AMD officially introduced the Radeon HD 6790, a new budget gaming card based on the 40nm Barts GPU that also powers the Radeon HD 6800 series. This new GPU offers 800 stream processors, 40 TMUs, 16 ROPs, a 256-bit memory bus, a core clockspeed of 840MHz and 1GB GDDR5 clocked at 4200MHz. Pricing is just under $150.
Lets take a look at a couple of reviews to see if this new part is worth your money. AnandTech for instance concludes that this card succeeds in trampling the GeForce GTX 550 Ti, but notes it makes little sense to get a Radeon HD 6790 since you can get a Radeon HD 6850 for only $10 more.
Long term I’m a bit worried that the $150 price will stick, giving AMD a price floor to bring up 6800 series prices. The 6790 is solidly ahead of the GTX 550 Ti, so if that’s the only thing AMD bases all of their pricing around they can charge more than the GTX 550 Ti, and more for the 6800 series on top of that. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but we have seen video card prices creep up before.
The Tech Report reports it can't think of a situation where the Radeon HD 6790 would be recommendable, especially considering you can get a Radeon HD 6850 on Newegg for $144.99 (after a $20 mail-in rebate).
The unfortunate truth is that, for $149, the 6790 is kind of a raw deal. A graphics card without a cause, really. Head to Newegg right now, and you can grab a Radeon HD 6850 for $164.99—that's before a $20 mail-in rebate that'll bring the card down to just $144.99, as long as you eventually get that check in the mail. The 6850 produces much higher frame rates across the board, draws about as much power, and may actually emit less noise.