One thing is plain to see with the HD4770 - budget graphics cards have come a long way from cards of old. Finding 512MB of GDDR5 on a sub £100 GPU is not easy. Couple this with a new die shrink which has the benefits of less power consumption and as a result higher clockspeeds/cooler operation and one would think making a decision to buy this card is an easy one. While there is no denying this card is very good indeed the decision is not so simple as it first appears. This is because ATI are now dropping the prices of there cards, so much that the once high end cards can now be had for a little under £100!
Take the HD4850 for example. Sure it's been on the market for some time but it is still up there with the best cards, especially so should you not require Anti Aliasing. The HD4770 therefore is perhaps a victim of ATI's aggressive pricing structure and while the HD4770 certainly punches above it's weight and would still be a worthwhile purchase I would be hesitant to recommend it on the basis of predicted further price cuts of older but more powerful hardware in anticipation of ATI's 5000 series of GPU's.
That said, the HD4770 is a powerful little card with performance outweighing it's diminutive stature. It cut though the majority of benchmarks with ease, keeping pace (and sometimes beating) the more powerful HD4850 while going about it's business much quieter. The packaging was a bit of a let down but the inclusion of a Crossfire bridge and adequate bundle keeps the product from receiving a severe tongue lashing.
I can't help thinking that this is an opportunity missed as the card is screaming out for a single slot cooler, yet ATI have seen fit to slap a dual slot cooler on top of the GPU, which judging by the power consumption and heat output is clearly over the top. A card such as this would be ideal in a mATX build but I feel the cooler size may put potential buyers off and as such the market appeal for a card such as this is diminished. I feel I may have been overly harsh on what is essentially a very good product. I just feel that ATI and therefore Sapphire and all the other manufacturers thus far seem to have missed a trick here. While I have no doubt the cards will sell by the boat load to the occasional gamer, the market appeal could be so much wider had a little more thought gone into it's over all design.
- Low Power consumption
- Good Overclocking
- Exceptional Crossfire scaling
- Needs a single slot cooler
- Packaging is less than ideal