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Radeon HD 4650 GDDR2 vs. GDDR3

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 10, 2008 4:12:29 PM

The Graphics Card Hierarchy lists the Radeon HD 4650 as one rung on the performance ladder under the 4670. However, the chart does not identify whether it is a 4650 GDDR2 or GDDR3, as it does with its predecessor, the 3650. I'm guessing it's a GDDR3, but if so, where does the GDDR2 model fall on the chart? This is something that should be clarified as, at least in the listed specs, the GDDR3 card seems a lot faster.

It also doesn't help that most of the online reviews of the 4650 are talking about the GDDR3 model, which, from what I can tell from a bit of a search, is relatively popular and common in Europe or other parts of the world, but is not widely available in the US - I could only find one GDDR3 model for sale in the US, a Biostar from newegg.com. Someone from this website really should clarify the chart.

Yes, I know that the standard answer is that you'd have to be a moron to pick a 4650 over a 4670 since the price is often $10 or less apart. However, there are several models of 4650 that come with a fanless cooler and from what I can tell, all 4670's have fans. Since I'm planning on putting this in a computer for my living room that will be primarily an HTPC and used only secondarily for games, I'm really leaning toward the silent model to cut down on overall system noise. I'll be running it with a Hitachi plasma at 1080x1024 resolution, so maybe at that pretty modest resolution, the 4650, even with GDDR2 memory, will be fine enough. Any thoughts? Thanks.

Incidentally, I'm looking at the Radeon 4600 series cards because a) I'm running Win XP and Radeon cards do video post processing to increase video quality in both XP and in Vista, whereas nVidia cards do postprocessing only in Vista; and b) my Silverstone HTPC case doesn't have room for a typical gaming card - I wanted to use my old Radeon 3850 after I upgraded to a 4850 in my other computer, but the 3850 is about 1 1/2" too long to fit in the Silverstone case, whereas the 4600 series cards would fit.
December 10, 2008 4:28:52 PM

Yep, see last paragraph in original post that I just added - a 9600gt wouldn't fit and won't do video postprocessing in Win XP. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
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December 10, 2008 4:37:23 PM

HD 4650 DDR3. Lower power consumption. For an 24/7 quiet HTPC that's key. You could probably even use a 4550 DDR3 or 4350 DDR3 if you're not gaming, most of those are passive and are cheaper. I've never heard of 1080x1024, do you mean 1024x768 or 1366x768 or 1920x1080?
December 10, 2008 4:54:34 PM

Kyle, do you mean that the 4650 in the chart is the GDDR3 model? That is really kind of confusing, at least for those of us in the US, as almost all 4650 models here have the GDDR2 memory.

No mistake, Hitachi 42" plasmas have 1080x1024 resolution.
December 10, 2008 5:11:13 PM

i assume the one in the charts is a ddr2 ,the ddr3 is a optional add on by the company ...
December 10, 2008 9:00:39 PM

Yes, the one in the heirarchy is DDR2. Basically the 4650 DDR3 is an underclocked 4670.

I am suggesting you buy the DDR3 version of the 4650 because it'll use less power (DDR3, and lower core clock - 600 vs. 750, IIRC), and because you won't have to buy an aftermarket cooler to make it quiet (since you can more-readily find passive 4650s). Don't buy the DDR2 version unless price is a big issue because: 1) higher power consumption 2) lower performance.
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