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Thread: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

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    Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Right, well, first thing i should mention is that i have never reviewed anything in any sense of detail before, so prepare to read some slap-dash, haphazard, cobbled together piece of writing awesomeness that you’ll be telling your kids about in years to come.

    I suppose i should start by writing out my master plan for this review.

    Master Plan

    I was lucky enough to win a Sapphire Radeon Vapor-X 7770 from this competition - Features - Win one of four mid-range Sapphire Radeon HD graphics cards

    My post stated the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by stevie lee View Post
    I would like to win one of these uber bad boys because my current computer is getting on a bit, due to being unemployed i have a distinct lack of money. My current radeon 4870 (a sapphire one btw and very quiet and cool - maybe a comparison benchmark, who knows ) is eating up the electricity, so a new fangled lower power sapphire one (so i dont have to change the sapphire sticker on the case ) would help with my electricity bill.

    the main reason though why i would like one, is so when i go to a Lan again next year, then i can say "suck it and eat my FPS" to the rest of the hexus.lan team.

    My test-bed of a computer is an AMD Phenom II x4 920, running at 2.8GHZ. 8GB of PC6400 DDR2 ram on a Biostar TA790GX3 A2+
    Windows is installed on a Hitachi HDT721032SLA360 – 320GB sata 2 mechanical jobby. Software is installed on the same drive, Games are on their own 640GB drive, a Hitachi HDT721064SLA360.

    Situated in a xigmatek midgard case with 4 fans. 2 x 12cm intakes – front and side panel. 2 x outtakes - 12cm up top, 8cm at rear. All powered by an enermax Pro 82+ 425W power supply.

    It was built in march 2009, windows 7 was installed in june 2010.

    So the system is a 3 year old rig with a messy registry and a messy windows drive due to all the various software i have tried over the years.

    I’m not going to reinstall windows any time soon, just because of the sheer amount of games that will need to be reinstalled (about 70 at the last count). So you’ll have to accept that any results in the following review won’t be exact if you have a similair system. There could be something installed that affects the results or some piece of software that conflicts and causes slowdown.

    With that in mind, my plan is to test the 7770 against a Sapphire Radeon 4870 and onboard HD 3300, in a variety of scenarios and games, both modern and old

    So think of these results from an average everyday well used systems point of view.

    Stay tuned for more..

    edit 29/12/12 - look, theres more apeared, does updating drivers work?
    Last edited by stevie lee; 29-12-2012 at 10:26 PM.
    I Won again, see which one is better > Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual - review by Stevie May 2014
    I won it in a HEXUS competition you may as well read the results > stevies sapphire vapor x 7770 review October 2012

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  3. #2
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    we look forward to it

    setoutyourstall.blogspot.co.uk

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Delonghi gave me about 18 inches, which is not really enough

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    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Index of things

    Whats in the box?

    Comparing the Box

    Installing the bad boy

    Overview of test system

    Stuff to test

    Unigine heaven

    Crysis

    The witcher 2

    Far Cry 2

    LOTRO

    Everything to the MAX!

    Everything to the MAX! continued

    Analysing the Shiny Whizzy Bits/Overview

    Outtakes, Bloopers and Destruction <coming soon, will contain hilarious video of me being attacked by all the HEXUS.lan team when i make them "suck it and eat my FPS", aswell as more lazor-eye panda doing its bit towards the testing.

    Does updating drivers work?
    Last edited by stevie lee; 29-12-2012 at 10:10 PM.

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    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Whats in the box?

    I was awoken this morning by chewy squeaky sounds emanating from the foot of my bed. The postie had only gone and dropped off a mysterious package.



    I jumped out of bed all eager and raring to get started on unwrapping what I hoped was the prize winnings. Then I remembered it was bacon time, so off i went to get my morning bacon. Upon my return lazor-eye-panda had chewed through the outer wrapping revealing the beast within.



    Wrestling for hours trying to stop the rest being eaten i eventually got to opening the box revealing the shiny new toy.



    ooh look at all those connectors, i thought, suddeny remembering i dont have any HDMI Devices.




    then I remembered my mum had a 42" Panasonic TX-L42E5B just hangin around.. I shall have to 'borrow' that when shes out shopping.
    Last edited by stevie lee; 06-10-2012 at 07:12 PM.

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    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Comparing the box

    I'm in a unique position in that my current GPU is also a Sapphire card a Radeon 4870 1GB with sapphire cooling to be exact, so why not compare them to each other, to see whats changed over the years in terms of size of things and package contents.

    the box has grown a bit, odd because the card itself is smaler.



    and you get roughly the same accessories. PCI-E power adaptors, incase your PSU doesnt have any. dvi to vga adaptor. the 7770 gets a 1.8m HDMI cable though, which is nice.
    theres also a cd and registration card (which was underneath the cardboard tray and i only found it after taking these photos) the card points you to the sapphire select club, where you can get free stuff. I shall investigate that later.
    also notice that they've changed from foam lining to eggbox type cardboard. not sure what to think about that, on one hand the foam absorbs shocks and knocks easier, but the cardboard keeps eveything more stable and doesn't rattle about when you are carrying it. that could be why the box has grown in size, it just needs to be bigger because of how the cardboard works.





    so having taken the card out the box and the current one out the case, they were placed side by side



    well, it's shrunk a bit, and grown another fan, the result of which means its alot quieter now thats its installed properly. even at the same fan speeds. although 100% is very very noisy.




    less soldered bits, less to go wrong I suppose.
    Last edited by stevie lee; 06-10-2012 at 11:12 PM.

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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Installing the Bad Boy

    what you are supposed to do when installing new graphics cards is:

    remove/uninstall all traces of current graphics drivers and software.
    turn off computer
    remove graphics card.
    insert new one.
    turn on computer.
    install new drivers and software.
    bobs your hairy uncle!

    but, I did it a little differently for this test. i was going from ATI to ATI so i thought it didnt matter that much. What i did was:

    turn off computer
    remove graphics card
    insert new one
    turn on computer
    windows did a new hardware found, use current existing drivers thing.
    drivers installed automatically
    screen flashed on and off.
    check catalyst to see if its listed properly
    it works!
    run the 12-6-driver.exe anyway just to make sure.
    still exactly the same.
    bobs my hairy uncle!


    the upside of my method, is that i can swap between the 4870, onboard graphics and 7770 without having to install any drivers when windows boots up, they are all listed in control panel>system

    downside is the ATI hdmi audio passthrough (which i cant test, because my NAD T761 doesnt have any HDMI ports and the tv doesnt have optical/coax audio out) is listed one or two times..



    but hey ho, it worked so whats the problem?



    I really would do it the first, correct method though, if you are changing cards, it eliminates conflicts, driver instabilities and other hidden nasties.


    <there was meant to be a video walkthrough of how to do all this, but as i broke the camera tripod and my sister took her camera back to stop me breaking that, this will have to do>
    Last edited by stevie lee; 08-10-2012 at 01:02 PM.

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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Overview of Test System

    Well i suppose you want to know what kind of system i’ll be using for testing it on, where its being tested, general ambient settings, lighting conditions, wind speed, atmospheric pressure, sun flare status and so on.. they all affect the results don’t you know. well here goes.

    Temperature was around about 16.5C to 18.5C for most of the testing (so far), door to room was closed to eliminate the wind coming up the stairs from any open doors. Curtain was strategically shut or opened to stop the sun shining in my face or so I could see. Testing ranged from about 1pm until 1am, so when it got dark, that eliminated sun flare, because it was the other side of the planet.

    Testing location was corner of my room and it mostly looks like this.


    The overall system consists of:
    AMD Phenom II X4 920 at 2.8GHZ,
    4x2GB Corsair 6400 DDR2
    Biostar TA790GX3 A2+
    Hitachi HDT721032SLA360 – 320GB C:\ drive sata 2 mechanical jobby.
    Hitachi HDT721064SLA360 - Games 640GB drive
    Xigmatek Midgard
    Fans - 2 x 12cm intakes – front and side panel. 2 x outtakes, 12cm up top, 8cm at rear.
    Enermax Pro 82+ 425W power supply
    Windows 7 Ultimate – installed june 2010, fully updated
    Samsung SyncMaster 2232BW

    And that lot looks like this:




    And now a close up of the awesome attachment for the Xigmatek Scorpion HDT-S1283 Cooler



    The cooler wouldn’t fit because of the tall RAM so I had to either send it back and get a smaller cooler or RAM, but why do that when you can rotate and cable-tie, just screw the intel clips on upside-down, then route the cable-tie through the handy holes in the am2+ bracket and intel bracket.

    Bodgearific.
    Last edited by stevie lee; 08-10-2012 at 01:03 PM.

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    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Stuff to Test

    For most of the tests I plan on running the resolution set to 1680x1050 because i bought the monitor to do that resolution, so why run it in anything else? Only the detail, texture and other available in-game settings will be changed to alter between low/medium/high, Catalyst wont be changed in an attempt to try and keep the results comparable, so its down to the game to use whats available and not any override settings. Vertical-sync was turned off, or else all the results would be caped at 60fps because that’s my monitors refresh rate.

    The drivers i’ll be using are the 12-6-legacy_vista_win7_64_dd_ccc_whql.exe ones because there was a note on the support.amd saying:

    AMD has moved to the AMD Radeon™ HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series new driver support model. These updates will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates. The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the AMD Radeon HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective.
    So ill be using those drivers to test the 7770 as well, just so not to skew the results with any improvements afterwards.

    which means that any more recent drivers will do absolutely nothing whatsoever to improve anything.

    Catalyst Settings are set to the following for the low, medium and high tests. on the 4870



    and this for the 7770 (closest i could get them, with AMD adding new features, didnt want to skew the results any, at least not yet )




    I’ll be testing Crysis just because everyone asks “does it run Crysis” on every single review i see around the internet. And i’m sure you are dying to see whether onboard graphics will run it.

    The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings ENHANCED EDITION. Its very modern and makes even high end systems squeal out in fan pain scrabbling to keep up with Geralts sword chopping antics and bedroom shenanigans.

    Far Cry 2. Fire, flame, pyromania, explosions, guns, firey flameyness, and ambient chickens.

    LOTRO . Lord of the Rings Online, a typical MMO thats got a lot of different settings for me to fiddle with, DX11 features aswell.

    Unigine Heaven. May aswell test using a benchmarking tool.
    Last edited by stevie lee; 07-10-2012 at 08:20 PM.

  10. #9
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Quote Originally Posted by stevie lee View Post
    For most of the tests I plan on running the resolution set to 1680x1050
    now you see Stevie, you are EXACTLY who I wanted this review compo for: the typical soldier.

    Millions of people have 22" Monitors just like you do.. and they're not gonna upgrade to a 1920x1080 quite yet..... cos they like what they have.

    Soldiers.... using standard grade weapons... needing a new card to fight the modern fight.

    Glad you're onboard soldier...

    now... we want MORE please

    setoutyourstall.blogspot.co.uk

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Delonghi gave me about 18 inches, which is not really enough

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  12. #10
    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    the review is getting done, just im doing a lil bit here, a lil bit there. in no particular order. all the results for the 4870 card are ready, ive swapped the card over and didnt even need to uninstall the old drivers, just reinstall once windows started up. and yes i did do a video (just ignore the battle of britain sound effects in the background, it was on when i was recording it).

    now to get the 7770 results.

    crysis is a wierd one on the 4870, average results varied from 35fps up to 85fps in consecutive runs, with exactly the same settings. couldnt figure it out.

    (and now you know why theres an index post, so you can skip past all this waffly bits and read the important gubbins)

  13. #11
    Drum & Bass Till I Die deejayburnout's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    looking forward to more on this review and more of that panda.

    Better to Burn out than Fade Away

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    stevie lee (07-10-2012)

  15. #12
    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Unigine heaven

    This is a GPU benchmark based on advanced UNIGINE™ engine. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies.
    http://unigine.com/products/heaven/

    It tests different 3d features that make things look shinier, or less pixelated.

    Low settings are set to 1680x1050 DX9
    Shaders: low
    Texture Quality : low
    Filter : Bilinear
    Anisotropy : Off
    Ambient Occlusion : Off
    Refraction : Off
    Volumetric Shadows : Off
    Tessellation : Off



    Medium settings are set to 1680x1050 DX10
    Shaders : medium
    Texture Quality : medium
    Filter : trilinear
    Anisotropy : 2x
    Ambient Occlusion : On
    Refraction : On
    Volumetric Shadows : On
    Tessellation : Off



    High settings are set to 1680x1050 DX10
    Shaders: High
    Texture Quality : High
    Filter : Trilinear
    Anisotropy : 16x
    Ambient Occlusion : On
    Refraction : On
    Volumetric Shadows : On
    Tessellation : Off



    I left tessellation and DX11 off, because the 3300 and 4870 don’t support it so the results would not be comparable to one another.


    well i wasnt expecting sucha huge improvement in FPS from a 3 year old card. the improvements are pretty much double.
    Last edited by stevie lee; 07-10-2012 at 08:34 PM.

  16. #13
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    now you see Stevie, you are EXACTLY who I wanted this review compo for: the typical soldier.

    Millions of people have 22" Monitors just like you do.. and they're not gonna upgrade to a 1920x1080 quite yet..... cos they like what they have.

    Soldiers.... using standard grade weapons... needing a new card to fight the modern fight.

    Glad you're onboard soldier...

    now... we want MORE please
    zakky - I don't see the point in running at a lower resolution, it just makes the image look stretched unnecessarily and has wierd scaling'ness. I am aware that a lower resolution will score higher fps, but i prefer it looking right. you know?

    the menus, in game HUD, cursors and things all scale aswell, they just look too odd at low res.

    i prefer stuff playing right and to have a nice feel to it, than to what it looks like.

    Quote Originally Posted by deejayburnout View Post
    looking forward to more on this review and more of that panda.
    dont worry, there will be. there will be...

    'outtakes, bloopers and destruction' in the index list isnt there just to make it look pretty. lazor-panda is going to help in the destruction testing of the card. need to test whether it'll survive in the rough and tumble world at large, and whether that cardboard is better than foam after all mwahahahahaha

    and no i'm not joking,

    or am i?

    hexus needs moar destruction testing. i'm just here to provide some.

  17. #14
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Well what I mean is this: you hsve a 1680x1050 defsult resolution and you're right you shoukd always run it t that but that true HD movies are slightly higher res at 1920x1080 which involves a new monitor, and for a ling time they were a lot of dough over your monitor price

    So more people bought what you have and still own it (rightly so) for gaming

    I would however suggest you consider add remove programs on the driver and reinstalling if yiu have any graphic glitchs

    We can tell you how

    setoutyourstall.blogspot.co.uk

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Delonghi gave me about 18 inches, which is not really enough

  18. #15
    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    Crysis

    You are an elite soldier, you have a fancy nano-suit, some scientists have gone missing, go find them.

    Tests where run by using the crysis\bin64\benchmark_gpu.bat tool. Settings changed ingame first.
    Patch was version 1.2.1. Crysis version 1.1.1.6156

    Don’t know what was up with the benchmark.bat tool. Couldn’t figure out what results where for what test, due to them not showing up after the test had finished, but then when i ran the test again, it loaded the previous or the pre-previous results. So i’m scrapping all the results. Suffice to say it ran on the 4870 and 7770 very well.

    Heres a FRAPS of the 7770 in MAX! settings, everything set to very high, x8 anti-aliasing so you can sort of see how it runs. although it is smoother when you play the game and not the benchmark

    Last edited by stevie lee; 07-10-2012 at 10:53 PM.

  19. #16
    My nose is itchy stevie lee's Avatar
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    Re: Stevies Sapphire Vapor-X 7770 review

    The witcher 2

    You are Geralt of Rivia , a professional monster hunter. You are a mutant with big flashy swords and an insatiable appetite for women. The kingdom is plunging into war, someone is killing the kings, is it you? Who knows? Maybe it is, you’ll just have to find out.

    There isn’t an in-game benchmark for this game, so I’ve had to use FRAPS. Test was run as close as i could manage it on the same section, roughly doing the same things. This was the arena mode, fight number 1 on easy. On hard I kept dying before fraps had finished benchmarking and the menu screens FPS of 500fps skewed the results somewhat.
    There’ll be a video in the ‘everything to the MAX!’ section showing what i did, on the 7770 card.

    Low

    Just change the Configuration set found in the options from the launcher tool to Low spec, easy enough.




    Medium

    Change it to Configuration set to medium




    High

    Change it to High



    The game started up while using the 3300 onboard graphics, but then completely locked up the computer when i tried to start the arena game off, that was using the lowest graphics settings possible, so thats why theres no results for the 3300 on any settings.

    the game looks very nice in high settings, I finished it on the 4870 using a mixture of medium and high settings and didnt really notice any glitches. cant wait to try it again with more things ramped up. because i can.

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