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Conclusion: Sapphire's Radeon HD 4770 Gets A Recommendation

Roundup: Mainstream Graphics Cards From ATI And Nvidia
By

ATI rules the marketplace when it comes to inexpensive, energy-efficient graphics chips. The Radeon HD 4670 has plenty of power for DirectX 10 and offers solid graphics quality and supports high resolutions. HIS offers two great products here: a passively-cooled model with a Zalman cooler and another with an active, but very quiet, IceQ cooler. If you double up two Radeon HD 4670s in a CrossFire configuration, you’ll wind up with a wholly respectable graphics set-up, because the second card boosts graphics performance by nearly 90%.

The more powerful Radeon HD 4770 offering from Sapphire also makes things tough for Nvidia's mid-range lineup. Even though the new GeForce 9800 GT from Zotac makes a good showing in terms of performance, it gets bested by this card in power consumption thanks to its 40 nm process technology. The Radeon HD 4770 is nearly as fast as dual HD 4670s in CrossFire mode, and is much more energy efficient than the GeForce 9800 GT.

HIS has delivered some superior designs—the IceQ cooler makes its Radeon HD 4670 nearly inaudible and earns our nod, even in a CrossFire configuration. With its passively-cooled Radeon HD 4670, HIS also offers a great product for quiet PC aficionados, who love its energy efficiency and quiet operation. The Radeon HD 4830 is a price-effective dark horse, but will disappear from retail shelves soon. Our top recommendation goes to the current Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 for its excellent pricing, performance, and quiet operation. Fortunately, it also seems that supply of these boards is finally improving, meaning enthusiasts can actually get their hands on them.


Dollars

FPS

$$$/FPS

Sapphire HD 4830 512 MB

93

916.8

0.101

Sapphire HD 4770 512 MB

102

981.8

0.104

Zotac GeForce 9800 GT 512 MB

135

961.1

0.140

HIS H467QT512P

95

616.3

0.154

HIS H467QT512P CF

81

1169.1

0.069

HIS H467PS1GP iSilence

127


545.0

0.233

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  • 1 Hide
    Bloodblender , August 10, 2009 6:06 AM
    All I can say is that Tom's recent articles have been an excellent read, and this exactly the stuff I (as well as many others) require for their research purposes. Keep up the great work!
  • 3 Hide
    dirtmountain , August 10, 2009 6:21 AM
    Nice article,very well done, but you need to show the 4670 in CF as costing $162, not $81 as shown in the final chart.
  • -4 Hide
    rambo117 , August 10, 2009 6:55 AM
    the iceQ concept is amazing. keeps my 3870s nice and chilly (70C) while hardcore gaming
    and not to mention they both look intimidating in my case ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    pij , August 10, 2009 6:58 AM
    Quick question -

    4770 in crossfire or single 4890 best bet???..
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 10, 2009 7:01 AM
    to me the gaming benches are most important but energy efficiency and heat dissipation run a close 2nd. thanks for providing it all!
  • 8 Hide
    Julianbreaker , August 10, 2009 7:36 AM
    Newegg has quite a few 4850s that retail for $100 and it appears to be getting consistently better benchmarks than the 4770. I am confused as to why you would not recommend it over the 4770. Perhaps you are confused by simple maths.
  • -4 Hide
    radiowars , August 10, 2009 8:09 AM
    PijQuick question - 4770 in crossfire or single 4890 best bet???..

    They already did a whole article on that...
  • 8 Hide
    bucifer , August 10, 2009 8:35 AM
    I don't understand why you still won't use the 1GB version of the Radeon 4870. It's clear to me that the card is limited by it's amount of video memory when using hi-res, AA and AF.
    Searching for prices in US and Europe it retails cheaper than the GTX260(192 or 216).
    The point is: the card should be included in the test just as the GTX260-216. It's clearly a better option than the 512 mb version and it's good for comparison!
  • -2 Hide
    masterjaw , August 10, 2009 8:52 AM
    Nice article here. Most importantly, no unnecessary bias included.
  • 8 Hide
    holodust , August 10, 2009 8:57 AM
    Nice article, but I don't see how testing these cards on i7 920@3.8 fits into mainstream.
  • 5 Hide
    Hamsterabed , August 10, 2009 9:08 AM
    makes it a control to make sure they are only ratting the graphics cards and not the cpu. makes sure the GPUS are the limiting factor
  • 0 Hide
    qwertymac93 , August 10, 2009 9:18 AM
    something is bothering me. i have left 4 dead, and when i play it at 8xAA, 16xAF, i get higher frame rates then you do(close to 100). i have a 4830 and the res i play at is 1440x900. i know its not the same as 1650x1050, but the extra AA and AF should at least keep them close, but i get over 20fps more then your 4850! i don't have a fancy i7 and still. my 4830 is clocked at 700/1000. did you set the aa/af in the drivers or in-game, because in-game is almost always better.
  • 0 Hide
    Sihastru , August 10, 2009 9:52 AM
    qwertymac93, probably your driver settings (optimizations) are overriding the in game engine settings.
  • 0 Hide
    pij , August 10, 2009 10:04 AM
    buciferI don't understand why you still won't use the 1GB version of the Radeon 4870. It's clear to me that the card is limited by it's amount of video memory when using hi-res, AA and AF. Searching for prices in US and Europe it retails cheaper than the GTX260(192 or 216).The point is: the card should be included in the test just as the GTX260-216. It's clearly a better option than the 512 mb version and it's good for comparison!



    Sorry I thought the article was 'mainstream graphics cards' not 4890 vs 2x4770's in crossfire ! Blimey I must be going mad.
  • -2 Hide
    pij , August 10, 2009 10:05 AM
    whoops wrong quote - how silly of me.
  • 1 Hide
    pij , August 10, 2009 10:07 AM

    They already did a whole article on that...


    Sorry I thought the article was 'mainstream graphics cards' not 4890 vs 2x4770's in crossfire ! Blimey I must be going mad.

  • 3 Hide
    amnotanoobie , August 10, 2009 10:12 AM
    JulianbreakerNewegg has quite a few 4850s that retail for $100 and it appears to be getting consistently better benchmarks than the 4770. I am confused as to why you would not recommend it over the 4770. Perhaps you are confused by simple maths.


    The only reason that I could think of wherein the 4770 is better, is the smaller manufacturing process which should make it cooler and consume less power. Though if raw performance is your concern, the 4850 may be better.

    holodustNice article, but I don't see how testing these cards on i7 920@3.8 fits into mainstream.


    They usually do it on the highest rig they have to eliminate as much possible bottlenecks as possible. I think they were just making sure that video card's respective scores do not flat-out (i.e. the GTX 275, 260, 4870 and 4890 displaying the same scores when they are clearly a bit different hardware). Ideally even on lower-end hardware this chart should still show the same order in terms of performace, though you'd probably lose a few fps.
  • -2 Hide
    qwertymac93 , August 10, 2009 10:16 AM
    gee, a thumbs down for asking a question, interesting crowd huh. no, all my driver settings are set to "application settings: and i can visually confirm that the AA is indeed working. i think its just a different level. the frame rates i was quoting was from the rooftop part.
  • -2 Hide
    haplo602 , August 10, 2009 10:20 AM
    amnotanoobieThey usually do it on the highest rig they have to eliminate as much possible bottlenecks as possible. I think they were just making sure that video card's respective scores do not flat-out (i.e. the GTX 275, 260, 4870 and 4890 displaying the same scores when they are clearly a bit different hardware). Ideally even on lower-end hardware this chart should still show the same order in terms of performace, though you'd probably lose a few fps.


    well then it begs the question, which card is more platform limited. I mean the driver may scale differently with CPU power, so the card winning on the overclocked i7 may actualy be the worst on a stock PII X3 720 BE, or X2 550 BE.

    thus testing mainstream GPUs on high-end platforms has a flaw here ...
  • 3 Hide
    bucifer , August 10, 2009 10:38 AM
    Pij your IQ is below the sea level.
    masterjawNice article here. Most importantly, no unnecessary bias included.

    As for this statement I have one OBVIOUS mention. Why did they use The Last Remnant for testing again?
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