Sapphire HD4670 Video Cards in Crossfire

Posted by on Saturday, July 4, 2009 - 11:44pm

CrossfireOur wonderful friends at Sapphire were more than generous to us but not sending just one of their newest cards but two. The HD4670 is built around the RV730 which has a few favorable advantages over the RV770 (4870 and X2). Yes, we know that speed isn't one of those advantages but for less than $100 what would you expect. Less power consumption, less money and heat build up are a few things that will win many of us over. 

Sapphire HD4670

Introduction

It seems that all the talk these days when it comes to video cards is about GTX280 and 4870x2. Granted these are the biggest baddest graphic cards on the market. But they also carry the biggest price tags on the market when it comes to consumer range cards. Many if not all of us would want to be able to afford to dish out the kind of money it takes to own one of these beasts. But many of us aren't able to open up our wallets and count out $500 for our gaming pressure. Even the cards right under these are too much for many of us. The GT260 and 4870 are better bang for the buck compared to the bigger brothers but the means may not be there to own one still. Today we may have the answer to your cash flow neglected pocket books.

Our wonderful friends at Sapphire were more than generous to us but not sending just one of their newest cards but two. The HD4670 is built around the RV730 which has a few favorable advantages over the RV770 (4870 and X2). Yes, we know that speed isn't one of those advantages but for less than $100 what would you expect. Less power consumption, less money and heat build up are a few things that will win many of us over.

Sapphire take on the HD4670

Loaded with the latest features, the ATI Radeon™HD 4600 Series graphics cards deliver a level of gaming performance previously only found in high-end graphics cards. Redefine the way you play HD games and enjoy unprecedented levels of graphics realism powered by 320 stream processing units, up to 1GB of memory and support for Microsoft DirectX®10.1 games. Upgrade your graphics card and watch Blu-ray movies and play HD content with incredible visual fidelity1or take your experience to another level with new multimedia capabilities. Do it all with break-through energy efficiency that doesn’t compromise performance.


Packaging and contents

Sapphire HD4670 2

Specifications

  • I/O Output: Dual DL-DVI-I+HDTV
  • Core Clock: 750 MHz, 320 Stream Processors
  • Memory Clock: 1000MHz, 2000 Mbps.
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 512MB /128bit GDDR3 memory interface
  • Single Slot Active Cooler
  • HDMI compliant via dongle
  • 7.1 Audio Channel Support
  • Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
  • Shader Model 4.1 support

Features

  DirectX® 10.1
  320 stream processing units, 128-bit memory interface
  24x custom filter anti-aliasing (CFAA) and high performance anisotropic filtering
  Dual mode ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance
  PCI Express® 2.0 support
  Dynamic geometry acceleration, Game physics processing capability
  ATI Avivo™ HD video and display technology*
  Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) for Blu-ray™and HD Video
  Accelerated Video Transcoding(AVT)
  DVD Upscaling, Dynamic Contrast, Built-in HDMI with 7.1 surround sound support

Closer look

Many people will be very happy that this is a single slot card. There is no need to worry about having lost an adjacent slot due to an over-sized cooler. From the looks of it the card may look an under performer but I am telling you don't let the size fool you, this card gained alot of interest from the gamers and media buffs. Anyway the card boasts some decent numbers. How does 750MHz on the core side and 512MB of 1000MHz GDDR3 side? Yeah, that's just what I said too....not bad at all.

Sapphire HD4670 3

All this new speed from a lower line of cards is based on the RV730 GPU chipset. The RV730 still has all the core features of the bigger brother the RV770 like Shader 4.1 and DirectX 10.1 which most would care most about. But the RV730 weight in the form of less transistors falling to 514 million from the 956 million of the 48XX series but on the smaller 55nm fabrication.

Sapphire HD4670 4

Once again the fan that is used to cover the core and most of the ram modules is much smaller than the one used in the 38XX and 48XX models. This is a clear sign this card is not your ultimate gaming card but more of a budget model aimed at the moderate gamer or a digital media freak. And for all you youngsters out there Ruby is displayed once again.

Sapphire HD4670 5

Because the RV730 only draws a minor 59W all its power comes from the PCIe bus no power connectors are needed from the power supply. This is good for low power systems but will limit overclocking some.

Sapphire HD4670 6

The card has dual DVI connections that can be adapted to HDMI with the included adapters. And because of the high definition support through HDMI and DisplayPort, the user can also get eight channel sound from the card as well.

Sapphire HD4670 7

One feature that all current ATI have that I feel will be a big hit with people is the Crossfire compatiablity. For one there is a great performing low cost video card. But as time goes you can add up to three more for optimal gaming.

Sapphire HD4670 8


Testing Hardware and Software

Here we have screenshots of the clocks of the HD4670 from GPU-Z and Catalyst. Since both are a little outdated there was specs that each were not able to recognize.

Sapphire HD4670 20

Sapphire HD4670 21Sapphire HD4670 22

We would like to apologize to our readers for not having a NVidia 9500 nor 9600 on hand to compare with the HD4670. Once one is obtained we will edit this review to reflect it.

Testing Hardware: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6
Intel Core2Duo E8400 @ 4.15
Crucial Ballistix 2gb PC6400
Thermalright Ultra 120
Sapphire HD4670
Maxtor Diamond 10 100GB
Thermaltake TP1000

Testing Software:
Futuremark 3DMark06 Pro
Sierra Entertainment F.E.A.R. (Built in demo - Settings on Highest)
3D Realms Prey (HardwareOC Benchmark - Guru3D demo - Shader on highest level)
Electronic Arts Crysis (Benchmarking Tool - Settings on high - GPU Time)
Ubisoft Far Cry (HardwareOC Benchmark - Volcano - Shader 3.0)
Devil May Cry 4 (Built-in benchmark - DirectX 9 - High Setting)
World in Conflict (Built in demo - Highest setting)

Drivers:
Windows XP Pro SP3
ATI Cat 8.8 (All GPU were re-tested under Cat 8.8)

Competition:
Sapphire Toxic HD3870
Sapphire HD4870


Pushing Sapphire and the 4870x2

Futuremark 3DMark 06
Futuremark 3DMark06 Build 1.0.2 3DMark®06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today. Futuremark's exclusive Online ResultBrowser tracks and compares 3DMark06 scores.

Sapphire HD4670 30

Sierra Entertainment F.E.A.R. (Built in demo - Settings on Highest)
“Gamespot’s PC Shooter of the Year is coming to the Xbox 360™ gaming and entertainment system with new levels, new weapons, and more explosive online action - Coming Fall 2006. 
F.E.A.R. ™ (First Encounter Assault Recon) is a paranormal action thriller presented entirely in first-person. An unprecedented adrenaline rush of close quarters combat seamlessly melded with the spine-tingling, shocking intensity of the paranormal unknown.
Already a critical and commercial smash on the PC, F.E.A.R. will bring a new level of FPS game play to Xbox 360 with brand new single-player content designed to immerse the player deeper in the world of the F.E.A.R. team, as well as brand new multiplayer content created to fully utilize Xbox Live®.”

Sapphire HD4670 31

3D Realms Prey (HardwareOC Benchmark - Guru3D demo - Shader on highest level)
“Tommy is a down-on-his-luck garage mechanic, stuck in the middle on who-knows-where on some forgotten reservation, where Native Americans are tucked away out of sight, out of mind.
And then the unthinkable happens! Earth becomes prey to the galaxy's largest predator, a space bound Texas-sized alien that's looking to satiate its hunger with the organic goodness that most populates Earth: Us. And the first course is a certain forgotten reservation.
Tommy and his girlfriend have become prey, his grandfather killed, and hundreds of his tribal nations have been abducted through space-warping portals. Freeing himself, all Tommy cares about is saving Jenny. But the spirit of his grandfather beckons him to embrace his heritage, accept the ancient teachings, and prepare to battle the menace that threatens to destroy all the planet's life.  It's a choice between love and responsibility. It's a choice that cannot be made easily.”

Sapphire HD4670 32

Electronic Arts Crysis (Benchmarking Tool - Settings on high - GPU Time)
“Earth, 2019. A team of US scientists makes a frightening discovery on an island in the South China Sea. All contact with the team is lost when the North Korean Government quickly seals off the area. The United States responds by dispatching an elite team of Delta Force Operators to recon the situation. As tension rises between the two nations, a massive alien ship reveals itself in the middle of the island. The ship generates an immense force sphere that freezes a vast portion of the island and drastically alters the global weather system. Now the US and North Korea must join forces to battle the alien menace. With hope rapidly fading, you must fight epic battles through tropical jungle, frozen landscapes, and finally into the heart of the alien ship itself for the ultimate Zero G showdown.”

Sapphire HD4670 33

Ubisoft Far Cry (HardwareOC Benchmark - Volcano - Shader 3.0)
“A tropical paradise seethes with hidden evil in Far Cry, a cunningly detailed action shooter that pushes the boundaries of combat to shocking new levels.
Freelance mariner Jack Carver is cursing the day he ever came to this island. A week ago, a brash female reporter named Valerie had offered him an incredible sum of cash to take her to this unspoiled paradise. Shortly after docking, however, Jack's boat was greeted by artillery fire from a mysterious militia group swarming about the island.
With his boat destroyed, his money gone, and the gorgeous Valerie suddenly missing, Jack now finds himself facing an army of mercenaries amidst the wilds of the island, with nothing but a gun and his wits to survive. But the further he pushes into the lush jungle canopy, the stranger things become.
Jack encounters an insider within the militia group who reveals the horrific details of the mercenaries' true intentions. He presents Jack with an unsettling choice: battle the deadliest mercenaries, or condemn the human race to a maniac's insidious agenda.”

Sapphire HD4670 34

Devil May Cry 4 (Built-in benchmark - DirectX 9 - High Setting)
Long ago the Dark Knight Sparda rebelled against the dark emperor and waged a one-man war to save humanity. Thousands of years later, a religious organization worships this renowned savior and has taken it upon themselves to rid the world of all evil. Residing in Fortuna, this organization is known as the "Order of the Sword," and is made up of an elite group of "Holy Knights." One day, a young knight named Nero witnesses Sparda's legendary son Dante slaughter his fellow warriors. Has the renowned devil hunter turned his back on mankind? What does thie encounter mean for these two individuals?

Sapphire HD4670 35

World in Conflict (Built in demo - Highest setting)
War is Coming Home
On November 9th, 1989 the Cold War was supposed to end....it didn't
World in Conflict is the action strategy game where players defend their country, their hometown, and their families in the face of Soviet-led World War III, delivering an epic struggle of courage and retribution. You are a field commander leading the era's most powerful military machines in the heroic effort to turn back the invasion...one city and suburb at a time. This war isn't on the television. It's on our soil and in our backyards.
Prepare yourself for the most intense strategy game ever created.

Sapphire HD4670 36

Inserts taken from respective developer's web site.

Result wrap up

I will get right to the point for this one. In Crossfire the HD4670 cards rock. For about $180 you can have performance that rivals the HD3870, which was a $250 plus GPU at launch. And the cool thing about it, you can brag that you are running Crossfire. You just have to remember that you don't have to tell how much you spent.

Singly, the cards are more than decent as they were able to play most games at mediocre settings. These was definitely a good card for a budget gaming machine and more than good enough for a HTPC build.


Overclocking

The overclocking duties we left to the ATI Overdrive. All begun with clocks at 750/1000 for the core and memory respectively. It all ended with 765/1115. We wish the core would have achieved a little bit more but we can't complain as this is an $80 card. But we were impressed with the ram clocks as the additional 115MHz would help when it comes to powering higher resolutions and maintaining good frame rates.

Sapphire HD4670 50

Noise

Honestly, I don't think anybody can make a low noise video card that actually has a fan on it. And the HD4670 is right in line with the latest cards to hit the market. At startup the card lets you know its the loudest thing in the box. After Windows loads things quiet down a bit. But it is still the loudest thing in the rig as you constantly hear a tunnel of wind blown from the heat sink and fan. I am guess this is the price we have to pay for performance. Hopefully we will see an Ultimate edition from Sapphire soon.


Conclusion

Alot of people are put off by the price of a video card. For some reason if a card costs under $100 then it can't be good. I am here to tell you that is bull. These HD4670 cards that I have tested from Sapphire over this past week or so have been totally great. These cards are brand new to market so prices aren't at the low level they should be at. But still for about $80 these are some great performing low power accelerators. And if you have the dough for two then even better. One is great for a lower end budget PC or HTPC. But with two you have a system that will outperform ATI's 3870 and a few cards from Nvidia like the 9600 and 8800 in some games. And if for some reason you can't afford two right now you will have a great upgrade path later when your money is right. I see more price drops from Nvidia for them to compete with the HD4670 in this price range.

Sapphire HD4670 award


 

 

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