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Asus EAH 4770 Formula Series Review

ccokeman    -   July 2, 2009
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Conclusion:

When I first saw the car silhouette on top of the fan the first thing I thought was, "boy, is this one gonna go over well." The fact of the matter is that this card did indeed fly and deliver some incredible performance numbers when I started pushing the clock speeds. It did this while staying cool and incredibly quiet. So quiet that I could not hear it running and had to reach in and feel the fan to see if it was indeed spinning. While the F1 car style heatsink housing may not be for everyone, it is unique and does serve a purpose, not just as bragging rights for the younger crowd. The airflow is directed to points across the PCB, reducing operating temperature by 33% over the reference design. The heatsink itself has micro ridges that increase the available surface area to promote better cooling, something you will need if you intend to push the limits of this card. The directed airflow helps with the PCB but the 40nm core was 11C cooler at 49C than the reference design with the fan controlled by the driver, a substantial improvement over the reference design. However, with the fan manually controlled and the Formula EAH 4770 overclocked, the temperature of the R740 core never went above 52C under load. The benefits of cooler components can be increased life span or higher overclocking, if you so choose. Overclocking the Formula EAH 4770 provided some really solid performance numbers that in most cases equaled or bested the performance of the HD 4850. The maximum stable speeds I could run the formula at were 852MHz on the core and 1123MHz on the GDDR5 memory. The core speed increase is over 100MHz higher than the 750MHz stock core clock speed while the memory is 323Mhz higher than the stock 800MHz.

Asus has designed a card that uses what it calls the "Ultimate Armaments" to build a card that performs well not only at stock speeds but to push the envelope when overclocked. Lower RDS on MOSFETs that run cooler, solid capacitors for a longer service life, shielded DVI connections for improved clarity and covered chokes for cooler operation and better efficiency are the things that ASUS uses to separate its products from the reference design cards. Pricing on the reference HD 4770 cards runs anywhere from $99 to $119, which is right at the price point for many of the reference design HD 4850s, which could put a crimp in the sales of the 4770. Rumors of a shortage of 40nm chips may have prompted AMD/ATI to drop the price on the HD 4850 to keep the pressure on nVidia at this price point since really this is where the money is made for the most part. What you have in the Asus EAH4770 is a video card that performs above its price point when overclocked, delivers cooling performance without the noise penalty associated with AMD/ATI reference heatsinks and is built with high quality components for a price that won't break the bank.

 

Pros:

  • Overclocking
  • OC performance
  • Unique cooling that works
  • Silent cooling
  • High end components
  • Native HDMI
  • PCB support

 

Cons:

  • The car fan cover

 

OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Closer Look (Drivers & Programs)
  4. Closer Look (Catalyst Control Center)
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Far Cry 2
  8. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  9. Testing: BioShock
  10. Testing: Call of Duty World at War
  11. Testing: Dead Space
  12. Testing: Fallout 3
  13. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  14. Testing: 3DMark 06
  15. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  16. Conclusion
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