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HIS HD 4770 - HIS HD 4770
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.
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.