AMD ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB

Written by Tim Smalley

September 11, 2008 | 09:06

Tags: #4670 #article #benchmark #crysis #evaluation #hd #performance #radeon #review

Companies: #amd #ati #test

ATI Radeon HD 4670 reference card

Core Clock: 750MHz
Memory Clock: 2,000MHz (effective)

The Radeon HD 4670 reference card is a pretty dinky little thing by today's standards, measuring just 167mm long. Because the board uses less than 75W of power at peak, there's no need for any additional power connectors.

The cooler is a little dinky thing as well, although it's not as small as some of Nvidia's coolers of old—I'm referring to the GeForce 7900 GT and 7600 GT here—which I think is good news. What's important is that the fan noise is low because I'm sure many will agree that whiny graphics card fans are incredibly annoying – especially if the pitch is constantly changing.

Upon installing the Radeon HD 4670, I had high hopes for the cooler and it didn't disappoint – not only was it quiet at idle, but it was also surprisingly quiet under load too. Now, I'm not normally one to shoot something down for being loud under load—as long as it's not loud during movie playback—because it's important that your graphics card is kept cool when it's loaded.

AMD ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 card AMD ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 card
Click to enlarge

And what's more, when you're gaming, you've either got your speakers turned up or you're wearing headphones – at this point, noise really isn't much of an issue. The fact that the card doesn't trouble the scorers even at load is a sign that AMD has managed to keep this card's thermals under control without shouting too much about it.

The heatsink itself is made completely from copper and underneath the plastic Radeon-branded shroud, there's an array of fins attached to the thin copper base. This base not only covers the GPU, but also the memory as well with some of those horrendously sticky thermal pads. Interestingly, AMD hasn't employed heatpipe technology on the heatsink at all – it's just a big but rather thin chunk of copper and some fins attached to the top of it. Having said that, there's really no need for anything more than that – the GPU is tiny and produces a relatively small amount of heat.

AMD ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 card
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 card AMD ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 card
Click to enlarge

Since power to the card is only delivered via the PCI-Express interconnect, the power circuitry isn't particularly extravagant. There are just two chokes and four PWMs powering the GPU and a single choke with two PWMs powering the DDR3 memory; yes, that's DDR3 memory and not GDDR3 – AMD said that the former proved to be more cost-effective than the latter and it looks like we could be seeing this combination a lot more in the future on low-cost boards if my interpretation of the discussions I had with AMD are correct.

Moving to the backplate on the card, there are a pair of dual-link DVI ports—both with two HDCP crypto keys for displaying dual 2,560 x 1,600 video streams—and an analogue TV-out port. There have been a few reference cards doing the rounds with a single dual-link DVI connector and a pair of DisplayPort sockets – we didn't get one of these. Anyway, I question the use of including DisplayPort connectors at this time because this is a low-cost card and most DisplayPort-enabled monitors aren't cheap. The GPU also supports HDMI as well, and as we mentioned earlier, the card can carry audio over either HDMI or DVI (using a DVI-to-HDMI adapter).
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