Redefining Budget Gaming Graphics: ATI's HD 4670

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ATI Radeon HD 4670: Efficiency Redefined

October 13, 2008 by Lawrence Lee

ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB
PCI-E Video Card
Street Price

PC gaming promises the potential for constantly improved gaming experience due to the inherent upgradeability of the hardware. It can be an expensive hobby as games and hardware push and shove each other to greater performance. To play the latest games smoothly and consistantly at high resolutions requires a gamer to stay on top of current technology, always eyeing the next big upgrade.

But what about the rest of us? With the demands of work, family, and what have you, many people just don't have time for PC gaming, or if they do, only for brief intervals to unwind. There are also those who don't have high resolution monitors, and casual gamers who prefer to play games at lower resolution in windowed mode while multitasking. For these people, the cost of a high performance video card isn't justified. There's also power consumption, and noise to deal with — high performance graphics cards are usually pigs in both regards.

The Radeon HD 4670.

What is ideal for the casual gamer is a cheap, video card with enough oomph for them to enjoy the occasional gaming session, while staying quiet and energy efficient when not in heavy use. With the Radeon HD 4670, ATI hopes to fill that need. It is perhaps the fastest and most powerful budget graphics card released, with a high clock speed, fast GDDR3 memory, and a whopping 320 stream processors — all in a nice tidy package. Our sample also supports DisplayPort, a new digital interface standard that is license and royalty-free. While the standard has many technical advantages, few devices support DisplayPort currently.

(Editor's Note: This entry on the Direct2Dell blog site provide a succint summary of The Truth About DisplayPort vs. HDMI. The author notes, in essence, that HDMI is intended as an external consumer electronics connection for HD TVs, while DisplayPort is the digital interface for connecting flat-panel displays to computer systems. The latter supports higher performance as a standard feature — every 6-foot cable supports 10.8 Gbps. Please read the linked article for more details.)

GPU-Z: technical information.

ATI Radeon 4670: Key Features
(from the product web page)
* 320 Stream Processing Units Enough power to tackle the most demanding HD games and applications.
* Microsoft DirectX® 10.1 Play today while preparing for tomorrow with state-of-the-art DirectX 10.1 graphics capabilities.
* Enhanced Anti-Aliasing (AA) & Anisotropic Filtering (AF) High performance anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing (4X AA) smooth jagged edges and create true-to-life graphics, for everything from grass to facial features.
* ATI CrossFireX™ Technology Dual mode ATI CrossFireX™ technology offers superior scalability.
* PCI Express 2.0 Support for PCI Express 2.0 will prepare you for bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications.
* Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) UVD 2 frees up your CPU for other tasks so you get The Ultimate Visual Experience™ for the most processing-intensive content. Take full advantage of Blu-ray functionality with dual-stream, picture in picture capabilities.
* Upscale Beyond 1080p Watch the hottest Blu-ray movies or other HD content at full 1080p display resolution1 and beyond.
* Enhanced DVD Upscaling Watch standard DVD movies in near high-definition quality with DVD upscaling.4 The GPU uses post processing algorithms to enhance standard and low resolution videos and movies on your HD display.
* Dynamic Contrast Dynamic Contrast automatically adjusts the contrast and brightness during scenes to consistently deliver a crisp, vibrant picture.
* HDMI Enjoy the latest audio technologies using HDMI with 7.1 digital surround sound support delivering 8-channel audio. Also, xvYCC support allows the user to enjoy a wider range of colors when connected to a capable HDTV.
* Integrated DisplayPort technology with audio  
* Consumes Less Than 75 Watts under full load ATI Radeon™ HD 4600 Series graphics cards consume less than 75 watts under full load, eliminating the need for an external power connection and making them easy to install.
* Dynamic Power Management ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series graphics cards feature ATI PowerPlay™ technology, delivering high performance when needed and conserving power when the demand on the graphics processor is low
* More Performance Per Watt ATI Radeon HD 4600 series deliver up to 3x the performance per watt of AMD’s previous generation GPUs.
* Energy Efficient Manufacturing Process Second generation 55nm chip uses the industry’s most energy efficient manufacturing process.

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