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Review: Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 512MB in CrossFireX: beating up on high-end GPUs?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 5 May 2009, 10:08 3.85

Tags: Radeon HD 4770 in CrossFire, AMD (NYSE:AMD), Sapphire, ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qar3j

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Final thoughts, and rating

When we looked at the single-card performance of the Radeon HD 4770 last week we reckoned that it was a great buy for £80, based on near-Radeon HD 4850-matching performance for a much lower cost.

But how would it perform if a couple were strapped together and run in multi-GPU CrossFireX? The specifications suggested that it would give current £150-£200 GPUs a tough time.

The CrossFireX performance numbers and HEXUS.bang4buck analysis show that, for the most part, the twin-GPU solution handily beats out single-GPU cards that are up to £50 dearer.

Perhaps the only reservation we have for readers looking to spend £150 on their next graphics-card update is the intrinsic inelegance of having two GPUs carry out the work rather than one. Couple this with what seem to be a few driver issues and, sometimes, the HD 4770 CrossFireX comes up a little short.

On the evidence of what we've seen, we'd urge the likes of Sapphire to build a custom HD 4770 X2 card with both GPUs on one PCB. Price that at £150 and it would have a winner. Trouble is, launching such a product would decimate the Radeon HD 4890 market.

Bottom line: superlative performance from a £150 setup, two Radeon HD 4770s combine well in multi-GPU CrossFireX. The one proviso is that they're best-run at 1,920x1,200 or 1,680x1,050, based on our findings.

Pros

Excellent performance most of the time
Great value proposition, too
Represents an upgrade path; you don't have to buy both at once

Cons

May lead to sub-optimal multi-GPU performance in non-AAA games
Frame-buffer limitations appear to come into play at ultra-high resolutions.

HEXUS Rating

We consider any product score above '50%' as a safe buy. The higher the score, the higher the recommendation from HEXUS to buy. Simple, straightforward buying advice.

The rating is given in relation to the category the component competes in, therefore the card is evaluated with respect to our 'high-end components' criteria.

77%

Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 512MB in CrossFireX

HEXUS Awards


Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 512MB in CrossFireX (at 1,680x1,050 and 1,920x1,200)

HEXUS Where2Buy

The Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 CrossFire (two cards) is available from Ebuyer.co.uk for £156.24, including delivery.

The same cards are also available from Scan.co.uk for a combined £157.06, and from C3 Computers for £166.38.

*As always, UK-based HEXUS.community discussion forum members will benefit from the SCAN2HEXUS Free Shipping initiative, which will save you a further few pounds plus also top-notch, priority customer service and technical support backed up by the SCANcare@HEXUS forum.

HEXUS Right2Reply

HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.


HEXUS Forums :: 20 Comments

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This is perhaps the 1st time that I agree that a multicard solution to be of superior quality in almost all aspects compared to the current 1 card solution..

I guess the main problem is probably due to Nvidia's inability to provide a low power high performance solution.

Crossfire 4770 is a no brainer solution IMHO for most who's willing to give it a go..

low idle and even lower load power consumption on 2 cards but provides far better gaming is unheard of in the multicard world..

Kudos for AMD this round, they really did raise the bar for performance/watt in the GPU front..

Given so, they are not doing too bad in the CPU realm as well, tho their initial high hopes about the Phenom I seems to be pants..

I would certainly go for a Phenom II + 790GX + 4770 crossfire setup if I'm upgrading now..

Shame I went for the Q6700 when the price was right..
I have my 4770, I will be changing the fan, and eventually buy another 4770 when they become dirt cheap :)

My next upgrade will be a CPU, Motherboard and RAM though.
Looks good... I was considering 4830 XFire before, but I gather 4770 is marginally better?

Not that my 8800GTS desperately needs replacing, but the upgrade itch needs scratching :D

Cheers,

Suman
Ordered a (single) 4770 yesterday. Should be a nice upgrade from a x1900xt.
It's a much better idea than using 4830's, yes.

Still, if you have something greater or equal to a 128sp g92 (much easier than trying to name all the product revisions) or a 4850, I can't see why you wouldn't wait for the 5000 series.

July ain't that far away, and the 5850 should be around the same performance as 2x4770, all things considered. Thing is, it will support dx11 while coming in at a similar cost. Sure, the TMU advantage (omigod 64 ATi tmus@$200...'bout effing time!) is nice, but in the scheme of things, I wonder if the 5850 will be a better long-term investment.

This is not to take away from the awesome that is 4770, but I would take that into consideration before taking the jump.

If nothing else, this surely shows a great potential upgrade path for early adopters of the 4770, or for people whom can't spend more than it's cost per upgrade.