Review: Crysis with no power connectors
The latest AMD strategy consisted of first conquering the performance market in order to gain some long-lost trust in ATI’s graphics cards, and since they did it with HD 4800, they moved on to the next one. Thanks to a dual GPU card known as Radeon HD 4870 X2, ATI succeeded Nvidia on the performance throne. Now all that’s left are midrange and low end markets, the markets that yield the greatest profits for both companies. Sub-€100 range is currently a mess, and if you haven’t done your research you’ll be quite dazed and confused.
Today, AMD announced Radeon HD 4670, but this month will see another two products from HD 4600 and HD 4500 series. The latter card planned for low-end range is based on RV710, whereas the other one is, just like today’s HD 4670, based on RV730 and will go to mid-range. All three cards are based on 55nm cores 2nd generation, and their main advantage is low consumption and no need for additional power. These PCIe 2.0 cards come with DX 10.1 support, thanks to a core that’s a crippled version of RV770 architecture (HD 4800 series). Of course, we expect some decent gaming with the upcoming DX10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 supporting games. UVD 2 engine and Realtek’s HD Audio 7.1 (integrated into the GPU silicone) are responsible for quality HD reproduction and processing capabilities.
When it comes to mid-low end segments, the price is surely an important factor and ATI claims HD 4670 should be available at €55. At this price this card is definitely a bargain, although a couple of listed HD 4670 cards were priced at unacceptable €70.
Radeon HD 4670 is based on the RV730 core manufactured by TSMC in 55nm. It packs 320 stream processors, 8 ROPs and 32 texture units. We already mentioned that RV730 is a weaker and cheaper version of RV770 architecture, and although it’s cooler, it’s nowhere as powerful. As far as Radeon HD 4670’s features go, you’ll find that they’re identical to those of much pricier HD 4800 generation. Even with filters on, you should still be able to play games at 1280x1024, and maybe even higher but with filters off, of course. Just like the rest of HD 4xxx series, this card supports CrossFireX multi-GPU technology.
The card’s cooler is single -lot and pretty quiet. Idle temperatures are about 40°C, whereas the GPU under a workload results in temperatures of about 84°C. The best of all is low consumption, which is evident from a lack of external power connector. So, PCIe slot power will be enough, as the card doesn’t draw more than 75W while in full throttle.
Due to low consumption and not too hot core, the small and quiet fan, coupled with a slim copper cooler, keeps the temperatures in check. We’re quite certain that we’ll be seeing passive versions of this card in no time.
The card comes with 512MB of GDDR3 memory running at 1000MHz, coupled with 750MHz for the GPU. The memory is evenly distributed on both sides of the card.
It’s important to note that reference HD 4670 comes with GDDR3 memory and only a 128-bit memory bus.
The core runs at 750MHz, whereas weaker HD 4650’s core will run at 600MHz. Other characteristics will follow in HD 4670’s footsteps, meaning 320 stream processors. Our version of GPUZ tool apparently choked a bit, but you can see that it loaded the basics like it should have. Weaker HD 4500 will be a real treat. This card doesn’t pack any serious gaming power, but that will be enough for the OEM market that will simply love it due to its consumption.
I/O panel features two standard DVI outs and a TV-out, but we’ve seen some cards that will come with either HDMI or DisplayPort. This method also enables HDMI but via the DVI-to-HDMI adapter.