...Sapphire's HD 7730 1GB GDDR5 card offers a comfortable performance increase over the very latest integrated graphics.
AMD's Radeon HD 7730 is a welcome addition to the budget graphics fold. Based on the same GCN architecture powering the remainder of the Radeon HD 7000-series and fundamentally better than the otherwise comparable Radeon HD 6670 that is manufactured using older technology, this new card, priced at £60, provides solid 1080p gaming performance when using medium-quality settings.
AMD's GCN architecture has become incrementally better over time and we have little reason to doubt continued advancement, as GCN-based chips are set to power the major next-generation consoles, as well. And appreciating that AMD has eked out decent performance from a small-ish die bodes well for the next iteration of the APU, codenamed Kaveri, but it's a shame that AMD's anachronistic APU and discrete-card releases don't line up - the HD 7730 is incompatible with the current Richland APU's Dual Graphics technology.
So with a number of positives on the horizon it seems strange that AMD has snuck the HD 7730 without any semblance of fanfare. Sapphire's duly picked it up and launched two SKUs, though we'd steer clear of the 2GB version that's severely hamstrung by the use of antiquated DDR3 memory.
We'll know more about where the HD 7730 1GB GDDR5 sits against the Nvidia competition when we look at the performance of the same-priced GeForce GT 640, which is just becoming available with a newer, faster GK208 die, so stay tuned for that.
Sapphire's HD 7730 1GB GDDR5 card offers a comfortable performance increase over some of the latest integrated graphics, too, and it represents an inexpensive upgrade for folk looking to take their PC gaming to the first real level. We come to the conclusion that this card makes good sense at the purported £60 price point.
GCN-powered mainstream GPU
Not compatible with AMD Dual Graphics
Sapphire Radeon HD 7730 1GB GDDR5
The Sapphire Radeon HD 7730 1GB GDDR5 graphics card is available to purchase from Scan Computers.*
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