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AMD to Strike Nvidia 9500 With HD4600

By , Aaron Heibert - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 28 comments

The graphics card market has been quite intense lately up until now. With the clouds and dust settling after the AMD and Nvidia dispute, both contenders are playing on an even battle field – Or are they?

Coming this September 10, AMD plans to unveil its HD4600 series (RV730 XT / PRO) cards to directly compete with the Nvidia 9500 series. We will see two flavors brought forward as the HD4670 (RV730-XT) and the HD4650 (RV730-Pro). Both cards are manufactured on the 55 nm architecture at speeds of 750 MHz and 600 MHz. Each card will utilize 320 Stream Processing Units. Some of the other technical, and notable features of the HD4600 series are as follows:

- PowerPlay 2.0 Functions
- Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2
- Direct-X 10.1
- Shader Model 4.1
- Physics acceleration & Dynamic geometry acceleration
- 24X CFAA Technology

Another point worth mentioning is that new V3700 & V5700 FirePro specialized workstation cards are based off the RV730-XT (HD4670) technology. Both card editions will also have Macro Vision Detection (MVD) on them as well. Macro Vision Detection is a form a copy protection that is transparent while viewing media, but apparent when attempting to copy certain media from input sources. Typically the copied version has the quality substantially degraded.

Kit

Model

Freq.

Memory

Bandwidth

Pattern

HDCP

CrossFire

B70901

RV730 XT

750/1000

512 MB GDDR3

128-bit

16Mx32 dual rank

Yes

Hardware

B66601

RV730 XT

750/873

1 GB DDR3

128-bit

64Mx16

Yes

Hardware

B66801

RV730 PRO

600/500

512 MB DDR2

128-bit

32Mx16

Yes

Software

B66501

RV730 PRO

600/500

512 MB DDR2

128-bit

32Mx16

Yes

Software

N/A*

RV730 PRO

600/667

512 MB DDR3

128-bit

32Mx16

Yes

Hardware


 

Both the HD4670 and HD4650 utilize a 128-Bit memory bandwidth. No 256-Bit version has been mentioned as of current. The HD4650 coming with 512MB DDR2 and the HD4670 coming with a choice of 512 MB or 1024 MB DDR3. The HD4670 (RV730-XT) supports hardware crossfire while the HD4650 (RV730-Pro) supports software based crossfire at this time. It appears that there is a version utilizing the RV730-Pro technology that will support hardware crossfire, however at this time it is not set it in stone.

Power consumptions of the HD4600 series are relatively low at 70 to 80 Watts for the HD4670 and 50 to 55 Watts for the HD4650. It’s also worth mentioning the lack of external power connector on this series of card, which has its pros and its cons. Average systems housing 450 Watts or more should be just fine with this card. If you plan to run two cards in crossfire 550 Watts minimum is suggested.

Based on this information however, the 4600 series being a new release appears to be somewhat of a step backward. If you were to compare the specs of the HD4670 (RV730) to the older HD3870 (RV670) you would instantly notice the dial has been turned back on the specs, and what for? Let’s have a look:



HD3870
(RV67)

HD4670
(RV730)

Engine

775 MHz

750 MHz

Memory

1125 MHz

1000 MHz

Interface

256-Bit

128-Bit

Stream Processors

320

320

Architecture

55n m

55 nm

Transfer

72 GB/s

32 GB/s

TDP

90 – 100 Watts

70 – 80 Watts


 

As you can clearly see, the HD4670 (RV730) appears to be a dialed back version of the older HD3870 (RV670). Seeing as the HD3870 is still readily available all over the web and in stores for a reasonable average price of $130 and the HD4870 for $270 – there may be little incentive to purchase this card. (Unless if the HD3800 series were completely phased out and not so readily available, the HD4600 series could take its place with a new price.) A real benefit to this card is quite possibly for a Home Theatre PC in a compact case stuffed into a ventilation restricted entertainment unit. Since the HD4600 series cards have lower wattage. With the lack of an external power connector, they certainly will not be generating much heat turning your case into an easy-bake oven.

Display 28 Comments.
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  • 8 Hide
    cal8949 , August 29, 2008 3:47 AM
    i think it would be smart for ati to make the ultimate htpc video card with composite video, hdmi, video s, dvi and keep it around 60-80. that would be a good way to win that market
  • 3 Hide
    kitsilencer , August 29, 2008 3:48 AM
    This is where the money is: mid-range cards for the masses. Judging from initial specs, though, it feels like a bit of a letdown. We'll see though.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 29, 2008 3:48 AM
    wolfie2xThose double underlined snaplink bubbles are the ugliest things on earth. Why can't they just make it a little less intrusive and less ugly? dah..but there's an easy way to turn it off.. just goto the faq page on snap.com and there's a link to disable it. no more ugly double lines direct link: http://www.snap.com/about/linkbubb [...] kbubbles=1


    where are they, dude? I don't see them.
  • 0 Hide
    goonting , August 29, 2008 3:59 AM
    great...goot for a low power build...i wonder if it can handle up 1440x900 resolution on most games with eye candy enabled
  • 0 Hide
    cjl , August 29, 2008 4:50 AM
    It should - it seems like a slightly crippled 3870, which is hardly a bad card.
  • 2 Hide
    smalltime0 , August 29, 2008 7:55 AM
    cjlIt should - it seems like a slightly crippled 3870, which is hardly a bad card.

    I thought it looked more like a 3870, but using a little less power.

    But it should be pretty good.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 29, 2008 11:46 AM
    This is intended to be a mid-range card, and it looks to be a winner, this is light years beyond the previous generation mid-range cards. I don't see why people are comparing it to the previous generation high-end card. IMHO the 4850 is really not that expensive if you want the extra performance.
  • 0 Hide
    Kari , August 29, 2008 12:02 PM
    Joz320 stream proccesors ... twice as much as the older mid-range...doesn the 9500 series only have 32...the same as the old 8600...

    that's like comparing oranges to bowling balls...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 29, 2008 12:35 PM
    Quote:
    Seeing as the HD3870 is still readily available all over the web and in stores for a reasonable average price of $130 [...] – there may be little incentive to purchase this card.[\QUOTE]

    You forget the price. The HD48-Series brings high-end graphics to mid-range prices. Therefore the new cards don't need to be able to run the higher resolutions. Therefore 128bit memory interface are enough. The new chip AND the narrow interface should make these cards really cheap.
  • 0 Hide
    djfourmoney , August 29, 2008 1:47 PM
    In older games it should be fine at higher resolutions actually. I have targeted this card since word first leaked out. I had a HD3870 for two days, it was Rev 3 meaning it had the Zero Thermal cooling solution which was much too large for my narrow mATX board, I had to remove a tuner card.

    However Aaron is wrong, I found that HD3870 from a link on Slickdeals.net It was from Micro Center here in Southern California. It was $119 before tax. I have NOT found one that is the original ATI reference board that I know will fit my motherboard for under $130. The HD3850 can be found for under $100, but this will eat it alive.

    I could afford a HD4850 but I don't play games on a PC often enough to spend that kind of money for basically part time use and reduced use in 6-8 months down the road.

    ATI also announced a few weeks back they are stopping production of the 3xxx series all together, so whatever is out there now is out there. I can't find another HD3870 for under $130 out the door, true single slot. Even so, turn on the filters and the FPS will drop, not so with the HD46xx cards and two HD4670 should beat a HD4850 and give a HD4870 a run for its money. Given the cost of the 9600GT at around $130, I would expect the HD4670 to come in around $10 less no rebate which would put the decision on the person buying, do I wait for the rebate on the Nvidia and pay $130 now or do I get the newest ATI "budget" card for $10 less no rebate involved and I assure you performance is close if not better than the 9600GT.

    When we'll you guys get a test sample to put it through its paces and PLEASE test GRID with it. That's what I'm getting this card for...

  • 0 Hide
    terror112 , August 29, 2008 2:17 PM
    This card should be under $100 like the 8600GT/GTS/9500GT. So It would be a good buy for the $400 gaming rigs I build..
  • 0 Hide
    stridervm , August 29, 2008 3:37 PM
    ..... I don't see any 6 pin video card slot on it..... I'm really interested in it's power consumption. Even the 3850 needs the 6 pin video card slot.
  • 0 Hide
    Aaron McKenna , August 29, 2008 4:33 PM
    The graphics card market has been quite intense lately up until now. With the clouds and dust settling after the AMD / Nvidia dispute, both contenders are playing on an even battle field – Or are they?

    AMD to Strike Nvidia 9500 With HD4600 : Read more
  • -2 Hide
    dagger , August 29, 2008 8:41 PM
    This is rather weak, especially given the 4800s strong performance. At least make it strong enough to compete with something like the $90 8800gs/9600gso. 9500 is crap. What happens when you compare your new product with crap?
  • 0 Hide
    ssalim , August 29, 2008 9:53 PM
    lo makan tuh tai babiwhere are they, dude? I don't see them.


    http://www.snap.com/snapshots_faq.php
    Search the word 'off'

    Oh I'm not going to eat that pork poop.
  • 0 Hide
    silversound , August 29, 2008 11:46 PM
    Quote:
    This is rather weak, especially given the 4800s strong performance. At least make it strong enough to compete with something like the $90 8800gs/9600gso. 9500 is crap. What happens when you compare your new product with crap?


    Did you forget ATi HD3850/3870, they are faster than 8800GS/9600GSO; 3870 performs the same as 9600GT.
    4600 is for low end segment, not for current high end gamers.
    But source claim 4670 is almost as fast as 3850 256MB which is significant faster than 9500GT...
    http://en.hardspell.com/doc/showcont.asp?news_id=3884
  • 1 Hide
    djfourmoney , August 30, 2008 2:12 AM
    Actually at the end of the day you'll see that the HD4670 is faster than the HD3850 no matter what configuration your talking about. It will slot just between the HD3850 and HD3870 because once you turn on the filtering, the HD38xx cards will start to loose ground.

    The HD3650 is not terrible it just didn't challenge Nvida, I am really starting think raw numbers are overrated, have nothing to do with actual gameplay and I fully agree with 3d Guru that anything above 30fps is playable. Some games use motion blur, they look faster anyway. What you want is a stutter free experience and over 30fps, 60fps is ideal and anything higher is for chest pounding, saying your dick is bigger and all those other things linked to testosterone. I don't need a HD4870. I ran GRID with a HD3870@1920x1200 AAx2 and while it didn't crest 60fps, it ran around 50fps and that was plenty fast enough for me to enjoy playing the game. The HD4670 will be almost as fast and we have no idea how much performance can be picked up from overclocking and using a more aggressive cooling solution. Pricing will be important as its aimed at the 9500GT (HD4650) and it should easily smash that, that card frankly isn't that great. It will be close to a 9600GT for $30-40 less and that's where 5-10fps difference in performance will be less important than overall price.
  • 0 Hide
    Mucke , August 30, 2008 4:29 PM
    The headline is somewhat confusing: as the comparison show the 4670 should be only a little slower compared to the 3870 (at least for low resolutions where the transfer is not that important) and therefore about twice as fast as the 9500GT.

    I wonder how some people here can already judge the card when prices are not known yet.
  • 0 Hide
    calamit , August 31, 2008 2:32 AM
    I think ATI should pull an Nvidia and just tweak the 3870 a bit and rename it the 4770 or something....
  • 1 Hide
    eodeo , August 31, 2008 3:54 AM
    dont forget that the new 46x0 card will have same phenomenal aa of the new 4xx0 ati cards have. free 8x aa in resolutions up to 22" monitor. pretty sweet i think.
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