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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  • Proteusza - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Looks like a good card. Hopefully the lessons learnt from this 40nm process will enable future AMD graphics cards (or even the 4870) to use it.

    One thing though - in light of the fact that the 4830 will be dropped, the naming scheme makes sense.

    Relative performance is now:
    4830 -> 4770 -> 4850 -> 4870
    It will become
    4770 -> 4850 -> 4870
    And everyone is happy again. At least its not misleading - I mean the 4770 really is a different card altogether to the 4800 series, so its good that its name reflects that. Pity it requires an external power connector, but at least it isnt very power hungry.
  • AmazighQ - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    and the fact that the 4830 was only a temporarily solution to fill up the 100 dollar gap, is and was very well known
    here a beter review of the HD 4770 :">
  • Amiga500 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    If AMD had named it the 4750 we'd all be happy.

    4750 -> 4850 -> 4870
  • Griswold - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    Why? There will be a 4750 with GDDR3 and lower core clock speed...
  • wit p - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    it seems that power management in these 40nm parts is completely redesigned. Could we (readers, of course) know more on this? TDP of about 80W versus delta (full load - idle) of just above 40W? I wonder if this PCIe power connector and two-slot cooling aren't just a precautionary features... Maybe at AMD/ATI they couldn't approximate properly new parts' power consumption?
    IMO: the perfect first hit, I even don't regret these famous 10$ ;) 48xx must be sold ;)
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    There were many issues regarding TSMC's 40nm node. Apparently, there were many issues with leakage. ATi probably wanted to err on the side of caution after the adequate but much maligned 4850 cooler.
  • FireSnake - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    .... it is excellent part.

    And, I don't know, how you talk about 110$, when this part is available in Europe (which tends to be more expensive, I don't know why) for 89€ (Listed for 87)!">

    And bitching about name ..... you would rather test overclocking capabilities.
  • evilspoons - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Maybe because 89€ is $115 USD when you apply the exhange rate. Just a thought.
  • Griswold - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    Just that you didnt include (or rather subtract) the 19% VAT they pay in germany in your equation, which is included in the 89€.
  • balancedthinking - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    I agree, this seems very try hard by Derek to criticize at least something.

    It is even more funny to lash out at AMD for using a lower number for a better performing card. Compare that to the competition which renames with higher and higher numbers and the performance does not change. Talk about "understatement" versus "deceiving".

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