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Roundup: Mainstream Graphics Cards From ATI And Nvidia

Sapphire HD 4770 512M (Radeon HD 4770, 512 MB)

To see all the photos in our gallery for this card, click the image below.

The Radeon HD 4770 is a pronounced step up from the Radeon HD 4670. With 640 stream processors onboard, it approaches the performance of a two-card Radeon HD 4670 CrossFire configuration. In fact, it lags only 15.6% behind in total performance (measured in FPS).This  is pretty impressive, given that the Radeon HD 4770 is a smaller version of the Radeon HD 4800-series and consumes about 60 W less power. This card owes its level of performance to its GPU’s 40 nm process and 512 MB of GDDR5 graphics RAM.

The Sapphire card we received adheres to ATI's reference design, with clock speeds of 750 MHz for the GPU and 800 MHz for the RAM. The fan enclosure is large enough to make this a dual-slot solution, even though it includes no air channel and consequently exhausts its warm air into the PC case, unlike the reference card.  Nevertheless, temperature levels are acceptable, hitting 44° C in 2D mode (eight degrees cooler than the ATI reference design). At heavy 3D load, this card comes in at 71° C, which is one degree cooler than the ATI reference card. In 2D mode, noise levels were measured at 36.6 dB(A), and under a heavy 3D load, it produced a still-quiet 37.4 dB(A)--quieter than the reference card’s reading of 38.5 dB(A).

This card is 8.27" long (21 cm), but requires a six-pin PCIe supplemental power connector. Sapphire includes a power adapter cable, a flexible bridge connector for CrossFire, and a Y-connector for HDMI video via its DVI port. Bundled software includes CyberLink's Power DVD 7 6-ch and DVD Suite 5, with various backup and video applications on two CDs.