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Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 Arctic Cooling Video Card

Sapphire has a new version of the Radeon HD 4770. We see how this mid-range video card compares to its big brother.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Sep 17 2009 12:07 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 88%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Introduction




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VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES


Every time we look at a mid-range video card we always say how we understand that while everyone wants a higher performing video card, many simply cannot afford or justify the money that is associated with buying one.

Here today is no different really. We're looking at a mid-range ATI offering that has impressed us in the past and while these are no doubt not the fastest card on the market, they sit in a segment that is the most popular, and that is the mid-range market.

Today the video card we're looking at is the HD 4770 which is a model we've looked at in the past - and to be honest, it impressed us then.

With a few driver updates though since the last time we looked at it and Sapphire choosing to mix it up a bit, we'll see exactly what we've got going on here.

Let's get going!

The Package




As usual Sapphire has given us a lot of information so we know what exactly is going on. Across the top we have the Sapphire logo, a few ATI ones and mention that the card comes with 512MB of GDDR5 memory and across the bottom we have the model name.

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In the middle we have a picture of a girl along with all our important information, main features which again include that GDDR5 memory along with other features like a 40nm core, native HDMI along with mention of the cooler and some of the software that is included in the package.

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Turning the box over we again have mention of those features. Next to that we have some of the product highlights while across the bottom we have just a few of the awards Sapphire has won over the years (including ours) with again mention of the model at the very bottom.

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Looking inside there is the user manual along with a number of CDs, which include the driver disc and CyberLink DVD suite. What else we have included is some ArcSoft software, which includes TotalMedia Theater 3 and Sim HD.

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As far as cables go there's barley anything included apart from a molex to 6-pin connector and the only other cable included is a CrossFire bridge.

Video Card




Looking at the video card we can see that Sapphire have decided to move away from the default cooler and install an aftermarket cooler from the folks at Arctic Cooling. Unlike higher-end video cards, the cooler doesn't take up the entire size of the PCB. The cooler isn't terribly exciting though - there's no heat pipes present, just a number of aluminum fins.

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Since the cooler doesn't take up the whole PCB area, Sapphire have to use some heatsinks to cool some of the other parts that aren't covered by the cooler itself. We can see to the right we have three little heatsinks along with a longer one next to that which has the Sapphire name on it.

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We can see a single 6-pin PCI Express power connector at the back and closer to the front we have two CrossFire connectors, which gives us the ability to put up to three of these cards together in a single system.

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Having a look at the front of the card we can see that Sapphire have decided to mix it up a bit. Across the top we have our normal vents which help the hot air escape while below that we have a VGA connector and Dual-Link DVI connector. Between these two though, we have a native HDMI connector. This is the main reason we saw little few cables in the bundle with no TV-out present and no DVI to VGA connector needed.


Specifications

When it comes to clocks we can see that Sapphire has chosen to do nothing leaving the default core and memory clock, which means we've got a 750MHz core clock and a 800MHz memory clock - of course being 512MB of GDDR5 that comes to 3200MHz QDR.

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The other big feature that we can see is that 40nm technology is in use here. This combined with the GDDR5 memory makes the HD 4770 a pretty neat piece of equipment as far as tech goes.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2 and Windows Vista SP1 64-bit
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 9.8


Today we'll have a look at how the HD 4770 goes against the higher-end HD 4890 from ATI.

Being a mid-range video card, we won't be covering the 2560 x 1600 resolution, but we'll still see how the HD 4770 performs at resolutions as high as 1920 x 1200.

Let's get started!


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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We can see that the HD 4770 does fall a fair bit behind the HD 4890 under Vantage.

We'll have to see how this translates into real-world performance though and see if we can start picking up that 30 FPS minimum.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.

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At the high preset we can see at 1680 x 1050 that the HD 4770 falls below that 30 FPS minimum we like to see.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).

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Under CINEBENCH we can see that both video cards sit quite close together with not much separating the two.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10).

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

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At 1680 x 1050 we again see like PT Boats that the HD 4770 is falling below that 30 FPS minimum we want to see.

Fortunately we're using the very high preset, so there's a fair bit of room to move if you drop the quality.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead


Crysis Warhead

Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here




Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.

It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.

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We can see under Warhead that the HD 4890 cannot even get a 30 FPS minimum, so the mid-range HD 4770 really has no chance at all either.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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At 1680 x 1050 we can see that the HD 4770 is less than .1 FPS away from a 30 FPS minimum at the very high preset. For such an intensive game, this is pretty impressive from a mid-range video card.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

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Like Warhead, the HD 4890 isn't able to break 30 FPS in the minimum department, so it comes as no surprise that the HD 4770 does fall back a fair bit here.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here




Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.

Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.

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Under Left 4 Dead we see the HD 4770 put out some pretty good numbers at both resolutions.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

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With AA and AF on the HD 4770 really doesn't stand a chance.


World In Conflict

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Again with AA and AF on we're just not going to see good numbers come out of the HD 4770 here.


Left 4 Dead

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The same can be seen here for Left 4 Dead.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

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We see at 1920 x 1200 the HD 4770 is only just behind that 30 FPS minimum with it well and truly being covered at the lower resolution.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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At 1680 x 1050 we see that like Vista, the HD 4770 is only just behind the 30 FPS minimum that we need to see.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

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Clear Sky again sees pretty ordinary numbers for both video cards with the HD 4770 falling a good 10 FPS below that 30 FPS minimum we need at this preset.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.

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As for heat, we can see that there isn't much between the mid-range HD 4770 and the higher-end HD 4890. Keep in mind though that the HD 4890 from ASUS here uses a pretty impressive cooler.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Noise levels are pretty good on the HD 4770 with them being where you want them for a mid-range video card.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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It comes as no surprise that the power draw at load is considerably down on.

Final Thoughts




While we didn't test at 2560 x 1600, we continued to use the same image quality presets as we do when testing out higher-end video cards, which means that our test games are most of the time running at their maximum settings.

With this in mind, we can see that quite often at these presets, the HD 4770 isn't that far behind the 30 FPS minimum we want to see at 1680 x 1050. With a small detail drop, we would be able to get up and over that 30 FPS minimum and that is good news. Depending on the game, you'll probably find that you're able to get over 30 FPS at 1920 x 1200 at lower quality image settings.

As for the package of the HD 4770, it doesn't disappoint with a number of applications included and while the cable department did look a bit bare, when you have a look at what's going on in the I/O department with native VGA and HDMI being seen, you can understand why there weren't many cables included.

At just over $100 there isn't a whole lot you can expect from these video cards, but ATI have done a really good job with the Radeon HD 4770 by packing a lot of new technology into the model, which ultimately results in quite an impressive product comparatively.

If you're looking for a Radeon HD 4770 which gives a pretty impressive package and moves away from the default cooler, the Sapphire Arctic Cooling version we have here today is a good option. At $114.99, you've really got a lot of video card here for little money.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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