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Conclusion

Now, let’s summarize a little. It is about a year since AMD’s graphics department provoked a revolution in the sector of inexpensive gaming graphics cards with the release of Radeon HD 4850. It looks like the revolutionary aspirations of ATI Technologies have become a tradition. The newly announced Radeon HD 4770 is even better in some aspects than its predecessor. The transition to the 40nm tech process is nothing extraordinary in itself, yet the new card’s performance in games is really amazing.

The fact that a $100 graphics card is only 5-7% slower than the Radeon HD 4850 is indeed fantastic and signifies that the wave of revolutionary change has finally arrived to the sector of the most inexpensive gaming products.

The Radeon HD 4770 leaves its market opponents, Radeon HD 4830 and GeForce 9800 GT, far behind, outperforming them by an average 14 and 17%, respectively. The average difference between the new card and the GeForce GTS 250 512MB is less than 1%. But if you consider the results of the individual tests, you can see that Nvidia’s solution is somewhat more confident at 1280x1024 because the Radeon HD 4770 wins only 5 tests, including Red Alert 3 (thanks to which it has such a high average). On the other hand, the Radeon HD 4770 is far inferior to the GeForce GTS 250 512MB in only three games: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, Prince of Persia and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.

At a resolution of 1680x1050 the average advantage of the new card over the Radeon HD 4830 and GeForce 9800 GT is 15 and 20%, respectively, and the advantage over the GeForce GTS 250 512MB grows to 2%. The Radeon HD 4770 is only far slower than the latter card in two tests now: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. Considering the difference in price, the Radeon HD 47700 is the winner. 

When it comes to the resolution of 1920x1200, the Radeon HD 4770 beats the Radeon HD 4830 and GeForce 9800 GT, outperforming them by an average 16% and 29%. It also leaves the GeForce GTS 250 behind in most of the tests, except for F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin where it is 26% slower. In the other four losses, the Radeon HD 4770 is slower by less than 13%. The average difference between the Radeon HD 4770 and Radeon HD 4850 is only 7%, which can be easily eliminated by means of overclocking. And this is a graphics card with a 128-bit memory bus and fewer ALUs and texture processors! What is especially amazing, the Radeon HD 4770 maintains a playable frame rate in quite many games. That’s very good news since the resolution of 1920x1200 is not a prerogative of 24-inch or larger monitors anymore. The resolution of 1920x1080 is getting popular, too.

Thus, the Radeon HD 4770 is a revolutionary product indeed as it can deliver excellent performance, equal to the previous year’s $200 solutions, for only $100 or even less. Moreover, the new card from ATI is compact, quiet and economical despite the complexity of its GPU, thanks to the 40nm tech process. Additionally, like the rest of the ATI Radeon HD 4000 family, it is endowed with advanced multimedia capabilities including a full-featured hardware HD video decoder and an integrated HDMI audio core.

Right now, Nvidia does not have anything that might compete with the Radeon HD 4700 as it easily beats the GeForce 9800 GT, let alone GeForce 9600 GT, whereas the GeForce GTS 250 belongs to higher price category even in its 512MB version. The release of the Radeon HD 4770 means that the Radeon HD 4850 is going to leave the market: officially priced at $129, it is no faster than the cheaper Radeon HD 4770 whereas the higher-performance Radeon HD 4870 now costs only $149. And this does not seem to be the limit of price reduction.

Summary

Summing up everything we have just said, Radeon HD 4770 has every right to be titled the best budget graphics accelerator – it has a ton of advantages and we couldn’t find any serious drawbacks.

Highs:

  • Best performance in its price range;
  • Significantly outperforms Radeon HD 4830 and GeForce 9800 GT;
  • Competes successfully against GeForce GTS 250 512MB;
  • Yields slightly to Radeon HD 4850;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Best Edge-detect CFAA in the industry;
  • 40nm GPU production technology;
  • 512MB of local GDDR5 video memory onboard;
  • 640 ALU and 32 texture processors;
  • DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support;
  • Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding;
  • High-quality HD video post-processing with scalability;
  • Built-in 8-channel audio controller with HD support;
  • Sound over HDMI;
  • Good overclocking potential;
  • Low noise;
  • Low power consumption.

 Lows:

  • No serious drawbacks found.
 
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