AMD Radeon HD 4770 On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 11 May 2009. Page 12 of 12. 6 Comments

For under $100 USD, AMD has developed a graphics card that can compete with -- and outperform in many instances -- the original Radeon HD 4850 (RV770) graphics card and bash the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT. In a few of the Linux tests the GeForce 9800GT remained faster, but in those areas the Catalyst driver for Linux is to blame and could be fixed in their monthly driver updates. Even so, the GeForce 9800GT sells for around $120 USD.

This graphics card that is built on a 40nm fabrication process had performed significantly better than the Radeon HD 4670, which is currently about an $80 USD product. Besides delivering great frame-rate results, the RV740 GPU only consumes around 80 Watts of power and our thermal results for this GPU were promising. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 512MB graphics card was also very quiet even when the GPU was under a full load.

The AMD Radeon HD 4770 is one impressive graphics card that performs well under Linux using the Catalyst driver. The open-source drivers do not yet have mode-setting support for the RV740 or even 2D/3D acceleration, but that should simply be a matter of days before this new ATI graphics card begins to work in an open-source stack. Speaking directly to the Radeon HD 4770 on Linux with the Catalyst driver, besides the driver itself having problems in a few of the tests, our only other complaint is the Unified Video Decoding 2 (UVD2) support is still missing. The Catalyst Linux drivers have been shipping with X-Video Bitstream Acceleration (XvBA) support since last year, but no media applications yet support this video acceleration API as AMD has yet to release any patches or documentation.

The Radeon HD 4870 graphics card starts out at around $160 USD, which will deliver better performance as our results show, but if you are on a tight budget and looking for a sub-$100 USD graphics card, look no further than the Radeon HD 4770 as we would recommend this as a strong buy for its impressive performance, hardware capabilities, Linux support, and forthcoming open-source support.

For pricing information on ATI Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, visit

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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