According to a December 2011 hardware survey conducted by Steam, the Radeon HD 5770 takes the largest piece of the video card pie with a 28% share. The HD 5770 was the perfect balance of cost and performance for such a long time that demand and depreciation did not slow down too much, despite the arrival of newer generation video cards. With the PC gaming market gaining a greater market share in recent years, demand for high performance mainstream cards with lower power consumption increased rapidly. This unfortunately did not turn out to be the HD 6770, since it is essentially a repackaged HD 5770 with HD3D support. Users waiting for the true successor to a balanced mainstream video card line were willing to wait a bit more.
The arrival of the Cape Verde Pro and XT is touted by AMD as the next benchmark for mainstream gaming. Consisting of the HD 7770 and the HD 7750, the Cape Verde GPUs use almost the same 28nm Graphics Core Next based design as the Tahiti 7900 series released in January 2012, except with fewer stream processors and, therefore, less power requirements. The mainstream GPU segment leaves plenty of options for users to choose from, so the Cape Verde GPUs have to deliver a unique advantage over the previous generation models to compete within this price range.
The HD 7770 DirectCU video card is ASUS' offering for the Cape Verde XT mainstream GPU line. The ASUS HD 7770 DirectCU video card uses a custom cooling solution that is 20% cooler and quieter, compared to reference designs. The 28nm Cape Verde GPUs, like the ones on the ASUS HD 7770 DirectCU, also redefine efficient power consumption, even in CrossfireX mode through AMD PowerTune and ZeroCore power technologies. Equipped with a DVI port, an HDMI port, and a pair of mini-DisplayPorts, the ASUS HD 7770 DirectCU video card supports AMD Eyefinity 2.0 with up to four displays. Like most DirectCU video cards from ASUS, the HD 7770 DirectCU model comes slightly overclocked at 1020MHz, 20MHz higher than the reference AMD design.