by Rob Williams on August 27, 2009 in Graphics & Displays
Have just $100 to splurge on a new graphics card? Is having low power consumption and low temperatures important to you? If so, the HD 4770 certainly deserves your attention. This budget card handled each one of our games at 1920×1080 just fine, overclocks like a dream and has power and temp numbers worth drooling over.
Every once in a while, someone will make the comment to me that it must be so much fun benchmarking the latest and greatest from all these various companies, whether it be a processor or graphics card, and it’s true… it is fun. But it’s products like what we have here that really grabs my interest, because the sheer value is through the roof – far more so than you’ll see from a high-end product.
The Radeon HD 4770 is, all-around, a sweet card. It offers great performance for the money, overclocks well, and has power consumption numbers to drool over. There is just one problem, though, that may sway your decision. As we saw throughout our results, NVIDIA’s GTS 250 is faster in almost all of our tests, with the lone exception of Call of Juarez.
From a suggested price standpoint, ATI’s card is $100, but in reality, all e-tailers I’ve seen are selling them for $110. The GTS 250 on the other hand, is the more expensive of the two, but not by much. In perusing various e-tailers, I found many GTS 250’s for around $120, and some after mail-in rebates actually cost less than the HD 4770. The absolute cheapest GTS 250 I found was $99 after MIR.
That being said, if the HD 4770 retailed for exactly $100, then the decision would be made much easier. The GTS 250 was faster in most of our tests, and some by a fair margin. When you overclock the HD 4770, it inches fairly close to the GTS 250, but if the GTS 250 goes overclocked, the HD 4770 would never be able to catch it.
The HD 4770 does have two major advantages on its side, though. First is the power consumption. While the GTS 250 capped at 313W, the HD 4770 hit 208W. That is not a small difference. ATI’s card also managed to keep temperatures about 12°C lower on average, which makes it all the more suitable for HTPC use.
Simply put, which of these advantages matter more to you is what’s going to make your final decision. If you care a lot about power consumption and temperatures, the HD 4770 is the right card for you. If you overclock it, you’ll come fairly close to the performance of the GTS 250, but still retain the major advantage of a lower power draw and lower temperatures. If you don’t care about either of those too much, and want to get as much FPS as possible for your buck, the GTS 250 is the way to go.
- Priced right (~$100).
- Ample performance for today’s games at 1920×1080.
- Low power consumption and temperatures.
- Easily overclocked.
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