resolution gaming. For the most part 1680 x 1050 shouldn't be an issue for most games as long as you overclock the card as we did. You're not going to be able to max out newer ones for the most part, but hovering around the medium to high area should give you the numbers you need to have a smooth gaming experience.

If you're after a card that hovers around the $100 mark and is going to play games at 1680 x 1050, the HIS HD 7770 iCooler 1GB is a good option. Do a little bit of overclocking and you're going to get some bonus FPS. Moving past 1680 x 1050, though, is going to purely depend on the game engine.

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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.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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