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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  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    A 256-bit version (and thus able to run lower clockspeeds but get the same performance) would make a great passively-cooled GPU.
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    By 256-bit version, do you mean the memory-bus width? All that would achieve is allow them to use slower memory (GDDR3 instead of GDDR5) and would have no effect on the speed the GPU itself needs to be clocked at, and therefore the temperature it would run at.

    Speaking of which, I don't think temperatures were mentioned in the article (goes to check).
  • Veteran - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    I read the review completely and i clearly saw the 4770 leading the GTS 250 in most games. After reading the conclusion i was a little bit dissapointed at Anandtech. The 4770 which costs around 100$ clearly outperforms a 130$+ part while consuming lower power. Still the conclusion is not very positive... How can this happen?
    This is on of the best cards at the moment price/performance wise, so why doesn't Anandtech recommend this card? Scared to loose good relationships with nVidia? The last couple of months you can clearly see where anandtech is going to... It's really sad, since this was one of the best around.
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    You don't think this is a AMD-supportive conclusion?

    "It isn't clear when NVIDIA will have a part in this generation of their architecture that competes in the near $100 market, but in the meantime the option is certainly clear: the Radeon HD 4770 is the way to go for now."
  • flipmode - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Maybe you're high? Read:

    "As for the competition, the 4770 comes out on top in the games we tested."

    "the option is certainly clear: the Radeon HD 4770 is the way to go for now."

    What more do you want? A all out denouncement of Nvidia?
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Well, checking Newegg right now, there are 4 4770 options available (interestingly enough, all using the same non-reference cooler) all at 109.99. There are 12 GTS250 512 cards, one of which is 120 shipped, and three others at 110, 115, and 120 with rebates. Given the relatively small performance difference and the relatively small price difference, a relatively mild recommendation seems warranted. I'd imagine this will end up becoming a case of "Pick whichever brand you like better or whoever has the better price at the moment." I personally would pick an nvidia card for an extra $10 just due to the driver issues I have experienced with AMD.
  • aapocketz - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    [quote]interestingly enough, all using the same non-reference cooler[/quote]

    yeah I cant find any that use the reference cooler reviewed in the articles on this site or others. I would prefer if its going to have a dual slot solution, that it vents the exhaust outside the case! The cooler thats on newegg is ugly too... I would have picked one up today if it looked like the ones in the article!

  • balancedthinking - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Do not forget the 10$ mail in rebates @ newegg, so the 4770 IS cheaper.

    The 4770 also uses way less power and it is even more more strange to see Derek bitching about the naming of the card instead of looking at the OC ability.

    The German site was able to reach a massive overlock, leading to a stunning 25% performance improvement.
  • RagingDragon - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - link

    I guess the reviewer didn't have time for OC testing, and thus chose to fill the space with ranting instead.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Those $10 MIRs were not there when I checked before writing that. I also wouldn't be surprised to see bigger rebates on the nvidia hardware within a day or two.

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