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ATI Radeon HD 4770 In CrossFire: Unbeatable At $220

ATI Radeon HD 4770 In CrossFire: Unbeatable At $220
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Perhaps I was a little hard on ATI’s new Radeon HD 4770 in last week’s review. Excited to see planned pricing at $99, it was disappointing when ATI raised the tag to $109, putting the card smack dab between the still-compelling Radeon HD 4830 and Radeon HD 4850 512 MB.

Before that, I was also pretty critical of ATI’s Radeon HD 4890. Yeah, it’s a nice refresh of a successful GPU, but do I want to pay an extra $70 for 10% more performance? Not really. The Radeon HD 4870 and GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 are already fantastic deals at $180-$190.  ATI was clearly just filling in a price gap where it thought it had a chance to upsell some extra clock speed rather than going for its competition’s jugular, as it did with the Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 launch.

With multiple Radeon HD 4770s in-hand, though, my tune is much different.

Tag Team, Back Again

The day before the 4770 launched, we received a second card to verify that the fan speed issue we originally experienced was fixed. We didn’t have time to run a set of CrossFire numbers, but your feedback in the comments section made it clear that enthusiasts wanted to see how a pair of these cards stacked up to some of the higher-priced options out there. Fair enough. We were actually pretty curious, too.

At $109 each, a pair of Radeon HD 4770s costs roughly $220. There’s no exact equivalent single-card solution at that same price point right now. A Radeon HD 4870 1 GB runs right around $190 and a GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 can be found as low as $180. Naturally, we’d need to see a pair of Radeon HD 4770s beat both of those less expensive options.

On the other end of the spectrum, a Radeon HD 4890 runs about $250. Most GeForce GTX 275s cost about $10 more than that. We’re comparing the CrossFire’d 4770s to a single Radeon HD 4890, but not the GeForce GTX 275. If you want more information on how the 4890 and GTX 275 compare, check out our GeForce GTX 275 review. The two cards are fairly similar, with the GTX 275 generally a bit faster. Instead, we have a little surprise later in the story: 4770s against Nvidia's GeForce GTX 280.

You also wanted to see a few other points explored: maximum overclocking outside of ATI’s Catalyst Control Center and GPU temperatures (in light of the 40 nm process shrink). Both of those are included here as well, in addition to updated power graphs to reflect the extra energy needed by two Radeon HD 4770s.

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  • 2 Hide
    plasmastorm , 4 May 2009 17:31
    Been looking to replace my ol' 8800gtx xxx edition for a while and i do have a crossfire board, hmmm :) 

    *Darts off to find a 8800gtx Vs 4770 x-fire chart*
  • 1 Hide
    The Lady Slayer , 4 May 2009 21:19
    I was going to pay AU$225 for a 4850, but for AU$300 I'm now getting 2x 4770's. Awesome
  • 2 Hide
    the Innocent , 4 May 2009 22:35
    Now I am regretting the 4870 1GB I bought. They really say that as soon as you buy it, it's outdated.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , 4 May 2009 23:11
    could one xfire a 4770 with a 4850? or better just to xfire 2x 4850?
  • 2 Hide
    wild9 , 5 May 2009 05:20
    Cheapest I could find a 4770 in the UK was $123 inc. sales tax. That's not too bad compared to $109 in the US, although you guys may be able to get some form of rebate.

    I really like this card. Lots of people are asking me to price up a spec for a comparatively cheap, but still capable GTA IV gaming rig. I can now offer them an AMD Phenom II rig, with either one or two 4770's. Crucially, I don't have to worry about the machine coming back because it's over-heated or they're tweaked the CPU/graphics too hard. That for me is a big bonus. Awesome card(s) with lots of power whether you're Intel or AMD.
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , 5 May 2009 07:22
    Great article Chris.

    Bet these turn up as an X2 soon.

  • 1 Hide
    mr_boogie , 5 May 2009 11:29
    I guess you need to update this one once 1GB 4770 cards come out, as the extra frame buffer might even get things nastier for the rest of the competition...

    I wonder how NVIDIA will reply to this...
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , 5 May 2009 14:48
    They could always rebadge something like the G92 ... for the fourth time.

    I'd still rather have a G80 GTX ... the real thing had a wider memory bus and crunched some serious triangles.

    The G92 was a shrink that just saved a few bucks ... at no saving to the customer.

    AMD's shrink saves us a few bucks and two of them seem like a killer pair ... comparable to the 9600GT idea I would say (still cheaper though)

    /snicker
  • 1 Hide
    mi1ez , 5 May 2009 15:26
    +1 to 1GB and X2 versions of the card. AMD would be stupid not to! All we need now is the OpenGL physics to go mainstream and we're laughing!
  • 2 Hide
    vicious5id , 5 May 2009 17:19
    Nice gear. Something for me to look forward to as a CrossFire virgin.
    My next rig most certainly gets two of these.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 5 May 2009 17:47
    "Below 1280x1024, however, things slow down too much to be considered playable." Above, surely?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 6 May 2009 04:44
    £78.53 For a single Sapphire 4770 512Mb inc tax! Maybe I'll finally upgrade my 3870X2 with 2 of these or wait for a 1Gb / X2 version! WIN!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 6 May 2009 16:42
    I don't think they have to pull out a X2 card, just up the memory and memory bus. The only problem I can think of is that it will kill the rest of their cards, as I don't believe we'll have to pay more than $50-75+ for this addition alone.
  • 0 Hide
    wifiwolf , 7 May 2009 05:16
    Great performance scaling. Sometimes more than 100%. Weird though.
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , 7 May 2009 06:26
    You can prolly now get 2 for under $200 US Chris ... keep us posted !!
  • 0 Hide
    vasthegreek , 15 May 2009 16:52
    It's not just the FPS that matters...but heat, noise, power consumption...
    Not always 2 cards are better than one, unless we talking about Crysis..
  • 0 Hide
    ramin93 , 24 June 2009 05:54
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164568

    83 GBP over there, a HD 4770. Thats quite good. and the performance, very good!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 6 August 2009 18:33
    I´m kinda regretting buying my 4870 now too :( . Though all is not yet lost!
    In a couple of months I´ll get either another 4870, 4770 or a better card, depending on what seems like the best choice.
  • 0 Hide
    matek , 27 August 2009 08:37
    It seems everyone has fallen in love with the 4770 crossfire but when you think about it, your already limiting yourself. For those with 4870 once you put them in crossfire they will also outperform these configs.

    Each user has a different budget. The 4890 is not at danger as it can overclock nicely as well as be arranged in crossfire blowing away the competition. Remember directX11 cards are also coming in September.