Roundup: Mainstream Graphics Cards From ATI And Nvidia

Conclusion: Sapphire's Radeon HD 4770 Gets A Recommendation

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.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 DollarsFPS$$$/FPS
Sapphire HD 4830 512 MB93916.80.101
Sapphire HD 4770 512 MB102981.80.104
Zotac GeForce 9800 GT 512 MB135961.10.140
HIS H467QT512P95616.30.154
HIS H467QT512P CF811169.10.069
HIS H467PS1GP iSilence127545.00.233
  • Bloodblender
    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!
  • dirtmountain
    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.
  • rambo117
    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 ;)
  • pij
    Quick question -

    4770 in crossfire or single 4890 best bet???..
  • to me the gaming benches are most important but energy efficiency and heat dissipation run a close 2nd. thanks for providing it all!
  • Julianbreaker
    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.
  • radiowars
    PijQuick question - 4770 in crossfire or single 4890 best bet???..They already did a whole article on that...
  • bucifer
    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!
  • masterjaw
    Nice article here. Most importantly, no unnecessary bias included.
  • holodust
    Nice article, but I don't see how testing these cards on i7 920@3.8 fits into mainstream.