Asus EAH 4770 Formula Series Reviewccokeman -
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What you have with the ASUS EAH4770 Formula is another rendition of the first 40nm video card to the market. On the outside the Formula 4770 at first glance looks like a standard HD 4770 with a special heatsink but when you look a little deeper there is more to be seen. This card is smaller than all of the behemoth video cards on the market at just over eight inches in length. The depth of the heatsink makes the Formula series 4770 a dual slot cooling solution. Along the top edge of the card there is a brace to provide additional rigidity to the PCB to prevent any droop of the PCB like I have seen on some HD4850s over time. That fix is always a welcome addition.
When building its latest video cards, ASUS has made some improvements that should help with the reliability as well as reducing operating temperatures of the on board components while running more efficiently. In today's economy not everyone has the financial ability to upgrade at any time and are looking for their hardware to last for a greater length of time. ASUS call these the "Ultimate Armaments." What you get are lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, solid capacitors, shielded video outputs and covered chokes. As you can see in the slide below each has a significant impact. The fan used on the Formula 4770 features a double seal that helps keep dust out of the motor increasing its life span by a large margin. This, of course, will take some testing time but with the dust that seems to accumulate in my computers this should be something easy to do. Having the fan fail on even a mid range performance card can have a devastating effect on the GPU and memory.
On the introduction page I mentioned that the EAH 4770 Formula did not arrive with any video adapters. The reason for this is that the card really does not need them as the most common outputs are already there. Instead of having two Dual Link capable DVI outputs and an HDTV output the Formula is equipped with one Dual Link DVI output, a single VGA output and lastly an HDMI port so you can play all that HD content you own without connection hassles. Looking at the Formula from the rear you can see the PCI-E 6-pin power plug, plus three of the four "Ultimate Armaments," the covered chokes, solid capacitors and MOSFETs. By pulling the heatsink assembly you get a view of the shielded video out connection points for "Ultimate Armament" number 4.
When you pull the heatsink off of the Formula 4770 you can see how the airflow is directed across the surface of the PCB. The heatsink contains small ridges along the length of the fins to add extra surface area to aid the heatsink in shedding the heat generated by the 40nm R740 core. The design of the cooling assembly accoding to Asus drops the PCB operating temperatures by 33%.
The EAH4770 Formula is based upon the R740 core built using a 40nm manufacturing process. The core features 826 million transistors, 640 unified shaders and 8 ROPs with a core clock speed of 750MHz. Memory comes in the form of 512MB of Qimonda memory rated for operation at 1000MHz running on a 128-bit bus with a clock speed of only 800MHz.
Let's see what it takes to get the EAH4770 Formula on track to perform.