First things first: the Radeon HD 4770 is faster than existing 4800 series hardware (namely the 4830). Yes, this is by design.

We hate to start another article complaining about naming (there seems to be some sort of pervasive renaissance of poor naming this year), but let's talk about why exactly we are in this situation with a look back at something from our RV670 coverage:

At least it's ironic.

Yes, the problem is born out of AMD's attempt at sensible, appropriate naming. The problem is that AMD seems to want to associate that "family" number with the physical GPU than with the a performance class. This is despite the fact that they generally use increasing numbers for "families" that are generally faster. Thus, the 40nm RV740 needs a new family name, and they can't really choose 49xx presumably (by us) because people would be more upset if they saw a high number and got lower performance than if they saw a lower number and got higher performance. So Radeon HD 4770 it is.

When we brought up our issues with the naming scheme, AMD was quick to respond that naming is one of the most contentious things that go on in bringing a graphics card to market. People get passionate about the issue. Passion is great, but not if it confuses, misleads, or distracts the end user. And that's what a decision like this does. There is no practical reason that this card shouldn't be named 4840 to reflect where it's performance falls. After all, the recently released 4890 is host to quite a few tweaks to the physical layout of the chip and it isn't called the 4970.

At the same time, that trailing zero is doing nothing on all AMD hardware. There is an extra number in there that could allow AMD to shift some things around in their naming scheme to retain all the information they want to reflect about architecture generation, processes revision, performance class and specific performance within that class. If we are going to have a model number system, in order to have real value to both the informed and casual graphics card user it needs to be built to properly represent the underlying hardware AND be strictly related to performance. With this move, AMD joins NVIDIA in taking too many liberties with naming to the detriment of the end user.

Now that that's taken care of, what we have today is a 40nm GPU (the first) paired with 512MB of RAM on a $110 card. The package delivers performance at a level between the 4830 and the 4850. First indications were that this would be a $99 part and the performance we see with this card at the "magic" price would be terrific. It's still not bad at a 10% higher price. AMD had indicated that there should be some $10 mail in rebates available for those who are interested in the extra bonus hassle and upfront cost to get the cash.

Meet The Radeon 4770
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  • SiliconDoc - Sunday, June 7, 2009 - link

    the usual red rooster line I see:
    " It's all about cost benefit. Certainly it's a benefit to have smaller GPUs as they cost less to make. "
    That means if you buy a $200 lovely driver corrupted red rooster card, ATI loses $66 for AMD and themselves !
    WHAT a great advantage they have in that die size !
    MEANWHILE FOR THOSE BILLION DOLLAR ATI LOSS YEARS, NVIDIA HAS BEEN CRANKING OUT A PROFIT ! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$4
    Oh well, nice BS anyway Derek ! Hope it makes all your fantasies real for you, because that's the only place they are real, in your head.
  • srikar115 - Saturday, May 30, 2009 - link

    on stock its same performer to 4850,cheaper,cooler nore ociable,this will defently hamper the sales of 4850.

    clocks reached as high as 1000/1200 with voltage adjustments...i jus love this card">
  • PC Reviewer - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - link

    I believe that the newer 4890's are better performance for the cost...

    its only marginally more yet offers more ram for larger resolutions and more power..">
  • Sunsmasher - Saturday, May 2, 2009 - link

    It quite apparent that the manufacturers are TRYING to create confusion for less sophisticated buyers so that they cannot easily
    compare price/performance factors of cards.
    This is especially true of Nvidia. (Can anybody explain why the 8800 magically became the 9800?)
    Obviously an attempt to create a "new" card without really changing anything.
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    [quote]The fact that the AMD hardware is leading here is not unexpected. But we do see that the NVIDIA GTS 250 looks a little bit CPU bound at lower resolutions.[/quote]

    I wouldn't say it is CPU bound as the AMD cards are not at all CPU bound at considerably higher framerates. Rather the nVidia card is for some reason being capped at 60fps, almost probably by its driver (or possibly some setting in it). Most LCD displays are capable of accepting a refresh rate of 75hz (at certain resolutions) as well as 60hz, so you could always try doing that to see if the driver is limiting the framerate to the refresh-rate.
  • rickshaw - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    This card look amazing for the price. I am wondering now if this card is any better than the HD 3870? Should I get this card to replace the HD 3870?

    Any comments for the experts?
  • Lummox - Thursday, May 7, 2009 - link

    with two of these cards for $220 = rebate you will smoke anything else at this price including a 280. see toms for review
  • VooDooAddict - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    I'm drooling over the power usage.

    Top end i7
    6 dimms

    under 220w

    I think I found the new Crossfire setup for my Shuttle!
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    How come the 4770 does so much better in the Anandtech review than in the Guru3D, HardOCP, Xbit Labs, Tom's Hardware and several other reviews?
  • mmpalmeira - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    I guess it is because of the games they tested with that favors the ATI hardware. Specialy GRID and AoC. The cards performance is very similar, so the games choosen to performe the test will define with card is better.

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