Meet The Radeon 4770

With 826 Million transistors, the RV740 GPU that powers the Radeon HD 4770 features a native 640 SP (128 five-wide vector units arranged in 8 SIMD cores) as opposed to the 640 cut-down-from-800 SP 4830. Among the other differences is the fact that the 4770 hooks into GDDR5 over a 128-bit memory bus at almost the same clock speed (producing just a little bit less bandwidth at half the pinout).

AMD reports average TDP to be about 80W, so despite the fact that this is a 40nm part that pulls a little less power for the same job than its older brothers, the Radeon HD 4770 still requires a 6-pin PCIe power connector. This isn't a huge amount of power, and AMD has single slot boards that fall in to this range. Of course, it likely gets a little more complicated at 40nm when you have less surface area to dedicate to heat transfer. Thus this is a dual slot part rather than a single slot part. Such is life.

So, rather than a totally killer single slot card with no power connector at $99, we've got a dual slot card with a power connector at $110. Not ideal, but we can work with that. Rather than the 40nm process, form factor or targeted design being the selling point, the real issue is going to be the competition.

We will be comparing the Radeon HD 4770 to the GeForce GTS 250 512MB (aka the 9800 GTX+) and the GeForce 9800 GT. These two cards sort of sandwich the Radeon HD 4770 in terms of price with the 9800 GT coming in at $100 and the GTS 250 512MB at slightly more than $120. So the question will continually be: does the extra +/- $10 make a difference.

This part essentially improves upon and usurps the position of the Radeon HD 4830. Word from AMD was that we should see the 4830 start to fall by the wayside. For our analysis we are including the Radeon HD 4830 and the Radeon HD 4850. Here's a breakdown of how the AMD hardware stacks up:

ATI Radeon HD 4770 ATI Radeon HD 4850 ATI Radeon HD 4830
Stream Processors 640 800 640
Texture Units 32 40 32
ROPs 16 16 16
Core Clock 750MHz 625MHz 575MHz+
Memory Clock 800MHz (3200MHz data rate) GDDR5 993MHz (1986MHz data rate) GDDR3 900MHz (1800MHz data rate) GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 512MB 512MB 512MB
Transistor Count 826M 956M 956M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $110 $130 $100

It's worth noting that the bandwidths of the 4770 and the 4830 are 51.2GB/s and 57.6GB/s respectively.

We have also tweaked a couple of our tests to better target the ~$100 segment. The biggest change was with our Crysis test where we dropped everything down by one quality level ending up with all mainstream settings except for gamer shaders. The other was just a small tweak: not pushing things beyond the high quality default settings in Age of Conan (though we did enable 4xAA).

In the middle of testing, we accidentally let our copy of Left 4 Dead update itself rendering our benchmark un-timedemo-able. Thus we have to leave Left 4 Dead performance out of this article, but we can say that at the highest quality settings the 4770 is capable of playable framerates at up to 1680x1050.

Our test setup is still the Intel platform with a top of the line CPU in order to remove any other bottlenecks from the system. These performance numbers show the potential the graphics card has to offer. If the rest of a system is unable to achieve performance levels along the lines of what we show here, then it doesn't matter what graphics card we plug in at this price: it will end up performing pretty much the same as any other option (at the system bottleneck level). These tests show the potential of a graphics card when the potential of the graphics card makes a difference. That said, most Phenom II, Core 2, and Core i7 systems will be very close to these numbers at the common resolution of 1680x1050 with the tested hardware; the fast system/CPU generally only becomes a factor at lower resolutions or with multiple GPUs.

Test Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-965 3.2GHz
Motherboard ASUS Rampage II Extreme X58
Video Cards ATI Radeon HD 4770
ATI Radeon HD 4830
ATI Radeon HD 4850
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Video Drivers 9.4, 9.4 Beta for 4770
ForceWare 185.68
Hard Drive Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
RAM 6 x 1GB DDR3-1066 7-7-7-20
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
PSU PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 1200W

Without further ado, here's the performance numbers.

Index Age of Conan Performance
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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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