All PC gaming enthusiasts remember that about a year ago the graphics division of Advanced Micro Devices, former ATI technologies, performed a real revolution in the sub-$200 price segment having set a new performance standard. Radeon HD 4850 turned into a real legend since then and proved to be a true “people’s product” as its price dropped down to $129. As a result, ATI not just improved its position in the 3D gaming market, but pressed Nvidia quite noticeably in several market segments. A year is a pretty long period of time for IT industry, so time has come for a new revolution. What has ATI prepared for us this time?
We all know very well that even though the flagship is the face of the squadron, the actual battles are usually fought by smaller “ships”. Yes, monsters like ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 boast unprecedented performance; however, it comes at extremely high price, which may often make over half of the budget for the entire platform. Far not every gamer is ready to buy a graphics card for the price of a complete gaming console.
As we have already mentioned, it is usually graphics cards priced around $100 that turn out the most demanded. However, until recently, the low price could get you pretty mediocre performance in contemporary games.
ATI Radeon HD 4670 was AMD’s first attempt to turn things around in this segment, but it wasn’t very successful: although the new card performed pretty well, it was still defeated by Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT in most gaming tests. Another attempt was the launch of Radeon HD 4830 aimed at a gaping breach between Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4670, however solutions built from cut-down high-performance configurations are always temporary. Although Radeon HD 4830 turned out a very successful card, it was evident right from the start that is had to be replaced with a new solution with similar or better performance at a lower price. Since the graphics card prices kept going down it was no longer profitable to use RV770 and Radeon HD 4850 PCB layout.
So, Radeon HD 4770 announced today, on April 27, 2009, became this new solution. ATI often testdrives some technological innovations on inexpensive graphics solutions first and Radeon HD 4770 is no exception: it is based on RV740 – the world’s first graphics processor manufactured with 40nm process. It is also the first budget graphics adapter equipped with GDDR5 memory. The new solution promises to be pretty exciting from all standpoints that is why our today’s review will try to reveal if the new Radeon HD 4770 can really perform a revolution in the budget gaming segment. But at first let’s check out the technical details.