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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  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    Yeah, it's kinda odd how GPU's simply skipped the 45nm base node this time around. I guess it's good in away quicker progress. Also much needed considering how much MORE core logic GPU's have then CPU's which over 50% of the transistor budget is cache.

    This is only a test shuttle basically for the 40nm process small simple part, for high yields and to work out the kinks before deploying complex parts on this new process.

    Sorta like G92b for Nvidia
  • RagingDragon - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - link

    AMD and Nvidia GPU's are fabbed by TSMC. I don't think TSMC have a 45nm process - they jumped to 40nm instead, which seems sensible to me: timewise TSMC's 40nm process is entering production almost halfway between Intel's 45nm and 32nm processes.
  • armandbr - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    here are crossfire numbers">
  • Exar3342 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    I see no reason why this couldn't be in a single-slot solution. That is what everyone really wants...I would grab 3 of these if they were available in such a way.
  • AmazighQ - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    really dont post a review as bad as this
    you make the 4770 look like any other card while its performance to price ratio is even greater then the 4850
    final point this review failed miserably
  • frowny - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Why are you guys focusing on 4770 vs GTS250? The correct comparison is 4770 vs 9800GT since those are the same price points.
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    This card seems to be kind of in limbo to me. It isnt a performance leader, but still is not particularly low in power consumption. It still requires a power connector and is dual slot (dual slot ???). In performance it is also bracketed by the 4830 and 4850. Price is also not outstanding.
    To showcase 40nm architecture, I would have thought that AMD would have had either a higher performance card or an improved performance 4670 type card that required no power connector and was single slot.
    At this point, I would choose a 4670 for low power and no connector required or go with a 4850 or 4870 for better performance.
  • FireSnake - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    "or go with a 4850 for better performance"

    Read the article first, and stop writing nonsense!
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Don't be rude. I did read the article. It states that the 4770 is faster than the 4830. I took this to mean that the 4850 was faster than the 4770. Looking closely at the graphs, it is faster in some games, but not in others. I don't mind people pointing out mistakes, but you can be nice about it.
  • RagingDragon - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - link

    The 4770 is going to replace the 4830, which will be (or has been?) phased out of production. The card is intened for gamers wanting more performance than a 4670 but who don't want to pay for a 4850. Looks to me like the target market is gamers with 1680x1050 panels. For lower resolutions less expensive cards would make more sense, for 1920x1080 and 1920x1200 the 4850, 4870 or 4890 makes more sense, and if you want to game at 2560x1600 you'll probably want a dual-GPU solution....

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