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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  • arturnowp - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    I really don't like the conclusion. You can always say spend same more. You have a video card for 79$, just add 20$ and get something faster. But how much faster? 20$ it's 25% more. Does 9600GT provide 25% more performance? What's powor consumption of 9600GT. Not to mention this card is simply much bigger. We're at 100$ but why not spend around 125-130$... I'm sure most buyers want add extra money just to have something quicker if it doesn't provide "next level" of performance. Also companies like Dell or even Apple with chose smaller cards for their's computers. Reply
  • neomoco - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    we all know the problem comments about biased articles on anand
    i haven`t made one yet but the final words on this article are hilarious ...
    my opinion is the final words should have started with something like this :

    wooowww impressive card ... amazing price/performance ... highly recommended at its price ... it decimates everything nvidia offer ... same performance if not > as 9600gso at lower price ...

    whenever they said something good about this card(rarely)they imediatly put brackets and add something negative ex:

    "Unfortunately, that's a more difficult question to answer than it was with the higher end parts." -lol
    "The hardware does outperform the competition at the same price point (though that isn't saying much)" -hmm

    and much more ... i may not know too much but my opinion is this amazing card should have recieved a much better review.

    let me give you an example of a nvidia review article title ... i wont say wich one it was

    "NVIDIA GeForce xxxxx : The Only Card That Matters"
    and an article introduction
    "It's really not often that we have the pleasure to review a product so impressively positioned. The xxxx is a terrific part, and it is hitting the street at a terrific price.Whatever the reason for the xxxxx, we are glad of its existence. This truly is the part to beat in terms of value. "

    i`ve never seen something even close about amd products and they had great products so to me your articles seem a little biased but we already got used to it . maby im imagining things

    peace
    Reply
  • RagingDragon - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    In this article, the reviewer pans the Nvidia 9500GT and 9600GSO even more severely than the AMD 4670. Also his reviews of the AMD 4850 and 4870 were extremely positive. So I don't think it's fair to say he's biased against AMD or in favour of Nvidia. However, he obviously has a hate on for all current < $100 cards... Nvidia's 9500GT is particularly galling - it's just a re-rehashed 7600GT! And the 9600GSO seems pointless, I just checked prices at a local online store and found EVGA 9600GSO cards costing more than their 9600GT cards.

    But I think the review is too harsh on the AMD 4670, which resoundingly beat everything else in it's price range, and it is a big step in the right direction. These cards don't do what I want (1920x1200 at high details settings), but that doesn't mean they're junk, just that I'm outside the target market. While they offer little value to me, they should appeals to others with different needs/wants.
    Reply
  • pattycake0147 - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    Did you read the 4870x2 review? It definitely had and bias against the 4870x2. Reply
  • Loknar - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    Anandtech is not Pro-Nvidia, if that's what you want to imply.

    I remember the days of the Radeon, when the likes of TomsHardware was still drooling over Geforce2, and Anand chose to painfully explain the issue of image quality - which other reporters were too lazy to attempt. Same goes for the difficult and technicalities detailing the superiority of the Athlon XP over the Pentium 4; Anand took the rough route when other sites found it easier to say "Pentium is awesome, dude".

    You should consider the 'bias' in some articles is in fact "enthousiasm" about the new product/technology - which makes for a more fun-to-read article than blog-like constant bickering.
    Reply
  • toyota - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    this is a GREAT card for oem comps. its small and the user can stick with the stock power supply and get a massive increase in fps over integrated graphics. plus these cards will probably be just $50 in a few weeks. Reply
  • drfelip - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    I performs better than a 3850 and uses less power. When I need to upgrade my 3450 I think I'm going for a 4670. As you can see I don't need much 3D power, though. Reply
  • needystevie - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    Does this card support hybrid tech? Reply
  • scruffypup - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    AR, a 3870 can be had for $90-$100 Reply
  • toyota - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    well the 4670 is only $80 MSRP and will likely be much cheaper in a few days and also likely have rebates or sales. plus the 4670 fits the needs of most oem comp users. its tiny, runs cool, and doesnt need external power. Reply

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