It’s not often that we see a new graphics card get released that’s no different than its predecessor, but with the Radeon HD 6770, that’s just the case. We’re already familiar with HD 5770 performance, but let’s take a look at how this $140 card compares to its similarly-priced competition, including the recently-launched HD 6790.
To test our graphics cards for both temperatures and power consumption, we utilize OCCT for the stress-testing, GPU-Z for the temperature monitoring, and a Kill-a-Watt for power monitoring. The Kill-a-Watt is plugged into its own socket, with only the PC connect to it.
As per our guidelines when benchmarking with Windows, when the room temperature is stable (and reasonable), the test machine is boot up and left to sit at the desktop until things are completely idle. Because we are running such a highly optimized PC, this normally takes one or two minutes. Once things are good to go, the idle wattage is noted, GPU-Z is started up to begin monitoring card temperatures, and OCCT is set up to begin stress-testing.
To push the cards we test to their absolute limit, we use OCCT in full-screen 2560×1600 mode, and allow it to run for 15 minutes, which includes a one minute lull at the start, and a four minute lull at the end. After about 5 minutes, we begin to monitor our Kill-a-Watt to record the max wattage.
In the case of dual-GPU configurations, we measure the temperature of the top graphics card, as in our tests, it’s usually the one to get the hottest. This could depend on GPU cooler design, however.
Note: Due to changes AMD and NVIDIA made to the power schemes of their respective current-gen cards, we were unable to run OCCT on them. Rather, we had to use a less-strenuous run of 3DMark Vantage. We will be retesting all of our cards using this updated method the next time we overhaul our suite.
Unfortunately, at the time this graphics card was tested, GPU-Z did not support it, and thus we have no temperature information to share. Given the cooler and our knowledge of the HD 5770, however, I’d surmise that it’d top out at about 70°C and idle at ~35°C. This is simply based off of our last FleX product review and also the fact that the HD 5770 with a reference cooler idled at 41°C and loaded at 78°C.
Power-wise, the HD 6770 surprisingly surpassed the HD 6790 at both idle and load. We’re not totally sure of the reasons behind this, seeing as the HD 5770 had far better ratings, but it could be that the DisplayPort built-in functionality does play a role. I had wanted to haul out the HD 5770 again and do a head-to-head, but I’m suffering a brain freeze and can’t recall where I stored it (the life of a tech reviewer).