AMD Radeon HD 7750
The Radeon HD 7750 is the second card we've seen in AMD's new "Cape Verde" mid-range line, after the Radeon HD 7770. Like its bigger brother, the HD 7750 is a 28nm GPU with 1GB of 1,125MHz GDDR5 memory with a 128-bit memory bus, but the HD 7750 makes do with 512 stream processors instead of 640, and its core runs at 800MHz not 1GHz.
The card has lower power requirements than the HD 7770, so gets all the power it needs from the PCI Express slot without needing a 6-pin PCI Express power plug. It's also just 174mm long and takes up a single slot, so would make a good upgrade for a budget PC with a compact case and low-spec power supply. On the rear are dual-link DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, so you can run three monitors in Eyefinity mode if you have a DisplayPort model or use a £17 active DisplayPort to DVI adaptor.
Judging by its small size and low power requirements, we weren't expecting fireworks from the HD 7750. In our Dirt 3 test, which we run at 1,920 x 1,080 with 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra detail, we saw a not-quite-playable 28fps. Disabling anti-aliasing only brought this up to 29fps, so the game was still jerky in places. However, at 1,920 x 1,080 with 4xAA and High detail we saw 65fps, so the card will still let you play less demanding games near their maximum settings.
As with the HD 7770, the Crysis 2 test was stymied by the card's small 1GB of RAM, and we had to reduce detail levels significantly and turn off fancy DirectX 11 extras such as tessellation to get a playable frame rate.
We also struggled to get a smooth frame rate in our Dirt 3 Eyefinity test, running at 5,760 x 1,080 on three monitors. Cutting the detail levels down from Ultra to High and turning off anti-aliasing gave us an average of 29fps, but the game became slightly jerky during hectic scenes. You'll need a more powerful card if you're serious about three-monitor gaming. The card would also overclock easily to a 900MHz core speed and 1,250MHz memory clock, but this only added a frame or two per second to our tests.
The HD 7750 is reasonably powerful for a single-slot card which needs no auxiliary power, and if you're currently relying on an Intel processor's weedy graphics it could be a good upgrade. The one problem is price; at £105, it's £20 more than the Radeon HD 6770, which blows it away in current games. Even if you're upgrading a budget PC, if you have room for a double-slot card and don’t mind spending £3 on a Molex to PCI Express power adaptor, the HD 6770 is a better choice.