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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  • iwodo - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    The GTS 250 is not doing too bad at all. It is an 55nm part and many years old.
    I am sure if Nvidia did some small tweaks to it and shrink it to 40nm and add GDDR5, it would be much more competitive if not better then 4770.
  • Veteran - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Then it would be even more expensive.... + power consumption wouldn't change much because of GDDR5

  • quanta - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    According to PC Perspective review[1], it has only 8 ROPs, and would only have 16 texturing units instead of 32.

  • kevinkreiser - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    with the die shrink i was really hoping for a single slot card this time. seriously will we ever see decent single slot cards again? i know the other manufacturers like gigabyte and his have their designs slightly slimmer but the coolers are still too big to fit in a single slot.
  • frowny - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    I imagine it's because the number of people that hate dual slot GPUs is so miniscule that it doesn't make sense to cripple your card's factory clocks just to cater to them. You can always get a 4670 or other low-end card if you want one that's a single slot.
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Well, after reading the reviews, I don't find the card terribly exciting, except for the low power levels. At $110, this card is more of a triumph for ATi than it is consumers. It is very cheap to make, with fewer pins for the 128-bit memory bus, and cheaper power circuitry. It's a nice card, and overall the best card at it's price point, but just barely. The main prupose of this card was to be more profitable for ATi, and it's done a great job at that.

    A low cost HD4830 is a better deal for many people. It can easily overclock to HD4850 speeds (you have to go higher than actual HD4850 speeds to get the same perforamnce, due to the lower number of shaders). Also, there are 800SP HD4830 cards out there (or so I've heard).

    The mood I get from the AT article - ho hum, and that's my impression as well. The low power draw is very nice, though (see the XbitLabs article for the actual power draw of the card, instead of the whole system). It's very impressive in the power dept., but that's about it.
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    good post. This is pretty much my feeling also, but you explained it better.
  • tomoyo - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    I think there's too much focus on the name of the video card. It's honestly perfect for the situation. They didn't rename an old gpu and it's obviously not the same type of chip as a 48xx. Also it's most certainly targeted for the midrange, which a 47xx sounds like a perfect name for. I'd say amd is doing a much, much better job at naming chips than nvidia, which has done far too many renames of the same chip.
  • Liujia - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Hi,everyone,I come from China-mainland, nice to "meet" u all. Although I know anandtech for a long time, this's my first message in Anandtech. ^_^

    I'm glad to see that ATI becomes more and more stronger, she brings benign market competition,and gives us good performance/price low-end cards(actually not only card). that's really good for most chinese,because most young guys'earning ain't very much, just like me.....

    Due to previous high cost,not everybody owns PC in china, especially in rural areas,where occupy 80% population of china.....oh,god, can u image that how many computers we still need? We must energetically promote IT application and use IT to propel and accelerate industrialization & multi-media education in backward areas. Mr.Obama said:you still have a lot of work to do.
    so do we ^_^

    fortunately, right now:
    $20LE-1150+$30 690G(or maybe $50 780G)= waht a perfect entry level, for us.
    $50 4600+ $55 770 + $55 HD4650 = what a perfect middle level,for us.
    $120 X3 710 + $90 790GX + $95~120 HD4830/4850 = what a perfect player level, for us.

    Here,I'd like to give my full support to HD4770.
    BTW,go~houston rocket~! haha
  • armandbr - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    To me the biggest issue with this card is the memory size.
    I heard there are going to be cards with 1 Gb of ram.
    I hope there will be.

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