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Better performance than Radeon 4830, which will be discontinued

ATI, the graphics division of AMD, has been aggressively delivering on price and performance for the last year with its RV770-based GPUs. These have been used in Radeon HD 4830, 4850, and 4870 video cards to steal away market share from NVIDIA.

Recently, ATI launched the Radeon HD 4890 using the RV790 GPU, a respun RV770 with a few tweaks and improvements in order to improve its position in the higher end $200+ price bracket. However, most of its sales are in the $100 category and lower price points. Today, ATI delivers a GPU to consumers at that range that NVIDIA can't match.

The Radeon HD 4770 video card that is launching today uses the RV740 GPU, which is the first 40nm GPU in mass production. The GPU consists of 826 million transistors at a core clock of 750MHz, measuring 11mm by 11mm.  The Radeon 4770 features 512MB of GDDR5 DRAM clocked at 800MHz, but effectively provides 3.2 Gb/s over a 128-bit bus.

The new GPU has 640 Stream processors, the same number as the Radeon HD 4830 that it will replace. The Radeon 4830 will be quietly phased out since the Radeon 4770 offers better performance at a much lower production cost to AMD. This is offset by higher costs for GDDR5 RAM.

Smaller process geometries have led to higher possible speeds at lower power consumption. The Radeon 4770 board has a TDP of 80 watts. Costs for AMD should also drop significantly, as theoretically a lot more chips can be produced from a 300mm wafer on the 40nm process as opposed to the older 55nm process.  However, yields for a new process are never as good as for an older, more mature process.

The new card requires a 6-pin PCIe power connector to operate properly. It also uses a dual slot cooler based on the reference design, although board partners like Asus and Sapphire could move quickly to provide single slot cooling solutions. Passive cooling solutions are not likely to appear.
The Radeon 4770 was orginally supposed to launch at the $99 price point. The new $110 MSRP reflects slightly higher component costs, although it is expected to move quickly to $99. Mail-in rebates are already available at some e-tailers to lower the pricing to that key number.

The main competition for the Radeon HD 4770 is NVIDIA's 9800 GT, rather than the 9800GTX+ which will continue to slug it out with the Radeon HD 4850. Our sources have told us that production of 512MB variants of the 4850 has shifted to 1GB versions. This reflects both the strength of the Radeon 4770 as well as a desire for a larger video buffer at the $130 price point.

AMD decided to bring up the launch of the Radeon HD 4770 from its original May 4th launch date, in a sign that yields are good and large numbers of cards will be available from the start. The Radeon HD 4770 is expected to be a key component in ATI's product strategy, and should be featured in many affordable PCs during the Q3 back-to-school shopping season.

The most exciting part of the Radeon HD 4770 launch really is the use of the 40nm process. As this is the first GPU to use the 40nm process in mass production, ATI can use the lessons from RV740 production to increase yields on its rumored RV870 GPU. A tweaked 40nm process will be used in the Radeon HD 5000 series launching in late Q3, which will be the first DirectX 11 parts available for use with Windows 7.

For more detailed benchmarks, please visit AnandTech.

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CrossFire connections necessary?
By jarman on 4/28/2009 9:41:13 AM , Rating: 2
I'm curious to know how many of the end-users in the ~$100 segment actually use crossfire and whether excluding those connections could further reduce the production costs of this card?

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By aegisofrime on 4/28/2009 10:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
Two of these in Crossfire outperforms a 4890 and is cheaper.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By vulcanproject on 4/28/2009 11:07:38 AM , Rating: 2
RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By ClownPuncher on 4/28/2009 11:57:26 AM , Rating: 2
That review is skewed a bit, they are testing the setup on games that are either old, have an old engine, or just dont stress modern hardware at all.

Good release for AMD either way.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By vulcanproject on 4/28/2009 12:08:44 PM , Rating: 3
vantage extreme mode bears out the 20 percent. not a game, but i think that qualifies as 'stressed'

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By ClownPuncher on 4/28/2009 12:43:58 PM , Rating: 1
Yea, just would have like to have seen more modern games tested, ones that show how a cards architecture scales. Synthetics are fine, but real world stress is better.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By cheetah2k on 4/28/2009 10:10:06 PM , Rating: 3
Its almost time for me to upgrade that Nvidia 780i XFX board, and my 2 x 8800GTX's for a new crossfire board and 2 x Ati 4770's (was thinking about the X58, but then i would prob need a new CPU & DDR3 as well)

I just cannot believe how cheap good grafix cards are these days. For the same price i paid for 2 x XFX 8800GTX's in their day, I can now buy 4 x Ati4770's!!!

Thank goodness for excellent vid card market competition (and thank God ATi/AMD is still alive to keeping prices reasonable).

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By cheetah2k on 4/28/2009 10:12:51 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, I got my XFX 8800GTX's for US$499 (x 2), so at $110 a pop, I could actually get that means I could actually buy 9 x 4770's.....

<jaw drops to floor>

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By Belard on 4/29/2009 1:15:18 AM , Rating: 4
But theres no real reason to "upgrade" since the performance of your system wouldn't change much. No reason to trade in the 8800GTX for 4770 cards.

Now, in about 4~6 months, the DX11 cards will start hitting the market for Win7. This 40nm part is a preview of the next-gen GPU from AMD (They're doing intel's tick-tock), you should be able to get a 5850 for about $200 and it should be about as fast as two 4770 cards and of course DX11.

My next upgrade won't be until:
A - Win7 is out for a while. (easily better than vista)
B - DX11 cards are out
C - New mobo with: PCIe 3.0 & USB 3.0 (most likely AMD)
D - Quad core 3Ghz CPU at $150 or less.

By Aloonatic on 4/29/2009 5:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
No mention of the extra criteria;

E: 120GB SSD for $150 or something along those lines?

By aftlizard on 4/28/2009 10:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
I think most purchasers won't bother with crossfire, just looking for a cheap alternative that will hold them off for a while for their HTPC or SOHO tasks. For those looking for a cheaper alternative than buying a top of the line card this will also work, it's a decent compromise I suppose.

As far as them saving costs I think by using the same PCB across the entire 4k line they are saving costs. Rather than making one or two PCB's that have to be made specially.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By Motoman on 4/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By MrBungle123 on 4/28/2009 11:02:02 AM , Rating: 5
Its nothing more than another bullet point on their box. If you buy 1 video card now with the intention of buying a second in 2 years for crossfire/SLI you're an idiot. In 2 years a $50 video card will run circles around this thing AND be compatible with DX11(+).

Multi video card solutions only really make sense if you care more about all out performance than cost or stability and are willing to buy the cards in short order. In which case you probably wouldn't be looking at a Radeon HD 4770 anyway.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By omnicronx on 4/28/2009 11:14:17 AM , Rating: 1
Multi video card solutions only really make sense if you care more about all out performance than cost or stability and are willing to buy the cards in short order. In which case you probably wouldn't be looking at a Radeon HD 4770 anyway.
Uh.. not really, cost is probably the main reason why anyone would have a two card solution. Anyone worried about all out performance would probably buy a higher end card (ie price is not an issue). For those where price is an issue, or as the OP mentioned those who want to buy their cards at two separate times (perhaps not two years later, but I know a lot of people who do not want to wait, and know they can always buy another card when they get money in a month or two) buying two cards is the perfect cost effective solution.

By MrBungle123 on 4/28/2009 2:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody I know (myself included) that has run multiple video cards has ever really been completely satisfied with how it works. The drivers are more prone to bugs, the performance gains are hit and miss.

If you will have the money for a second card a month after you buy your first one and are not buying one of the top 2 or 3 cards performance wise you are FAR better off waiting a month, having twice the money and buying a card from the next class up in the performance category than you will be running two lesser cards in a mulit video card system.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By Motoman on 4/28/2009 4:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
In 2 years, THIS will be the $50 video card. And don't get too caught up in the timeframe anyway...the point is that there's an attractive upgrade path there, and it appeals to people, and quite frankly is an expected feature of any modern video card. If either ATI or Nvidia came out with a card that didn't offer Crossfire/SLI, there'd be hoards of webtards going "WTFOMFGBBQ!!1!" all over the place.

By MrBungle123 on 4/28/2009 5:12:56 PM , Rating: 3
It would be a good upgrade path if performance scaled linearly and there were never any new 3D features added to the DX spec, since this is not the case when it is time to upgrade you are better off just buying a new video card from the current generation then running multiple cards from an older generation. SLI/Crossfire is a good deal for ATI/nVidia not the consumer.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By Belard on 4/28/2009 6:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
Doing "future upgrades" 1-2 years never works out. Multi-GPUs are only good when the PC is first built.

Of all the people who buy SLI/CF motherboards with only a single card... only 1% EVER bother to add another card.

1 - Performance doesn't scale like Original SLI (understandable) because Card A did Odd lines, Card B did even lines and synced them on the output to the monitor. It would be nice.

2 - The extra expenese required: PSU, cooling, cabling, etc.

3 - A newer card comes out that is faster. Two 6600GTs ($200+ org each) is out-classed by a single $180 7600GT. Or if you "invested" $500 on the 7900GT card and thought about adding a 2nd one... the new 8800GTs comes out for $350 and ends up being faster or the same... so what do you do? Spend $250+ (back then) for another 7900 or sell what you have for $150 and buy the 8800GTS?

Another example, the 7900GT is just over 3years old. A great card in its day. What should the owner do?
A - buy another USED 7900GT for about $50... when a single $90~100 9800GT or ATI 4830 would easily be faster? Besides, with his PC being 3 years old, it ability to make use of such a powerful card goes down.

The SLI/CF function is for thouse who have the money and want every frame they can get. Some of them for braggin right when they can call themselves AWSOME because they get 130fps on their rig vs you at 125fps. Meanwhile, I'm playing pretty good at 60fps (Vsync on) with a $70 4670 card ;) (Crysis not included of course)

So yeah, its great to that these options for 1~4 video card setups. Its a great option.

But if I was in need of a video card and was offered two 7900GTs vs a single 9800GT, the choice is simple. Doesn't matter if they're free or $100, the 9800GT would win.

Oddly enough, some are still selling ATI Radeon X1950 XTX for about $250?! (msrp $500) Considering that a $65 ATI 4670 is about as fast (give or take 2%) as 1950XTX in crossfire.

Or lets say a person built a Core2Duo PC 12 months ago and went with a $85 7600GT. They could spend another $30~35 for another 7600GT. With Call of Duty 4 in 1680x1050 max details, their FPS goes from 14 to 21. For $50, a 1year old 3850 card would do 43fps... or a $65~75 4670 would hit 57fps. For $15, they double their performance and they can sell their old card for $25... which in the end, ends up cheaper than going SLI. The difference in all these cards is 1 year. 7600 is being phased out, but is still on store shelves.

So in the end... it makes more sense to spend $90 on a standard Mobo, rather than $200 to possibly "upgrade" to a crossfire with an intel setup (P45 vs X48). A 600watt PSU will handle ANY single video card solution. So for "possible upgrade" the person buys a 750~900watt PSU. Then to find out they never bother to buy a 2nd card. Put the $200 saved for the next CPU/GPU upgrade ;)

Note: AMD Crossfire is far cheaper than Intels. $90~120 for 2x PCI 2.0 x16 slots.

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By MrBungle123 on 4/28/2009 7:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
Did i just agree with like 95% of something Belard said? holy crap... something's wrong :)

RE: CrossFire connections necessary?
By Belard on 4/29/2009 1:16:55 AM , Rating: 2

Sorry, I mistook who I was responding too... It was for Motoman.

Sorry again ;)

By Aloonatic on 4/29/2009 4:05:01 AM , Rating: 2
They are all good points of course, but people on a tight budget may find some value in being able to add another card that they find on eBay for a little extra boost in performance that they will find noticeable, useful in a year or so's time.

Not everyone is able to afford to rebuild every couple of years. The question is whether people who don't will also be the people who want cross fire and Sli, havea mother board that will support it, know how to implement it and keep their drivers/bios up to date. As it is, they probably aren't/wont.

One of the only times when I have seen that a relatively low end card having multiple card support is with the inclusion of physics on GPU. I seem to recall (and may be wrong =D ) that the physics on the Green Teams card can be carried out on one cards and the traditional graphical calcs on another, and they don't have to be matching cards. Not sure if you can specify which card does what and this is only an nVidia thing of course.

I'm guessing that the main reason why this card has xFire support is because a decision was made to make all cards support it rather than bothering to have some that do and some that don't and if it's a feature that is available then why not? - See other's comments above, lol :)

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