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AMD ATI Radeon HD 4770 - Power, Overclocking & Verdict

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Power is measured using a wall socket power meter so accounts for the whole system. Nevertheless it still clearly demonstrates the difference between the cards we have on test, and what a difference! Okay, at idle there's not much of a difference between the three, but under load the 9600 GT starts to gobble up noticeably more power than the HD 4770. At first the 9600 GT appears to be doing fine as well but this is a slower card so the performance per watt is considerably worse than the HD 4770.

In theory the lower power usage, low operating temperature, and large cooler of the HD 4770 should enable it to be a good overclocker. This is something we quickly put to the test using the overclocking tool in ATI's driver. Sadly the limits for core and memory clock speeds were 830MHz and 850MHz respectively. These amount to just 11 per cent and 6 per cent overclocks and resulted in our Crysis score at 1,920 x 1,200 (2xAA) improving by just 1fps to 22.64fps. Suffice to say, this is not particularly impressive and is easily equalled by the 9800 GT, but if ATI opens up the overclocking settings in its drivers or you use a third party application we think there should be plenty more headroom to play with.

More troubling than any overclocking worries, though, is the pricing of this card. While it compares well to those cards that are meant to be at this price point, there are rogue nVidia GTS 250 and HD 4850 cards (literally one of each in a few shops) hitting the £100 mark. At this price both these cards are an absolute steal and we'd recommend you stretch just a little and get one of them. We rather suspect the pricing will level out in the not too distant future, though, and the HD 4770 and 9800 GT will once again be left to battle it out in their own price point.

Verdict

The switch to a 40nm manufacturing process hasn't exactly blown us away but nevertheless, in the HD 4770, ATI has produced a card that comfortably bests all others at its price point. So, if you've got about £80 to spend on a graphics card, the choice is clear.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 8
  • Features 7

supersizeme

May 1, 2009, 3:01 am

I am surprised at 8/10, I mean this card is considerably faster and cheaper than the 9800GT. I am so glad that AMD/ATI are posing a good challange to Nvidia in arguably the most popular price range 㿨-㿼

Bill Broadley

May 1, 2009, 4:56 am

Very frustrating. The review is for a card that sounds great, especially in the quiet department, "on the whole this card was incredibly quiet with it being whisper quiet when idling and for most of the time when under load as well". It *GASP*, actually improves the cooling in a system by sucking air through the GPU and pumping it out the back. Alas this isn't the card you can buy, the ones available for sale seem to have a radically poorer cooler design. Just a fan, in most cases the heat is circulated in a small area blocked on 5 sides by the case bottom, case back, motherboard, case side, and of course the GPU itself.





So while the reviewed card should make it relatively easy to have a silent desktop, the cards you can actually buy are likely to be much worse. I'd hope that in the future that trusted reviews would review video cards we can actually buy. I see 8 vendors or so in stock at newegg, none like the reviewed card.

Kinn

May 1, 2009, 6:37 am

Shame about the fan noise. Been looking to get a quiet card for the media center.





Would be great if you guys did a roundup of some quiet/fanless cards.

anshul

May 13, 2009, 3:05 pm

i have a pentiumD 820 can i even get 60-70% performance as most games are gpu dependent.i am quite satisfied running games at 1280X720

Jens Kjærsgaard

July 17, 2009, 8:20 pm

If noice is an issue - use passive coled graphics cards.


I use ASUS - and play fps-games (Bioshock, GTA4, Battlefiels etc.) with no problems...


Inspiration:


http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-...


http://www.silentpcreview.com/...





Regards Jens Kjærsgaard

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