Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC

Gigabyte North America recently sent over their custom AMD Radeon HD 7770 OC 1GB GDDR5 video card for us to review. This might not be the fastest card around, but the AMD Radeon HD 7700 GHz Edition is available around the $150 price point and that makes it an attainable card for the masses. We love to review high-end products here on Legit Reviews, but we understand that the cards that many of our readers can afford are not those. Today we will be taking a look at Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD, which is the companies flagship Radeon HD 7770 video card. Gigabyte is currently selling two Radeon HD variants and the differ by only the core clock of the card. 

 Gigabyte Model
 Core Clock
Memory Clock
 Memory
Price
 GV-R777D5-1GD  1000 MHz  1125 MHz  1GB GDDR5
 $149.99
 GV-R777OC-1GD  1100 MHz  1125 MHz  1GB GDDR5
 $159.99

As you can see the two cards are  identical other than the fact that the Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD has a  100MHz higher core clock for an extra $10. You can likely reach this overclock for free by doing it yourself on the base model, but for those that want to be certain or don't want to mess with overclocking, the extra money is usually worth it.

AMD Radeon HD 7770 Graphics Card

Before we look at what Gigabyte has done, we wanted to show you the AMD reference card. The AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz edition graphics card is a dual-slot solution with a single 80mm cooling fan located directly over the GPU.  The PCB on the AMD reference design is black and measures 8.25-inches in length.

Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD

Gigabyte went back to the drawing board and had the companies engineers come up with a custom designed Radeon HD 7770 graphics card that is just 7.8125" in length! Gigabyte left no stone unturned here, as they designed an entirely new Printed Circuit Board (PCB) with Gigabyte Ultra Durable 2 materials and slapped a custom GPU cooler on it for improved cooling. Gigabyte also decided to go with a blue PCB on this card, which is fairly normal for them, but we know many people won't buy a card due to the PCB color not matching their motherboard.  The plastic fan shroud doesn't look bad, but the ends aren't supported, so it feels flimsy and cheap when you handle the card.


Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD

The back of the Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD is open as the reference card doesn't feature a back plate or anything that needs to be talked about. We measured and found that Gigabyte is using standard 43mm mounting holes, so if you plan on changing the GPU cooler or adding a water block at a later date you can and this is the dimension you need to be concerned with.

Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD

All of the AMD Radeon 7770 derived cards are based on the 'Cape Verde' GPU and that core can only support  one CrossFireX interconnect, which means you can only run CrossFire with two cards.

Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD

The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 has a single 6-pin PCI Express power connector located at the end of the video card that is very easy to reach as nothing is around it!  AMD says that a 500W or greater power supply is needed with one 6-pin PCI Express power connector. For those that want to run two Radeon HD 7770 cards in CrossFire you'll need at least a 600W power supply and two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors.

Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD

For the most part Gigabyte stuck with the AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition reference design when it comes to the video outputs.  You have a pair of mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, a full size HDMI 1.4a output, and a dual-link DVI-I output. This is a very robust configuration as you can run up to six monitors off this card if you daisy-chain three monitors off each mini-DisplayPort connector. You can also run Eyefinity for a triple monitor setup and while this card wouldn't be poweful enough for Eyefinity on new game titles it would work just fine for 2D use and some games that aren't too graphics heavy. The only difference here is that Gigabyte is using a gold plated HDMI connector, so if you look real close in the image above you can see it is gold in color. We asked Gigabyte if there was any advantage to having a gold plated HDMI output and they said that it gets slightly better conductivity and supposedly less corrosion.

Gigabyte Retail Box and Bundle

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC Retail Box

The retail packaging for Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC video card was more basic than we expected. The box art is rather subdued compared to what other companies are doing and the front of the box clearly shows the model number, memory amount and the special features. The special features of this card is the fact that is has a GPU cooler that has a large 100mm fan on it and that it is factory overclocked up to 1100MHz (1.1GHz) rather than the default speed of 1000MHz (1GHz).

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC Retail Box

On the back of the retail box you'll find some in-depth details of some of the cards other features, but nothing too earth shattering. Gigabyte has really kept their packaging simple this time around.

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC Retail Box

Inside the retail box we again see that Gigabtyte kept things very simple as the only things included are the driver disc and the quick start guide. Retailers like Newegg are also including a free Dirt3 game coupon with the purchase of Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC, so you might luck out and get something.

The Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.

The AMD Radeon graphics cards were tested with Catalyst 12.1 beta drivers and all of the NVIDIA graphics cards ran GeForce 295.51 Beta drivers.

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

Intel LGA2011 Test System
Intel LGA2011 Test System

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 0055 that came out on 12/16/2011. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz quad channel memory kit was set to 1866MHz with 1.5v and 9-10-9-27 1T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD was run with  firmware version 2.15.

The Intel X79 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i7-3960X

Motherboard

ASUS P9X79 Deluxe

Memory

16GB Corsair 1866MHz

Video Card

Various

Solid-State Drive

OCZ Vertex 3 240GB

Cooling

Intel RTS2011LC

Power Supply

Corsair HX850W

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Video Cards Tested:

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB GPU-Z Information:

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB GPU-Z
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB GPU-Z Idle

Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City PC Game

Batman: Arkham City is a 2011 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios. It is the sequel to the 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The game was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The PC and Onlive version was released on November 22, 2011.

Batman: Arkham City Game Settings

Batman: Arkham City Game Settings

Batman: Arkham City uses the Unreal Engine 3 game engine with PhysX. For benchmark testing of Batman: Arkham City we disabled PhysX to keep it fair and ran the game in DirectX 11 mode with 8x MSAA enabled and all the image quality features cranked up. You can see all of the exact settings in the screen captures above.

Batman: Arkham City Benchmark Results
Benchmark Results: The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC was significantly faster than the AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB reference design, but was slightly slower than the XFX Radeon HD 7770 Black Edition Double Dissipation card.  This makes sense as the Gigabyte card has a core clock speed 100MHz faster than the reference design, but is is 20MHz slower than the XFX card. 

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 Screenshot

Battlefield 3 (BF3) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released in North America on October 25, 2011 and in Europe on October 28, 2011. It does not support versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista as the game only supports DirectX 10 and 11. It is a direct sequel to 2005's Battlefield 2, and the eleventh installment in the Battlefield franchise. The game sold 5 million copies in its first week of release and the PC download is exclusive to EA's Origin platform, through which PC users also authenticate when connecting to the game.

Battlefield 3 Screenshot

Battlefield 3 debuts the new Frostbite 2 engine. This updated Frostbite engine can realistically portray the destruction of buildings and scenery to a greater extent than previous versions. Unlike previous iterations, the new version can also support dense urban areas. Battlefield 3 uses a new type of character animation technology called ANT. ANT technology is used in EA Sports games, such as FIFA, but for Battlefield 3 is adapted to create a more realistic soldier, with the ability to transition into cover and turn the head before the body.

This game looks great and we tested with the highest settings possible.  This means we used 'ultra' settings and really punished the cards being tested. We ran FRAPS for two minutes on the single player map called 'Rock and a Hard Place' for benchmarking.

Battlefield 3 Screenshot

Benchmark Results:
The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC was just shy of the 30FPS mark at 1920 x 1080 with ultra high resolution settings.  Pretty darn impressive for a card in this price range and it shows that you can play current game titles with a ~$150 video card and not sacrifice too much on the image quality in game titles. less than one frame per second separated the XFX and Gigabyte overclocked Radeon HD 7770 cards. 

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex Human Revolution PC Game

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third game in the Deus Ex first-person role-playing video game series, and a prequel to the original game. Announced on May 27, 2007, Human Revolution was developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. It was released in August 2011. Human Revolution contains elements of first-person shooters and role-playing games, set in a near-future where corporations have extended their influence past the reach of global governments. The game follows Adam Jensen, the security chief for one of the game's most powerful corporations, Sarif Industries. After a devastating attack on Sarif's headquarters, Adam is forced to undergo radical surgeries that fuse his body with mechanical augmentations, and he is embroiled in the search for those responsible for the attack.

Deus Ex Human Revolution Game Settings

Deus Ex Human Revolution Game Settings

Deus Ex: Human Revolution uses a modified Crystal Dynamics Crystal game engine, which some of you might know as the game engine from the last Tomb Raider game title. The game developers did some rather hefty modifications to this engine though as the graphics are superb in this title.

Deus Ex Human Revolution Benchmark Results
Benchmark Results: The 100MHz overclock on the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC really helped performance at 1280x1024 compared to the reference card! We noted a 7 FPS difference, which is 9.4%!  

H.A.W.X. 2

Tom Clancy's HAWX 2

Aerial warfare has evolved. So have you. As a member of the ultra-secret H.A.W.X. 2 squadron, you are one of the chosen few, one of the truly elite. You will use finely honed reflexes, bleeding-edge technology and ultra-sophisticated aircraft - their existence denied by many governments - to dominate the skies. You will do so by mastering every nuance of the world's finest combat aircraft. You will slip into enemy territory undetected, deliver a crippling blow and escape before he can summon a response. You will use your superior technology to decimate the enemy from afar, then draw him in close for a pulse-pounding dogfight. And you will use your steel nerve to successfully execute night raids, aerial refueling and more. You will do all this with professionalism, skill and consummate lethality. Because you are a member of H.A.W.X. 2 and you are one of the finest military aviators the world has ever known. H.A.W.X. 2 was released on November 16, 2010 for PC gamers.

Tom Clancy's HAWX 2

We ran the benchmark in DX11 mode with the image quality settings cranked up as you can see above.

Tom Clancy's HAWX 2

The H.A.W.X. 2 PC game title runs on what looks like seven threads as you can see from the task manager shot seen above that was taken on the test system that was running the Intel Core i7-3960X processor.

Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The factory overclocked Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC was again about 9% faster than the reference design and about 3-4%  slower than the XFX Radeon HD 7770 Black Edition card that has a 20MHz higher core clock and a 50MHz faster memory clock speed.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033

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 the Ukraine. The game is played from the perspective of a character named Artyom. The story takes place in post-apocalyptic Moscow, mostly inside the metro station where the player's character was raised (he was born before the war, in an unharmed city), but occasionally the player has to go above ground on certain missions and scavenge for valuables.

Metro 2033 Settings

This is another extremely demanding game. Image quality settings were raised to Very High quality with 4x AA and 16x AF. We turned off PhysX, but turned on DOF (Depth of Field) for benchmarking.

Metro 2033

Benchmark Results: Metro 2033 has been a very popular benchmark since this game title came out because it is very tough on graphics cards. The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC was faster than the reference card and slower than the XFX card once again.

3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Benchmark

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Benchmark Settings

Since Futuremark has recently released 3DMark11 we decided to run the benchmark at both performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.

3DMark11 Performance Benchmark Results:

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Benchmark Results

 Futuremark 3DMark11 with the performance preset showed that the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC was able to score P3828, which is 270 points higher than the P3558 that we scored on the AMD reference card. This shows a performance increase of nearly 8%.

3DMark11 Extreme Benchmark Results:

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Benchmark Results

After running Futuremark 3DMark11 with the extreme present we found the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC score X1205. Not a bad score at all considering the reference card scored X1112 and the XFX card scored X1220. Only 15 3DMark points separate the XFX and Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 graphics cards!

Power Consumption

For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the OpenGL benchmark FurMark 1.9.2 at 640x480 resolution. We also ran the game HAWX 2 and looped the benchmark three times and recorded the highest Wattage seen on the meter. 

Total System Power Consumption Results

Power Consumption Results: The AMD Radeon HD 7770 is a very energy efficient video card that has a typical board power of just 80 Watts in normal usage scenarios. The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC is factory overclocked and uses a larger 10cm cooling fan, so it will be interesting to see where this card falls. Our power meter showed our test system at 91 Watts when at an idle on the desktop with all of the Radeon HD 7770 cards. At full load with Furmark the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC used roughly the same amount of power as the XFX and AMD versions of this card, which is great considering the raised clock speeds. 

  Maximum Board Power
Typical Board Power
Long Idle Power
Radeon HD 7970
250W
~230W
<3W
 Radeon HD 7950
200W
~180W
 <3W
 Radeon HD 7770
 100W  ~80W  <3W
 Radeon HD 7750
75W
 ~55W  <3W

Temperature & Noise Testing

Since video card temperatures and the heat generated by next-generation cards have become an area of concern among enthusiasts and gamers, we want to take a closer look at how the graphics cards do at idle, during gaming and finally under a full load.

Video Card Temps

We recorded temperatures during several scenarios on each of the cards we tested today and the benchmark results are shown above. Our temperature chart was getting pretty crazy with over 20 cards in it, so we removed all of the other cards with the exception of the three Radeon HD 7770 cards that we have available to us. The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC has a single 10CM (100MM) fan on it and it doesn't have to spin that fast to push a significant amount of air, which means it is quiet. It also uses a rather large radial heatsink, so it looks like it should cool really well. Our testing showed that compared to the AMD Reference GPU cooler it was 1C cooler at an idle and 7C cooler in Furmark. In gaming we found it to be 4C cooler, which is an important number as that is what most of our readers do! The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC video card GPU cooler was found to perform better than the XFX Radeon HD 7770 Black Edition Double Dissipation cooler by 2C in Furmark and an impressive 6C during gameplay.

When we were testing the Radeon HD 7770 video cards we noticed that they sounded slightly different, so we used a sound meter to see what the difference was.

Video Card Noise Levels

We recently upgraded our sound meter to an Extech sound level meter with ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 38dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data. We will be comparing the Gigabyte and AMD reference design models for this review.

Video Card Noise Levels

The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC was found to be about 1dBA lower at idle and when running Furmark, but it was 1dBA  higher during gaming. All of the Radeon HD 7770 cards that we have benchmarked have been very quiet, so no one should have an issue with fan noise on these cards. It's likely the case fans in your PC case are louder than this cards cooler!

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC Overclocking

To overclock the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC video card we used AMD Overdrive to find the highest stable overclock without any voltage increases.

AMD OverDrive Radeon HD 7770

The AMD Radeon HD 7770 reference card comes clocked at 1000MHz on the core and 1125MHz on the memory. If you use CATALYST Control Center (CCC) like we did, you can raise or lower the clock frequencies within the parameters set by AMD. For this card AMD set limits for this particular BIOS to 1200MHz on the core and 1250MHz on the memory. Gigabyte has this card overclocked up to 1100MHz on the core and 1250MHz on the memory, so they increased the headroom available for overclocking. AMD OverDrive allowed us to overclock this card up to 1320MHz core and 1500MHz memory.

AMD Radeon HD 7950 CrossFire Overclock

We were able to run the card at 1060MHz on the core and 1300MHz on the memory without any stability issues. If we bumped up the core clock frequency any higher it would cause the game or benchmark to hard lock and we had to kill the application in task manager. The memory was also having issues over 1300MHz, so we locked it in there and dealt with it. Here is a GPU-Z screenshot showing the overclock!  This is a 60MHz overclock on the core and 50MHz on the GDDR5 memory. This is a mild 5.45% overclock on the core, so don't expect any miracle performance increases in performance.

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC at 1000MHz core and 1250MHz memory:

Radeon HD 7770 Stock

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC at 1060MHz core and 1300MHz memory:

Radeon HD 7770 Overclocked

We tried out this overclock with Futuremark 3DMark 11 on the performance preset and saw the score go from P3828 to P3993, which is a 4.3% or 165 3DMark point increase from the card's stock settings. This is the third AMD Radeon HD 7770 video card that we have overclocked and we have yet to get one past 1175MHz, so this card is just 15% shy of the best that we have seen. It appears that the factory overclock is pretty decent and not too much headroom is left in these cards.

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

After spending a couple weeks using the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC 1GB GDDR5 video card (part number GV-R777OC-1GD) we found it to be a great little video card.  We like that it is faster, quieter and cooler than the AMD Radeon HD 7770 reference card. The fact that it is also about half an inch shorter is also a plus. At the end of the day there is nothing we could find wrong with this card!  It comes nicely equipped and is a very solid graphics card for the price tag.

 Gigabyte Model
 Core Clock
Memory Clock
 Memory
Price
 GV-R777D5-1GD  1000 MHz  1125 MHz  1GB GDDR5
 $149.99
 GV-R777OC-1GD  1100 MHz  1125 MHz  1GB GDDR5
 $159.99

When it comes to price the Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD is identical to the GV-R777D5-1GD, with the exception of a 100MHz higher core clock for an extra $10. You can likely reach this overclock for free by doing it yourself on the base model, but for those that want to be certain or don't want to mess with overclocking, the extra money is usually worth it.
Gigabyte GV-R777OC-1GD

Overclocking the Radeon HD 7770 OC gave us another slight bump in performance, but there isn't a ton of headroom left in this cards. We managed to get from 1100 to 1160MHz, which is only a 60MHz bump in the core clock. This shouldn't be a deal breaker for most, but if you wanted to have some overclocking fun you might want to step up to a Radeon HD 7850 when they become available to purchase on March 19th. We were able to take that cards 1024 stream processors from 860MHz to 1050MHz. That isn't as high as we were able to take the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC, but remember it has just 640 stream processors and half the ROPs. There is also a $90 price jump as well!

Legit Reviews Recommended Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 OC is a very well designed video card that features a custom PCB, GPU cooler and is factory overclocked to seal the deal.