Diamond HD 4770 ReviewSilverfox , tacohunter52 - May 4, 2009
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The HD 4770 is the first 40nm GPU on the market right now, and it also offers great performance for its price. We will hopefully see some 40nm chips from Nvidia this summer. If ATI wants to dominate the 40nm market, they'll have to step up to the plate. Their cards work perfectly fine doing graphics, but Nvidia's chips do more than that. Nvidia has CUDA and PhysX as well as its graphical capabilities. This used to be not such a big deal, but now that many CUDA programs are being released, and with over 100 PhysX titles available, it just isn't a small problem anymore. Getting back to the 4770, it's a great little card. It offered fair performance and was comparable to the 4850. The 4770 was meant to replace the 4830, which ATI should slowly fade out of play. However it looks like ATI will have to step up the 4850s a bit to keep them from fading out as well.
The 4770 was obviously designed to be a low-end card, and for this reason it doesn't compete with the GTX 285 behemoth from Nvidia - but it's not supposed to! What it does do is decode high definition video extremely well. For $120, you can get a video card that decodes video with almost no CPU usage whatsoever. I took a few hours to watch some of my favorite movies, and CPU usage was extraordinarily low. About 80% of the time, CPU usage was reported at 1%; occasionally this would get as high as 3%, but the most that I ever saw was 5%. What's even cooler is that the movies ran extremely smooth the whole time. If you're a movie lover, and you'll be building a multimedia PC, I'd definitely think about purchasing a 4770.
This isn't a card I'd recommend for a performance junkie, but if you're short on cash or want to make a small upgrade, I'd say definitely go for it! The 4770's price to performance ratio is just great. The fan was a bit loud, but keeping it at 50% kept the card at about 40 degrees Celsius. So as long as you don't run the 4770's fan at 100%, noise should not be any concern. The 4770 also seemed to have a lot of overclocking potential. Then again, I couldn't use RivaTuner, so how far the 4770 can actually be pushed will remain a mystery. All in all, I'm going to say "Great job ATI!" for making an awesome, easily affordable card! I can't wait to see some of the high-end 40nm beauties.
- Single slot
- Low price
- Great performance
- Loud fan at 100%