Gigabyte GV-777OC-GD1 Radeon HD Video Card Review
GIGABYTE is looking out for the budget gamers with its wallet-friendly GV-777OC-1GD, featuring an overclocked Radeon HD 7770 GPU with a custom cooler. Can it deliver the goods against an array of well-priced and seasoned competitors? The performance for the price may surprise you.
GIGABYTE Technology is one of Taiwan's largest computer hardware manufacturers. GIGABYTE is listed in the Taiwan Stock Exchange with revenues from 2010 reported at US $2.5 billion. GIGABYTE's motherboards are standard considerations for gamers looking to upgrade, but it offers many other products as well. GIGABYTE currently offers computer cases, optical drives, power supplies, TV tuners, cooling devices, notebooks, tablets, and of course video cards.
The GIGABYTE product we're looking at today is one of its newer video cards: The GV-R777OC-1GD. It features a factory overclocked Radeon HD 7770 mated with 1GB of GDDR5 and a custom cooling device.
AMD Radeon HD 7770 GPU
AMD launched the Radeon HD 7770 this past February 15th. It is based on the 28nm Graphics Core Next (or GCN) architecture, which is a design departure from the VLIW4 architecture. The Radeon HD 7770 features support for Eyefinity 2.0, DirectX 11.1, PowerTune, PCI-Express Gen 3, and various other advancements. The Radeon HD 7770 GPU is comprised of 1.5 billion transistors. It has 640 stream processors running at 1.0GHz for 1.28 TFLOPS of processing power. There are 40 texture units for a texture fill rate of 40 GigaTexels per second. The 16 raster operators (ROPs) and 64 Z/Stencil units provide a pixel fill rate of 16.0 billion pixels per second. The reference design calls for 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1.25GHz for a data throughput rate of 4.5Gbps and a maximum theoretical memory bandwidth of 72GB/sec. Typical board power is rated at about 80 Watts.
The GIGABYTE GV-R777OC-1GD is currently available from TigerDirect for $159.99. It sports a factory-overclocked GPU and memory, as well as a custom PCB and cooling device with a 10cm fan. The GPU is overclocked by 100MHz, bringing the clock rate to 1.1GHz. The 1GB of GDDR5 memory is set to 1.25GHz out of the box, which is 125MHz faster than AMD's reference specification of 1.125GHz. That brings the memory data rate to 5.0Gbps, compared to the 4.5Gbps reference design.
The GV-R777OC-1GD arrived in a slim, but wide box, prominently featuring a rendered stylized eye. GIGABYTE's logo is found on the front, along with the "AMD Radeon Graphics" icon. Two stickers on the front indicate that the GPU is overclocked to 1100MHz and the cooler has a 100mm fan. Printed text show that the video card has an AMD Radeon HD 7770 GPU and 1GB of GDDR5 memory.
The back of the box has a small features list translated into nine different languages. The back also boasts that the board contains GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable 2 feature set. Ultra Durable 2 consists of low Rds(on) MOSFET technology for power savings, solid ferrite core chokes for low-noise operation, and low ESR solid capacitors for longer life.
The video card's bundle is modest with only an installation guide and a driver CD-ROM disc.
This video card is smaller than what we have gotten used to. It is about 8.3" long, 5.3" tall, and 1.6" thick. Like most GIGABYTE boards, the PCB is light blue. A large cooling device is conspicuously displayed on the front of the board. It features an aluminum heat-sink with a black plastic shroud and a translucent grey cooling fan measuring 10cm in diameter. The cooling shroud does not fully enclose the video card, allowing air-flow all around the heat-sink and PCB components. The center of the fan features a holographic decal with GIGABYTE's company logo.
Behind the cooling shroud, some of the solid ferrite core chokes are visible as small black cubes. A few solid capacitors are also visible. The video card has just one power connector, a 6-pin auxiliary connector along the back edge of the PCB.
On the business end, the GV-R777OC-1GD sports one dual-link DVI port, one HDMI port, and two mini-DisplayPort connectors. The back of the PCB is not enclosed, with many surface mount components visible, as well as four spring-loaded cooler mounting screws.
During our testing with this video card, we received an updated BIOS from GIGABYTE (version "F2"), in which it was indicated that the shipping BIOS was defective. Looking at GIGABYTE's website it says "Fixed wrong incorrect Shaders information e [sic]" in the release notes. Before the BIOS update, GPU-z reported that the video card had 512 unified shaders. After the update, it correctly shows 640.
We applied the update, and performance was improved to a noticeable degree with the new BIOS, as much as 15% in some situations. In light of those performance increases, we re-tested performance with the video card. If you purchase this video card, make sure you apply this BIOS update to get the optimal performance out of the video card.