ATI Radeon HD 4670, Redefining The Mainstream

Article Index

Our Test Systems and 3DMark06

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested all of the graphics cards used in this article on either an Asus nForce 790i SLI Ultra based Striker II Extreme motherboard (NVIDIA GPUs) or an X48 based Asus P5E3 Premium (ATI GPUs) powered by a Core 2 Extreme QX6850 quad-core processor and 2GB of low-latency Corsair RAM. The first thing we did when configuring these test systems was enter their respective BIOSes and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings. Then we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS, and installed the latest DX10 redist and various hotfixes, along with the necessary drivers and applications.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and NVIDIA Powered

Hardware Used:
Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3GHz)

Asus Striker II Extreme
(nForce 790i SLI Ultra chipset)

Asus P5E3 Premium
(X48 Express)

Radeon HD 4670 x 2
Radeon HD 3650
Radeon HD 3850
GeForce 9500 GT
GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 9600 GT
GeForce 9600 GSO

2048MB Corsair DDR3-1333 C7
(2 X 1GB)

Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Western Digital "Raptor" 74GB
(10,000RPM - SATA)

Relevant Software:

Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
DirectX June 2008 Redist

NVIDIA Forceware v177.92 / v177.39
ATI Catalyst v8.53

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark06 v1.0.2
3DMark Vantage v1.0.1
Unreal Tournament 3 v1.2*
Crysis v1.2*
Half Life 2: Episode 2*
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars*

* - Custom Benchmark

Futuremark 3DMark06
Synthetic DirectX Gaming


3DMark06 is a synthetic benchmark, designed to simulate DX9-class game titles. This version differs from the earlier 3Dmark05 in a number of ways, and includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups that number to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.

Please pay special attention to our graphs, as we have included data recorded with a pair of Radeon HD 4670 cards running in CrossFire mode alongside all of the other single-GPU configurations.

According to 3DMark06, the new Radeon HD 4670 performed quite well, besting the Radeon HD 3650 and GeForce 9500 GT by considerable margins.  The lesser known GeForce 9600 GSO pulled ahead of the new Radeon, however, as did the Radeon HD 3850 and GeForce 9600 GT.  As an side, the Radeon HD 4670 CrossFire setup showed significant scaling and obviously outpaced the single-GPU configurations.


As we drill down into 3DMark06's individual tests, we see how the final score was achieved.  While it performed well in the Shader Model 2.0 test, the new Radeon HD 4670 was much stronger--relatively speaking--in the Shader Model 3.0 / HDR test, where it missed the mark set by the GeForce 9600 GSO by only 146 points.

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