Sapphire 7770 FleX
OverviewHardware: Video Cards
WHAT WE LIKED:Eyefinity capabilities on card, Excellent temperatures, Low noise, Affordable
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Too weak for good Eyefinity gaming, Can't beat older GTX 460.
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When we looked at previous Sapphire FleX models, we came away impressed with the technology but concluded the cards needed some strong horsepower for Eyefinity gaming at extreme resolutions. A good example was the 7950 FleX we reviewed, as it had a strong GPU and 3GB of memory to cope with the extreme resolutions. Unfortunately that’s not the case here with the 7770 FleX; despite the great technology incorporated by Sapphire, the processing power generally isn’t available for effective Eyefinity gaming unless you drop the image quality settings to Low for the most part. Even then, performance will be a mixed bag.
In terms of performance, the Sapphire 7770 easily beats previous generation mid-range Radeon cards, though it does succumb to the vaunted GTX 460, so if you have one and are pondering an upgrade, you should take a pass. Of course, one of the beauties of the FleX technology is Eyefinity on a single card, wthout any need for an expensive monitor connection or active display cable which drives up the cost.
Beyond framerates, it’s important to note the temperature output of the 28nm manufacturing process, and specifically the load results. We know that Sapphire typically produces some excellent heatsinks, and the 7770 FleX was no different, posting excellent temperature results, not to mention nearly silent with both fans running at higher RPMs.
So let’s talk about value for a minute. The Sapphire 7770 FleX comes with a price tag of about $150, which is actually well positioned against the competition. So we think the great heatsink, FleX technology, and low noise is worth every penny. The difficulty, however, is that this card struggles heavily with Eyefinity gaming, unless you’re willing to turn down the image quality settings to Low and hope for the best.
We love what Sapphire continues to do with the FleX technology and cooling prowess on cards such as this one. But the horsepower here is a bit lacking, so weigh your options carefully before jumping in the deep end of the gaming card pool. If you don’t need to play at very high image quality settings, then the Sapphire 7770 FleX can be a cost effective solution if you’re on a tight budget.