Non-G DDR3? Sure, Why Not

For a while now we've been seeing either DDR2 or GDDR3 on most graphics cards. The future standard looks to be GDDR5 at this point (with 4 being skipped due to its not-that-much-better-ness when compared to GDDR3), but currently board makers are faced with an interesting situation: DDR3 is coming down in price due to its adoption on the desktop.

The push to GDDR3 was to fill the need in the graphics industry for faster DRAM, so it came along a little ahead of DDR3 and has served us well for the past few years. DDR3 is now finding traction in the desktop world and prices are starting to come down as every major platform will support DDR3 going forward. Performance is apparently fairly similar at the speeds DDR3 can hit (we don't really have a way of testing this ourselves right now, but this is what AMD is telling us), so price is really the only differentiator.

The future: GDDR5 at the high end and DDR3 at the low end for graphics cards

Cheaper DRAM means cheaper boards, especially on the low end where we won't see really high speeds where GDDR3 or GDDR5 would be required. This is a good thing as it will hopefully bring performance down to the mainstream faster.

Index Enter the 8800 GS... err... I Mean The 9600 GSO
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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">
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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?

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