ATI vs. NVIDIA Once Again: 4670 vs 9500 GT & 9600 GSO

Now we get into the real competition. We're looking at AMD's newest mainstream card vs. NVIDIA's two latest entries into the sub $100 market. The 9600 GSO is just an 8800 GS. Though we didn't compare it here, the 9600 GT is priced right around $100 and offers performance a little better than the 9600 GSO. While we are comparing with the 9500 GT here, it will become quickly apparent that the card doesn't even come close to competing with the 4670.

For our medium quality Crysis test, the 4670 seems framelimited at about 60 here, while the 9600 GSO seems to push past the 60 fps barrier. At 1280x1024 and above, the 4670 leads the pack by a small margin in this benchmark.

Enemy Territory with 4xAA enabled shows a huge advantage for the 4670 over NVIDIA's more expensive 9600 GSO. Even so, the NVIDIA cards remain playable at 1280x1024, so the practical advantage is a little decreased until we get to 1680x1050.

Once again Oblivion offers us a role reversal when AA is enabled. Without AA, the 4670 falls behind above 1024x768, while it pulls a little ahead when 4xAA is enabled. Again, the 4670 and 9600 GSO are playable at 1280x1024 with AA, and might both be passable at 1680x1050 as well (Oblivion is a game that still offers a good experience at anything above 25 fps).


The 9600 GSO maintains a steady ~10% lead over the 4670 in Age of Conan. This is quite an interesting benchmark for NVIDIA to lead considering how handily they are clobbered at higher price points by the 4850 and 4870.

Performance in GRID is nearly identical between the 4670 and 9600 GSO.


Throw AA in there and we see a little separation trying to happen, but the 9600 GSO actually does keep up at lower resolutions with AA.

For The Witcher, while the 4670 leads at lower resolutions, performance converges at higher res. Both are playable at 1280x1024. We wanted to test AA in this one, but it is sort of difficult as the game limits the ability to enable AA based on framebuffer sizes; thus we couldn't enable 4xAA past 1024x768 on the 9600 GSO.

When we hit high quality Crysis, the 4670 leads.

And the lead just gets bigger if we look at medium quality (high quality shaders) with 4xAA enabled. The 4670 is borderline playable in this situation at 1280x1024 while the 9600 GSO falls way short.

Radeon HD 4670 vs. Last Year's $200 Offerings: The 3870/3850 Revisited What You Get for Your Money: 4870 vs 4850 vs 4670


View All Comments

  • Spivonious - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    The real advantage to this card over the similarly-priced 3870 is that it doesn't require any extra power connectors. I imagine it also runs much cooler, therefore not needing a loud cooling solution.

    Are there any fanless versions of this card in the works? It seems like it would be fantastic for the casual gamer who doesn't want a screaming beast of a machine.
  • mczak - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    is obviously wrong in the chart, should be 192mm^2 or some such (118mm^2 could be the size of rv635 maybe). Reply
  • toyota - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    its 146 mm."> Reply
  • toyota - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    oops I think you were talking about the 3870 in that chart... Reply
  • nafhan - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    In case anyone else is curious, here's a rundown of current lowest prices (from Newegg, shipping not included):
    3650 $40
    2600XT GDDR4 $44
    9500GT $54
    9600 GSO $75
    3850 $75
    9600 GT $80
    3870 $90
    8800 GT $105
    4850 $150

    So, as long as 4670's slot in below $75 they should sell fairly well. If MSRP is $79, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Interestingly, it looks like they are starting to put 768MB of RAM on some 9600 GSO's. Not to interesting though, since that jacks it up to the price of an 8800GT...
  • reader1 - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    I'm looking for a low power Intel C2D motherboard. What board did you use for the power consumption tests? It says an Intel G45 in the article but neither of your test bed boards are G45 boards.

  • computerfarmer - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    Does it CrossFire?

    Good Card for the money.
  • derek85 - Saturday, September 13, 2008 - link

    Yes it does Reply
  • npp - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    I don't care if the review is biased or not, just don't have so much time to analyze every single word or sentence and extraxt the bias towards nVidia from it... I found it useful, and the 4670 seems a very, very good card for its money - and considering the already low power consumption of the 3850, the 4670 is an instant HTPC favourite, consuming even less. By the way, I never thought of sub-100$ cards as of something more than just a IGP extension, gaming performance is by no means the decisive factor here. If it can run passively, accelerate H.264 and handle some basic graphic tasks, than it's fine for me. If you can play some games with it - you got a nice bonus. Reply
  • Gastrian - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    A few of my famlymembers and myself were looking to upgrading our PCs over the next six months so I've been keeping an eye on new hardware, especially graphic cards.

    We are only looking at budget systems and seeing the benchmarks for the 4670, especially Crysis, at that pricepoint and I was about to recommend it to my family based on the review. I re-read the article and noticed your test setup, the Q9770 alone costs almost £1000!

    I know the point of the article maybe to compare the various GPUs as fairly as possible but these aren't real world figures because I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone in the real world who will use a budget GPU with an ultra high-end CPU.

    Myself, like most sane people, would couple this GPU with an entry level Celeron, Core2 or AMD X2 CPU and these charts don't say how much real world performance I'm going to get on this card.

    While I'm not expecting to get Crysis playable on the low end I am interested in the likes of Diablo3, Starcraft2 and Dawn of War2 and am severely disappointed at the lack of RTS games in your benchmarks, especially on the mid to budget reviews as these are generally the games you'll get played on lower systems.

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