Sapphire HD 4770 PCIe Graphics Card

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance
 
The box is presented in typical Sapphire fashion with a Lara Croft rendered model featuring on the front of the box. A brief run down of the specifications are found on the right hand side of the box which are: GDDR5 memory, Dual Mode ATI CrossfireX, Dual link DVI ports, HDMI with 7.1 Audio, Game Physics processing capability (Havoc not PhysX) and finishing of with the 40nm manufacturing process. Also included in the bundle is the Power DVD creativity suite. Flipping the box over, the product highlights are explained in greater depth with emphasis on the 40nm architecture claiming faster and cooler performance.
 
box front box rear
 
Removing the outer sleeve we arrive at a plain cardboard box which appears to have been designed by an Origami fanatic. I do wish Sapphire would package their products better as, with most examples, the contents were not securely packaged. The accessories include a driver CD, 2 Power DVD discs, HDMI and VGA adaptors, a manual, a molex to 6-pin PCIe power cable and a TV out cable. Also included which was missing from the Asus 4770 was a Crossfire bridge, essential for those wanting to link two cards together for some Crossfire action.
 
box accessories
 
The card itself is, as we have seen with our two previous reviews, a reference affair with the now familiar ATI cooler atop of the GPU. Sapphire have however added there own little touch to the CPU with a couple of stickers, hardly the pinnacle of design but a welcome gesture nonetheless. The underside of the card is again very basic with no additional cooling required thanks to all 512mb of GDDR5 sitting under the main cooler on top of the card. The familiar 4 screw, spring loaded and cushioned back plate is all that holds the main heat sink to the card which should make removal/replacement very easy.
 
card top card bottom
 
While the I/O shield is only single slot by design, don't be fooled as this is a dual slot card thanks to the high profile heat sink fan cooler. 2 DVI ports capable of transmitting data via VGA and HDMI with the included adaptors are separated from each other with a TV output should you wish to view on the 'big screen'. Once again we see that ATI have not seen it necessary to directly cool the memory chips relying instead on passive air from the down draft of the main GPU cooler to keep the IC's temperature in check.
 
dvi memory
 
One difference the Sapphire card has over it's rivals that we have seen thus far is the inclusion of an anodised aluminium heat sink which covers the voltage regulating units of the HD4770. Whilst other manufacturers did not deem this necessary it is a comforting thought that Sapphire wish to cool the Mosfets which should increase the longevity of the card. As previously stated, the main cooler while at first glance appears copper, is in fact anodised aluminium with a copper colour. This cooler was very quiet in testing and certainly a leap forward from the old reference coolers which were very noisy in comparison.
 
heatsink heatsink
 
With the cooler removed we can see the bare card and in particular the smaller die of the RD470. This is much smaller than cores of previous generations and while a 15nm shrink is not exactly eye popping, the core certainly looks much smaller than the last ATI GPU's I have seen. Strange then that ATI seemed it appropriate to add a large cooler to the card as this surely would have been the perfect basis for using a single slot cooler therefore appealing to the larger market?
 
bare card core
 
Thankfully, the cooler was as I suspected, very easy to remove. The base of the aluminium cooler has a block of thermal paste which was very malleable and a far cry from the cement used on previous cards. Good news then for those who might want to fit an aftermarket cooler and certainly good news for those who feel the need to replace the stock gunk normally found on GPU's. This cards mount was perfect and I see little need to replace the TIM. The integrated memory chips hail from Qimonda, much the same as the other reference cards so overclocking results, I would hope, should be similar.
 
memory heatsink
 
Only a couple of subtle differences separate the Sapphire product from its rivals and as such I would not expect this card to perform so much differently from them given that all of the cards tested thus far have the same specifications and clockspeeds. However, given that the Sapphire card includes a Crossfire bridge and a little more attention has been given to the stock design, first blood has to go to it. Sadly, the packaging of the product is less than appealing and while our sample arrived in good condition, it is certainly not as well packaged as the other cards we have received.
 
Let's take a look at our test setup I intend to use for today's review and assess the HD4770's heat output and power consumption along with it's overclocking prowess... 
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Most Recent Comments

22-05-2009, 02:10:34

JN
"Entry level gaming GPU's are often overlooked with the constant battle waged at the high end of the market. Today we take a look at Sapphires interpretation of the new HD4770 GPU..." - by W3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...105500384s.jpg

Read on...

22-05-2009, 02:48:37

f0x.
Good review mate, have to agree about the single slot cooler, would have been a great card for a media center if you wanted to do a bit of gaming as well

22-05-2009, 03:57:09

tinytomlogan
Im actualy putting 2 of these in a new rig for a customer, little stormers of GPU's!

We finaly get a new 8800gt

22-05-2009, 03:58:37

Mul.
Awesome little graphics card. Nice to see one with a single slot cooler too

22-05-2009, 07:09:38

w3bbo
This doesn't have a single slot cooler - just one of my critcisms. Great card all the same though and I agree about the 8800GT comment.

22-05-2009, 07:37:33

Rastalovich
Pretty much a carbon copy of the ASUS variant in terms of performance.

How much in terms of quality settings, can these cards achieve these days ? in comparison to perhaps a 8800gt ?

22-05-2009, 07:56:06

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mul.'
Awesome little graphics card. Nice to see one with a single slot cooler too
My apologies. Misread one of the above posts and had only really looked at the performance figures. Just read the review fully now.

22-05-2009, 07:56:57

w3bbo
Quality is not too bad, resolutions seemed to have a bigger effect (2560x1600 is pain full to watch at times). For your average gamer though they are not half bad at all.

22-05-2009, 08:18:54

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Quality is not too bad, resolutions seemed to have a bigger effect (2560x1600 is pain full to watch at times). For your average gamer though they are not half bad at all.
Sorry m8, I meant like how far the typical new amd card can throw up AA settings and the other Q within games.

(in comparison to the 8800gt if u like)

22-05-2009, 10:42:42

w3bbo
Well I don't have an 8800GT to hand m8 so I can't really compare directly I'm afraid. I may just have a 1GHz version coming soon though, so if you want me to try your preference of res/AA setting gimme a shout.

22-05-2009, 11:31:19

Rastalovich
Nah w3bb0 m8, simpler, if u go into a game, what is selectable from the graphic options thing in terms of quality settings.

We know that if u go into "a" game with something like a 8800GT, for example, u can go 16xAA and 8x on filtering (or whatever), and that weird glow thing (that works well in TW I might add).

Despite what the "performance" may be, what u get on the amd's these days ?

22-05-2009, 11:41:53

w3bbo
If memory serves it can go up to 24xCu AA (custom AA) or 8x Standard MSAA with upto 8x AF.

22-05-2009, 11:45:19

Rastalovich
That's pretty good. I guess that custom AA is like the QQ.

(I have no idea tbh)

Good to see some quality breaking in there instead of just raw fps.
Reply
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