HIS HD 4770 - HIS HD 4770

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

While the back plate of the card only uses a single slot, the cooler is tall enough that it will interfere with the adjacent expansion card slot. Outputs are the same as on pretty much every other modern graphics card with two dual-link DVI sockets flanking an analogue video output. The DVIs can be used in conjunction with DVI-to-VGA and DVI-to-HDMI adapters, one each of which is included in the box, while the latter supports S-Video.

Aside from those display adapters, there's not much else of note in the box unless you count a driver disc, a sticker, and a quick start manual worthy of attention.

Despite there being nothing about this card that would suggest it might perform differently to our reference board, we still gave it a full once over in our performance tests. What we found was both interesting and probably entirely inconsequential. There were consistent differences of up to 5fps between the two cards with the reference card being slightly faster on average. However, the scores did fluctuate right across our testing with the HIS card often out performing the reference board. Ultimately, the scores are just close enough that we can put this down to margin of error so we don't think it's something that should affect your buying decision.

Once we'd established that this card could maintain performance parity with the reference board we set about assessing the effectiveness of the different cooler. To start, we checked thermal performance by reading the reported GPU temperature using ATI's drivers. At idle the HIS card was 2 degrees Celsius cooler than the reference card (42 vs 44), which is quite a good start. We then checked again while the card was running our Crysis benchmark at 1,920 x 1,200 with 2xAA and found that the HIS HD 4770 actually improved its lead making it 8 degrees cooler than the reference board (62 vs 70).

Of course, this wouldn't be a particularly brilliant achievement if the cooler wasn't also quiet so we set our test bed up in our sound isolation box and checked the noise these cards made under the same conditions as our previous thermal tests. Remarkably the HIS card once again came out victorious with an idle noise level of 37dB and 41dB when under load. In contrast, the reference board could only manage 44dB while idling and 49dB when under load. We did notice both cards spun up to an even noisier level once each during our testing but only for half a second or so and we couldn't get either card to repeat this, no matter how much we stressed them.

Were the review to end here, this would seem like an out and out victory for the HIS card and all others that use a similar cooler. However, this particular card seems to have limited availability and where it is available the price is a little higher than the competition for no apparent reason.

Verdict

The HIS HD 4770 (H477F512P) is a great graphics card for those building a modest gaming PC with ample performance, quiet operation, and low power consumption. However, as of right now, there are other versions of the HD 4770 with the same cooler available for less money.

lifethroughalens

July 17, 2009, 5:33 am

Many tech sites are raving about these being a great value purchase for crossfire x2 usage - even knocking the HD 4890 and GTX 275 down in a few tests.





It seems that if you're on a budget and FPS on a 1920x1080 or lower res screen are what you want, and now - and your not too bothered about Direct X 11 coming soon, then these could be for you. Hopefully AMD will release a x2 version soon.





Still think i'll stick with a more powerful single GPU for my current build.

Synergy6

July 17, 2009, 6:32 am

The card still physically takes up two slots, but doesn't use the second slot to push air out of the case. A strange change. If they could improve on the reference design while sticking to a true single-slot design, that would be interesting.

Eggburt1969

July 17, 2009, 2:02 pm

Hi, two questions:


1) What was the test setup for this review (was it just he same as the previous review on the ATI4770: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...


2) Specs wise how do the reference and HIS versions compare (memory, shaders, core speeds, etc) as there are certainly differences in the resulting performance charts between the two cards.

Ed

July 17, 2009, 2:49 pm

@Eggburt1969: Yes, the test setup was the same as the previous review. The specs of the cards are also identical.

Beaky69

July 17, 2009, 8:15 pm

The 4770 has received some good reviews, although availability has been somewhat limited due to low yields from TSMC's 40nm production process. The biggest problem for this card is the fact that the much more powerful 4870 can be found online for just over a tenner more.

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