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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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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 :)

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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