Diamond HD 4770 ReviewSilverfox , tacohunter52 - May 4, 2009
» Discuss this article (1)
Diamond's 4770 is equipped with 512MB of memory, and not just any ordinary memory. Like most of ATI's 4XXX cards, the 4770 utilizes GDDR5 memory. According to ATI, GDDR5 is the "Faster, Superior technology." This is in fact true, although Nvidia seems to do pretty well with the older tech. The 4770 will also appear smaller than other cards at its performance level, because it is built on a 40nm manufacturing process. This is a pretty big milestone for ATI - it actually beat Nvidia to the punch.
The 4770 uses the same amount of processing cores as the 4830. To translate this into an actual number, the 4770 has 640 cores, whereas the bigger 4870 has a total of 800 processing cores. One thing that looked like a downside was that the 4770 is using a 128-bit memory bus instead of the 256-bit bus used on other 4XXX series cards. Hopefully the GDDR5 memory will cancel out any performance losses that may be caused by this.
Let's stop for a moment and talk about connections. The 4770 has followed the same trends as most of the current GPUs out right now. On the card, you'll have two DVI ports, and one S-Video output. If you're using either an older monitor that only supports VGA, or an HDTV, an adapter was included to fit your needs. The 4770 was built on a smaller manufacturing process; this means lower power requirements. The effects of this are easily seen, because only one 6-pin power cable is needed to give this card the juice it needs to work its magic. The 4770 is also QuadFire capable, in case you're one of those people looking for that kind of setup. What this means for the card is that it will have two CrossFire connectors.
On the back of the card you'll see four unoccupied holes. These can be used if you're looking to mount an aftermarket cooler to the 4770. In the center of these holes, you'll see the backplate for the 4770's current cooler. The cooler is held firmly in place by four spring loaded screws.
The cooler itself is a pretty simple design. It consists of a copper colored aluminum heatsink, a fan, and a shroud. The fan has a "Diamond" D in the center, and the shroud says "ATI" on the left side. The cooler makes almost no contact with the card, other than directly on the GPU - but this shouldn't matter at all, because I'm not expecting the 4770 to create much heat.
Removing the heatsink allows us to get a good hard look at the RV740 core. Let's just take a moment to bask in this little chip's glory. 826 million transistors are crammed onto this little 40nm chip. While that isn't as much as NVIDIA managed to shove into the GT200, it's still way more transistors than I could ever imagine, or count on one hand. Are we basked enough? Ok, let's move on then. Surrounding the RV740 core in a half square are the GDDR5 memory modules. Together these little black squares make up 512MB of GDDR5 goodness - AMAZING!!! Toward the back of the card, located right before the power connector, is the 4770's fan slot. Toward the back of the card was a sticker saying 512MB. I really can't think of a purpose for this sticker, so I guess it's there to remind you how much memory your card has. Rather than looking at the box, GPUz, or the included manual, you can just pop open your case, remove your card, and be reminded of what you really didn't need to know that badly in the first place.
Now that we've seen what makes this card tick, let's take a look at the included drivers and programs.