Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 4770 512MBManufacturer: Gigabyte
UK Price (as reviewed): £87.72 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $99.99 (inc. VAT)
In terms of making the right choice, the mid range graphic card market is often a tricky one to make calls on, especially with the economy being as prone to shift as it is at the moment. A famous Japanese Sushi chef and part-time hardware enthusiast once said that trying to pinpoint which mid-range GPU to buy is like to trying to fillet a live eel with its head nailed to a board. It just keeps moving around.
Towards the end of last month we presented ATI's new Radeon HD 4770 GPU which performed admirably in our benchmark suite, further strengthening our opinion that the once-much-lauded Radeon HD 4850 is starting to seem less like good value for money.
However there was a catch. At the time we reviewed the reference card was £83 and in order to hold its solid score in the value stakes it would have to stay close to that £80 mark otherwise it may start to see competition from one of the many other cards on the ruthlessly competitive market.
For example, Nvidia's GeForce GTS 250 was faster than the HD 4770 in most tests, most notably in the Crysis
benchmarks. If Nvidia's re-branded 9800 GTX+ saw a price drop with the introduction of the HD 4770 then it would make it harder to recommend ATI's new GPU. This is the first partner design of the HD 4770 we've seen and being closer to £90 it starts to enter the realms of the HD 4850.
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So what do you get for your cash? Well, the bundled extras are a little on the sparse side. On the off chance that you don’t have any 6-pin PCI-E power connectors free on your PSU, Gigabyte has provided a Molex to 6-pin adaptor. Aside from this you will find an RGB to composite video adaptor and two D-SUB to DVI adaptors. The manual is comprehensive enough for you average newbie and provides instructions on setting up CrossFire and gives a guided tour of the Catalyst Control Centre interface. The DVI connectors, composite ports and also the CrossFire connectors are all covered in protective caps to prevent scratches or damage.
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The Gigabyte ships with a two-year warranty that includes cover for parts and labour. In the first year, you'll need to talk directly to the retailer if you have any issues and in the second year your direct point of contact will be Gigabyte's support team. It’s a little tight compared to the longer warranties available from some Nvidia board partners. For example, both EVGA and BFG offer up to ten years warranty in Europe and lifetime warranties in the USA and Canada.