When AMD released its Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 the price/performance advantage over NVIDIA at the time was so great that we wondered if it would extend to other GPUs based on the same architecture. Inevitably AMD would offer cost reduced versions of the 4800 series and today we're seeing the first example of that; meet the RV730 XT, otherwise known as the Radeon HD 4670:

The Radeon HD 4670 is priced at $79, which in the past hasn't really gotten you a very good gaming experience regardless of who made the chip. Today's launch is pretty interesting because the 4670 has the same number of stream processors as the Radeon HD 3870 (320), which at the time of its launch was reasonably competitive in the $180 - $200 range. Let's have a closer look at the 4670's specs:

  ATI Radeon HD 4870 ATI Radeon HD 4850 ATI Radeon HD 4670 ATI Radeon HD 4650 ATI Radeon HD 3870
Stream Processors 800 800 320 320 320
Texture Units 40 40 32 32 16
ROPs 16 16 8 8 16
Core Clock 750MHz 625MHz 750MHz 600MHz 775MHz+
Memory Clock 900MHz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 993MHz (1986MHz data rate) GDDR3

1000MHz (2000MHz data rate) GDDR3

or

900MHz (1800MHz data rate) DDR3

500MHz (1000MHz data rate) DDR2 1125MHz (2250MHz data rate) GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 512MB 512MB 512MB GDDR3 or 1GB DDR3 512MB 512MB
Transistor Count 956M 956M 514M 514M 666M
Die Size 260 mm2 260 mm2 146 mm2 146 mm2 190 mm2
Manufacturing Process TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm
MSRP Price Point $299 $199 $79 $69 $199
Current Street Price $270 $170 $80 N/A
$110

 

Clock speeds are a bit lower and we've got much less memory bandwidth, but the hardware has some advantages. The RV730 XT is a derivative of the GPU in the 4800 series cards, and it carries over some of the benefits we saw inherent in the architecture changes. Of these, antialiasing saw a major benefit, but we also see changes like increases in cache sizes, texturing power, and z/stencil ability. We won't see performance on par with the 3870 in general, but the 4670 will do some damage in certain situations, especially if AA comes into play.

AMD is also announcing (but we're not testing) the Radeon HD 4650 running at a meager 600MHz and using 500MHz DDR2 memory. The 4650 will chop another $10 off the 4670's pricetag.

AMD lists board power of the 4670 and 4650 at 59W and 48W respectively and obviously they're single slot (with no PCIe power required). To make things better, both of them include the same 8-channel LPCM support for HDMI from the 4800 series. We're waiting to sort out some issues with HDCP and our latest test version of PowerDVD Ultra before confirming the support, but we know first hand that it works on the 4800 series and we see no reason that it wouldn't on the 4600 series.

We are quite happy to see AMD pushing it's latest generation technology out across its entire product line. It's great to see new parts making their way into the market rather than a bunch of old cards with slight tweaks and new names. Of course, AMD is fighting back from a disadvantage, so they don't have the luxury of relying on their previous generation hardware to trickle down the same way NVIDIA can. But we certainly hope that AMD continues to follow this sort of trend, as the past couple years have been very hard on the lower end of the spectrum with a huge lag between the introduction of a new architecture and its availability in the mainstream market.

Also of interest is the fact that AMD has added support in the RV730 for 900 MHz DDR3. The move away from GDDR3 toward the currently ramping up and dropping in price system memory solution is quite cool. Let's take a look at that in a little more depth.

Non-G DDR3? Sure, Why Not
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  • srikar115 - Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - link

    i completely agree with the review ...i myself use a 4670 and frn has a 9600gso ..the parameters shown here are 100% correct ....also this article elaborates the upperhand of 4670 over 96gso/gt

    http://pcgamersera.com/category/4670-vs-9600gt/">http://pcgamersera.com/category/4670-vs-9600gt/
    Reply
  • dellprecision380 - Saturday, July 09, 2011 - link

    plz tell me that 4670 will work on 375 watt psu and pci x16?i have intel 955xcs board plz tell me i want to buy this card Reply
  • Jogi - Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - link

    Just wanna add a few words about market situation in such "strange" (regarding to price policy) region as Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine, Russia.

    The rebate program isn't available here (in Ukraine) nor in Russia. Don't know how about Poland. Here are the prices for mainstream VC:
    Radeon 4670 - about 100$
    GeForce 9600GSO - about 120$
    GeForce 9600GT - about 150$

    As I said before, there is no rebate program available here, buying something on the ebay... Well, I can't trust my money to someone, who is living a thousands of miles from me :)
    Reply
  • evonitzer - Thursday, September 25, 2008 - link

    Good review. I appreciate how you focused on 1280x1024 (as opposed to some people who wanted 1920x1200?!) as that is the monitor I'm still rockin. However, I'm curious how the 4670 performs in The Witcher with AA, regardless of how the 9500GT does. I like this game and wonder what kind of performance hit I might expect were I to pick up the card. It would appear that nobody is watching the comments anymore since it broke down into fanboy/retarded complaining, but I'd like to know. Also, please no "answers" from others who haven't actually run the game but want to speculate. I can perform such speculation on my own, and already have. Reply
  • Maz - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    PNY stock 8800gt is at 110 dollars now... just get that if you're on a budget to be real about it... Reply
  • lemonadesoda - Sunday, September 14, 2008 - link

    I thought the review was great. Thanks for being so thorough in your analysis vis-a-vis older cards. That's exactly the comparison people want to make... not which current generation card is 5% better than another... but how much they gain from upgrading an older card to the latest generation.

    But there are two points left open:

    1./ Performance at 1600x1200 or 1920x1200 which is the resolution that PEOPLE WHO READ THESE BENCHMARKS are interested in. I can guarantee you NOBODY is interested in the 800x600 figures you give. Nobody considering a performance part works at that resolution. But you left a big knowledge gap for the screen resolutions that most people with enthusiast PCs have: 1600x and 1920x1200.

    2./ You say there is no win with the 4670 over 3870. For a few $ more you get a few % more performance, therefore 3870 QED. Not so. Many people are interested in silent machines or cool HTPC. The power usage figures between the 3870 vs. 4670 warrant 4670 winning in every case. I'm sure you can OC the 4670 to 3870 performance and still have a cheaper to run machine with less heat and silent.

    Otherwise, very informative review. Thanks.
    Reply
  • Nil Einne - Sunday, February 15, 2009 - link

    Actually no one is interested in such resolutions with a budget card. If you get a budget card, you accept that your likely to play at relatively low resolutions. You'd have to be stupid to get a budget card and then try to play at 1920x1200. In case it isn't obvious, I personally hate it when stupid reviewers, perhaps insipired by equally stupid commentators test resolutions that no one is ever going to play with and then complain the card is too slow. I DO NOT care if the card can only manage 10 FPS at 1920x1200. It's completely irrelevant and doesn't help me in deciding which card to buy. Reply
  • Maz - Thursday, September 18, 2008 - link

    1920x1200??? People who are truly interested in those resolutions really don't read budget card reviews to find out if the latest games will run well cause they know the answer.

    What is it with people who wanna drop 500 dollars on a high res monitor then buy an 80 dollar video card? It's like putting four thousand dollar wheels on your 93 honda.
    Reply
  • Ajay - Sunday, September 14, 2008 - link

    Don't most people game on a wide screen monitor nowadays (high end games, like Crysis)? So why is the final comparison is done at 1280x1024??

    Really, I'm just wondering.
    Nice review in any case - thx!
    Reply
  • wvh - Friday, September 12, 2008 - link

    When the HD 4650 is released and reviewed, I'd be interested in a comparison between integrated solutions and these lower-end cards regarding power consumption, performance and price... Are there any plans by AMD to integrate one of these lower-spec cards into a motherboard? Reply

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