Every so often graphics cards take a leap forward in technology and promise to be the next best thing since sliced bread. Ever the optimist, I tend to take this at face value and expect to see these promises come to light, but more often than not, expectations are shattered and everything comes crashing back down to earth.
Not long ago we were welcoming ATI and Nvidia's 55nm technology with open arms. It seems like only yesterday that both companies were releasing their latest and greatest cards in the hope of capturing your imagination and your wallet. Today we are taking a look at the first ever 40nm card, in the form of the HIS ATI Radeon HD4770. Being the first of it's kind the 4770 has a lot to live up to, but this budget card may bring more than we bargained for.
Established in 1987 HIS (Hightech Information System Limited) set out with a mission to produce the highest quality PC products in the industry. With over 800 awards from worldwide media under their belt, they can't be far off reaching this goal. Certain that they will be "Your Choice of Graphics Board Supplier" HIS certainly know how to talk the talk, but let's see if they can walk the walk with their latest addition to their graphics card lineup, the eagerly anticipated ATI Radeon HD4770.
Model Name HIS HD4770 (Full HD 1080p) HDMI 512MB (128bit) GDDR5 Dual DL-DVI & TV (HDCP) PCIe (RoHS)
Chipset Radeon HD 4700 PCIe Series
ASIC RadeonTM HD 4770 GPU
Pixel Pipelines 640 stream processing units* (Unified)
Vertex Engines 640 stream processing units* (Unified)
Manu. Process (Micron) 40nm
Transistor 826 million
Memory Size (MB) 512
Memory Type GDDR5
RAMDAC (MHz) 400
Engine CLK (MHz) 750
Memory CLK (Gbps) 3.2Gbps (800 x 4)
Memory Interface (bit) 128
Power Supply Requirement 450 Watt or greater power supply with one 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connector recommended (550 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireXTM technology in dual mode)
One might be led to believe that the HD4770 is slower than all of the HD48xx series, however this is not the case. The HD4770 is strategically positioned to perform above the HD4830 and just below the HD4850 allowing ATI to hold another price point in the low end segment of the market.
The HD4770 features the same number of stream processors as the HD4830, but has half the memory interface. To prevent this from severely crippling the card ATI have used GDDR5 memory, much like that seen on the 512MB HD4870 last year, clocked at 3200Mhz. The card also features a significantly higher clock speed (750Mhz) compared to 575Mhz and 625Mhz of the 4830 and 4850 respectively.