Packaging & Appearance
The outer sleeve of the main box is adorned with the familiar Black Knight we have seen in previous Asus ATI incarnations. Asus have also made a big deal of advertising the fact the EAH4770 supports HDMI (via DVI adapter). Also adorning the front of the package are two 512mb DDR5 emblems. The rear of the box goes on to describe the features in greater detail such as GamerOSD and Smart Doctor.
After removing the outer sleeve I was greeted by a plain white cardboard box. Flipping the lid on this box revealed the contents which were neatly and securely packed thanks to the cardboard and Styrofoam insets holding the accessories and GPU in place respectively. The accessory list includes a driver disc and features disc. Adaptors consist of HDMI, VGA, TV out and a dual Molex to PCIe 6 pin connector. Rounding off the package is a 'SpeedStart' setup booklet which is easy enough to follow should you not be conversant with GPU installation procedures.
The card itself is actually a reference design. This is a break from the old routine of using the full card dual slot cooler. Hopefully this cooler will be quieter than the older version which was always a let down with ATI cards. The cooler itself has a copper coloured aluminium heatsink and is dual slot in height which is unfortunate for a card aimed at the budget sector. What is nice to see is the usual ATI method of attaching the back plate. Just four screws hold the cooler to the card with a very lightweight but effective back plate.
Another nice touch Asus seem to be using in all of their cards are the blue protectors. The protect all of the parts most likely to be hindered by dust and with regard to the PCIe and Xfire tabs, static electricity. As stated previously, the cooler makes the card Dual Slot which is perhaps a little unfair as it is not quite dual slot in height but it certainly can't be classed as a single slot card as two of these certainly wouldn't fit side by side.
Asus seem confident enough in the stock coolers ability to cool the memory without the need for any direct attachment to the integrated chips. Hopefully this will not affect the overclocking of the memory or the stability of the card. The PCI shield area has the usual 2xDVI's along with a TV out but Asus also include adaptors for VGA and HDMI should you need them.
Stripping the card down was a cinch thanks to the method ATI have employed of attaching the cooler to the card. The mount was very good and the paste was just enough to ensure all of the core was covered. The thermal pad was also of good consistency and not the usual cement we tend to find on budget GPU's.
Here we see the RV470 core itself. The die shrink on the core should see some impressive overclocks if die shrinks in the past are anything to go by. Qimonda GDDR5 memory chips clocked at 800MHz were used on the Asus EAH4770 which have been used on more expensive models and clocked very well so hopefully this will be a repeat performance here.