One year ago, in October 2010, we said goodbye to ATI after testing its entire Radeon HD 5xxx model range. The company itself merged with AMD but its graphics cards have lingered longer than the ATI brand. For its current 6 series AMD uses the good old Radeon HD 5750 and HD 5770 rebranded as HD 6750 and HD 6770, respectively, and equipped with HDMI 1.4a and OpenGL 4.1 support. There are no other differences in specs between these two pairs of graphics cards.
So, AMD/ATI supporters have no choice in the mainstream category other than buying the old ATI Radeon HD 5770/5750s which are still selling or the “new” AMD Radeon HD 6770/6750s. The latter pair is likely to be preferred, so we are going to test a few such cards today. For this review to offer new information compared to our earlier articles about such products, we will take cards from ASUS, Gigabyte and PowerColor which all have one common trait. They have passive cooling. Let’s take a look at each of them and compare their performance.
ASUS Radeon HD 6770 DirectCU Silent (EAH6770 DCSL/2DI/1GD5)
The first graphics card to be discussed is ASUS Radeon HD 6770 DirectCU Silent. It comes in a large cardboard box with a picture of a knight riding a rambunctious steed.
There is a description of the card’s key features, specs and system requirements on the back of the box. Inside it, there is a soft foam-rubber tray with the graphics card and an additional box with accessories.
The accessories include two power adaptors, one DVI-HDMI adaptor, and a disc with drivers and installation guide.
The card is manufactured in Taiwan and costs about $139. The warranty period is 3 years.
The ASUS Radeon HD 6770 DirectCU Silent has a truly astonishing size. We couldn’t really expect a modest Radeon HD 6770 to ever get that huge! Take a look at it:
The PCB being a mere 183 millimeters long, the graphics card itself measures 290x170x50 millimeters due to the huge cooling heatsink. Thus, it is comparable in length to top-end rather than to mainstream or entry-level products, so we hope this cooling system is going to be most efficient.
The ASUS Radeon HD 6770 DirectCU Silent is equipped with one analog, one DVI and one HDMI output. There is also a vent grid in its mounting bracket:
The card doesn’t support CrossFireX and has no appropriate connectors. There is one 6-pin power connector in its usual location.
According to its specs, the Radeon HD 6770 is expected to be used with a 450-watt or better power supply. The card’s own power consumption is not specified.
The PCB is so simple that we guess it could be shrunk by half and still have enough room for its 3-phase power circuit.
The card features Super Alloy Power technology which ensures 15% performance boost, 35°C cooler operation and 2.5x longer lifespan for its components.
The “performance boost” part looks like a rather meaningless marketing claim to us.
The GPU is manufactured in Taiwan and lacks a protective frame. It incorporates 800 unified shader processors, 40 texture-mapping units and 16 raster operators.
Its clock rate in 3D applications is 850 MHz, in full compliance with AMD's specs. The frequency is lowered to 157 MHz in 2D mode.