Final Words

When the Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 hit the scene, they were simply the best cards at or near their price points. Their release caused major price drops on NVIDIA hardware and really shook up the market. The question is: is the Radeon HD 4670 something like a 4850 for the sub $100 market? Unfortunately, that's a more difficult question to answer than it was with the higher end parts. Yes the 4670 outperforms the 9500 GT, and where it doesn't out perform the 9600 GSO it is competitive. So what's the problem?

The 3850 trails behind sometimes, but the 3870 generally maintains a performance lead. You can now find 3870 starting at around $100 (GeForce 9600 GT also falls into this category), and we'd rather spend the extra bit of cash and get added performance. (Ed: Updated to reflect current prices.) The value is still lower at a lower price than other hardware that's more expensive. We pointed out this problem in our recent 9500 GT review as well: spending less money gets you disproportionately less performance. It's similar to how we see diminishing returns for increased spending at the very high end.

The 4670 doesn't change the game enough to say that spending more money isn't worth it, but the 4670 does lead at its price point and is good enough for anyone with a 1280x1024 monitor to have a good experience. We even see some advantages that would allow us to enable 4xAA at these low resolutions and enjoy playable performance. This card isn't going to change the world, but it fits a niche. Throw in the lower power requirements and smaller form factor and you have a great card for moderate gaming.

Unlike the 9500 GT, this card isn't an epic fail at its price point. We would still like more (we always do), but what we've got isn't bad. This is hardware based on a new architecture (meaning it has all the latest features and bug fixes like working AA hardware), unlike NVIDIA's competitive offerings. We can play most of the games we tested at 1280x1024 (a very cheap very widely used panel size) with high quality settings and some of them do well with 4xAA enabled as well.

So this (almost) rounds out a top to bottom RV7xx lineup from AMD - we're still waiting on one more part. The hardware does outperform the competition at the same price point (though that isn't saying much), and we even get playable performance at 1280x1024 (a key target resolution for budget systems). If you want gaming performance first, however, you will still need a more powerful GPU - we'd recommend spending a little bit more like the HD 3870, 9600 GT, or 8800 GT, and if you can swing it the HD 4850 and 9800 GTX+ offer excellent performance at the $180 price point. On the other hand, the 4670 works great as a Jack of all trades.

In light of all that, what's the verdict? If you just can't spend that extra ~$20, this is absolutely the card to buy right now. This might be the 4850 or 4870 of the sub $100 market, but the problem is that the sub $100 market still doesn't provide the kind of gaming performance we would like to see compared to the rest of the market. It's easy to argue that people pay a premium for the best performance out there, but it just doesn't make sense on the lower end. For the people who need a card that fits this niche and price point, the 4670 is the card to pick up unless there's a great sale or rebate offered on a higher performing part. With lower prices, small fluctuations can really stir things up. But the 4670 gets our nod when it comes to current street prices and AMD's suggested pricing.

The Charts


View All Comments

  • 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">
  • dellprecision380 - Saturday, July 9, 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 :)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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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