Review: A mid-range card that can do Crysis
Since the market is currently concentrated on high-end cards and the never-ending struggle over the top-performance throne, we decided to shift our attention to a card that will not cost you an arm and a leg, ATI’s mid-range HD 4670.
ATI’s HD 4670 is comparable to Nvidia’s 9500GT GDDR3, and back when it was launched, ATI’s HD 4670 card literally buried Nvidia’s 9500GT. Today we decided to take a look at Club3D’s non-reference HD 4670 card that has a dual slot cooling solution which should make this card much less noisy, and, of course, cooler than the reference card which we tested before.
As we compared it to the 9500GT card before, today we will put it up against some more expensive cards, for example the 9600GT. Unlike all of these cards, the HD 4670 doesn’t need an additional power connector and the PCB is much shorter.
The card is based on a 55nm core, and its main advantage is low power consumption and no need for additional power, which makes the HD 4670 is a very attractive card in the upgrade and OEM markets. It is a PCIe 2.0 card that has DirectX 10.1 support, thanks to a core that’s a crippled version of RV770 architecture (HD 4800 series), UVD 2 engine and Realtek’s HD Audio 7.1 (integrated into the GPU silicone) are responsible for quality HD reproduction and processing capabilities.
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 near 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.
Unlike the reference version of the HD 4670 which uses a single slot cooling solution, Club3D has decided to strap a dual slot cooler which has a larger fan and should have superior performance. The memory chips are cooled by a small heatsinks and the card has eight memory chips or a total 512MB of memory (64x8). Half of these modules are located on the front side while the other half ended on the back of the card.
Best of all, the card's boasts very low power 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 at full throttle.
The core of this card works at reference 750MHz, it has 320 stream processors and the 512MB of GDDR3 memory are clocked at 1,000MHz (2,000MHz effective). It’s important to note that the HD 4670 comes with a 128-bit memory bus. I/O backplate is as standard as it can be and features two DVIs and a TV-Out, while some other partners decided to go for an HDMI or DisplayPort output as well.
The card's cooler is very quiet, as some of the 120mm fans that we had in the chassis produced more noise than the cooler on the card. The cooler has automatic speed regulation depending on the temperature and it spins 38 percent when the card is idling. It spins up to 57 percent when the card reaches 55°C, and it goes to 63 percent if the card goes over 60°C. We did notice that the core sometimes goes to 61°C under full load, but the fan quickly puts it back down to 60°C. The only drawback of the cooler is that this card takes up two slots.
As you can see from the results, in idle mode, the card heats up to 42°C, which is almost the same as the reference card, but under load it's a completely different story. The card heats up to 60°C under full load, and even then the cooler remains very quiet.
The card is packed in a small black box with all the details and features listed on the back. The card is tightly wrapped in a bubble bag and the rest of the accessories can be found below in a separate compartment.
Club3D HD 4670 card has a rather modest bundle, but then again this is a mainstream card and the price tag is the main thing.