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AMD Radeon HD 6790 - Confusing and Unnecessary

AMD Radeon HD 6790 - Confusing and Unnecessary


The Enemy is Thyself

In terms of performance, the new Radeon HD 6790 is the perfect foil to NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 550 Ti. In most instances, the Radeon comfortably beats the GeForce GTX 550 Ti while operating at moderate temperatures and consuming slightly less power. But is it the perfect mainstream card? Unfortunately not, let us explain why.

The main problem with it is its price. Its launch price of US$150 means AMD has targeted it squarely at the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, which is now going for around US$149 in the market. And if you were to compare the two, then the Radeon HD 6790 certainly provides more bang for buck as it is markedly faster than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti.

However, the problem with the Radeon HD 6790 is that for a little more, one could snag the more powerful and power efficient Radeon HD 6850. Considering reference Radeon HD 6850 cards can be had for as little as US$165, this means that a more powerful card can be had for as little as US$15 more. The Radeon HD 6850 is therefore the better buy if we were to compare the two. With its pricing, the Radeon HD 6790 doesn't really fill any gaps, so to make the Radeon HD 6790 attractive, AMD should have priced it slightly lower to differentiate it from the Radeon HD 6850.

And so, while the Radeon HD 6790 convincingly trumps its rival from NVIDIA - the GeForce GTX 550 Ti - it is at odds with its own and more powerful sibling, the Radeon HD 6850. As such, unless US$150 is already a stretch for you, there’s simply no compelling reason to get the Radeon HD 6790 over the older but faster HD 6850.


Lastly, the custom edition HIS 6790 IceQ X Turbo is a solid take on the SKU by HIS. It runs remarkable cool, has great overclocking potential, and provides decent performance out of the box. It some instances, it even matches the Radeon HD 6850, and that’s a commendable effort. At US$159, it costs only slightly more than the launch price of the Radeon HD 6790, but then again, a few dollars more would snag you a real Radeon HD 6850. If you really must have a Radeon HD 6790 despite reading our review, then this is a solid option.

Final Ratings