ATI Radeon HD 4670, Redefining The Mainstream
Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The ATI Radeon HD 4670 proved to be an excellent performer, especially considering its low-power operation and affordable price. In our synthetic 3DMark06 and 3DMark Vantage benchmarks, the Radeon HD 4670 trailed cards like the Radeon HD 3850 and GeForce 9600 GT/GSO, but handily outperformed the ATI Radeon HD 3650 and GeForce 9500 GT. However, in our actual in-game tests, which use anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, the Radeon HD 4670 was able to outpace the Radeon HD 3850 and GeForce 9600 GSO more often than not and finished close behind the more expensive GeForce 9600 GT.
With each new generation of mainstream graphics cards, AMD and NVIDIA seemingly change the game. On some levels, we can't help but be impressed by the Radeon HD 4670. For under $80, users can now purchase a low-power, relatively quiet, and cool running graphics card that outperforms ATI's previous-gen mid-range card, the Radeon HD 3850, which launched at almost $200 less than a year ago. That is a serious amount of horsepower for a minimal investment, which makes the Radeon HD 4670 a great choice for many different types of users, including casual gamers, gamers on a budget, or HTPC aficionados that also do some gaming on their systems.
The Radeon HD 4670 faces some stiff competition at the moment, however. The mainstream graphics card market is currently flooded with solid offerings that differ only slightly in terms of price. For example, GeForce 9600 GSO cards like the EVGA model we used for testing, are available for about $80 on up, after mail in rebates. GeForce 9600 GT cards can be had for about $95 on up--again after mail in rebates--and 9500 GTs go for roughly $60 and up. Radeon HD 3650 cards can also be found in the $60 range, and Radeon HD 3850s fall in somewhere around $85 and higher, depending on thier clock speeds and memory compliment. If we disregard the lower performing 3650 and 9500 GT for a moment, that makes four solid cards with prices that differ by only about $15 to $20. Until the previous-gen cards go EOL and prices shake out a bit further, consumers looking for a mainstream graphics card need to be extra vigilant. Consumers should also consider the importance of NVIDIA's support for PhysX and CUDA. While there may not be many games or applications that fully exploit PhysX and CUDA at the moment, that may change over the life of these mainstream products.
Ultimately though, the new Radeon HD 4670 is yet another strong product from AMD's resurgant graphics division. If you're in the market for a new mainstream graphics card, do yourself a favor and look into one of these puppies.