Articles: Graphics

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Performance in First-Person 3D Shooters

Call of Duty: World at War

Starting from version 1.3 we use the game’s integrated benchmarking options together with a custom demo record. Unfortunately, this method does not report the bottom frame rate.

Despite its modest specs, particularly the 128-bit memory bus, ATI’s newcomer takes a good start, outperforming the Radeon HD 4830 as well as GeForce 9800 GT and being quite competitive to the more expensive GeForce GTS 250 512MB. This is not to say that its narrow memory bus does not affect its performance. It is perfectly clear that the gap between the Radeon HD 4770 and Radeon HD 4830 shrinks from 17 to 7% as the resolution grows up, yet ATI’s decision to use GDDR5 together with a 128-bit memory interface works here.

Crysis Warhead

The current Radeon HD architecture is known to show its full worth at frequencies of 700MHz and higher, so the 256-bit memory bus does not save the day for the Radeon HD 4830 that has a core frequency of only 575MHz. The new Radeon HD 4770 is but slightly slower than the Radeon HD 4850 at 1280x1024 and 1680x1050 and even at 1920x1200 where it is already limited by its 128-bit memory bus and gives way to the GeForce GTS 250 512MB.

Overclocking provides a performance boost to the level of the Radeon HD 4850 but Crysis Warhead is not the kind of a game that can run quickly on $100 graphics cards, at least at the maximum settings. The frame rates are too low for comfortable play even at 1280x1024.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

We disabled the integrated frame rate limiter in the game console for the sake of comparing the cards. The game’s built-in benchmarking options do not provide information about the bottom speed, so there is no such info in the diagrams.

The 128-bit memory bus is not a hindrance for the Radeon HD 4770 although the game engine uses MegaTexture technology. The new card is comparable to the Radeon HD 4850 and GeForce GTS 250 512MB at every resolution and has no rivals when overclocked. In fact, this is just the kind of revolution the Radeon HD 4850 provoked before, but this time it is in the sector of the most affordable gaming graphics cards.

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