ADVERTORIAL: ATI Radeon HD 4650/70: Top Value for Bottom Dollar

Performance Notes

We’ve said that you shouldn’t expect miracles when comparing the 4650 and 4670 against the new 58xx cards. But what if we consider the other direction? What if you have an older card or integrated graphics—how much of a boost could you expect from a little $50 to $70 investment? Coming up with apples to apples assessments is always difficult because there are simply so many hundreds of options. Still, we might generalize a bit.

If you check out the Tom’s Hardware graphics cards performance charts (http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/graphics-cards,1.html), you’ll see that the HD 4670 scored 8095 in 3DMark06 v1.1.0. Step back two years to that former flagship, the Radeon X1950 XTX—it scored 6723. Not even that far back, the formerly middle-of-the-roach HD 2600 XT hits only 4883. If you saved money on discrete graphics and got, say, the X1300, that poor dog only scores 949.

If you don’t like synthetic tests and want numbers from real games, how about the HD 4670 showing 53.6 frames per second in the Far Cry 2 benchmark (Ranch Small, 1680x1050, 4AA, 8AF, Low Quality, DX9, no HDR-R) while last year’s HD 3450 scores only 7.90—nearly a 7X difference in just one generation. Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. (Fraps/Glass Hammer: 1280x1024, 0AA, 0AF, Low Quality, DX9, no HDR-R) shows 215.20 FPS for the HD 4670 and only 64.30 FPS for the HD 2400 XT. Obviously, integrated graphics from the same time period will look much, much worse.

If gaming is your gig, keep in mind that you could always run two HD 4650 or 4670 cards in tandem with AMD’s CrossFireX, putting two GPUs to work on accelerating your game. This approach also works with Hybrid CrossFireX, which teams a compatible discrete Radeon card (including the 4650 or 4670) with a compatible IGP. Going hybrid isn’t as fast as using two discrete cards, but it’s a great way to maximize the IGP capabilities you’ve already paid for. Depending on the situation, CrossFireX can achieve up to 1.8X the performance of running a stand-alone GPU.

Another way to maximize performance with these cards is to use a little utility from AMD called Fusion (http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_fusion.aspx?p=1). Fusion only works on systems running AMD Phenom processors and a Radeon 3600-series GPU or later, but if you meet these requirements, the tool becomes a Windows-based gateway for ultra-easy overclocking of both the CPU and GPU. The app can also create streamlined, optimized Windows profiles so that no extraneous drivers or other items bog down the one game you want to have running screaming fast. When you’re done playing, simply revert back to the regular Windows profile. There are usually ways to get extra performance for free out of quality components. With Fusion, AMD is just making it simpler than ever for even novices to do this.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
33 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • wesleywatson
    I would keep reading, but a giant fucking ad keeps covering half the pages.
    19
  • Other Comments
  • wesleywatson
    I would keep reading, but a giant fucking ad keeps covering half the pages.
    19
  • mlcloud
    At least give us the links to some of the 4650/70 benchmarks... Other than that, great read, great recommendations, looking to upgrade my pentium 4, 1.4ghz 256mb (ddr). Was looking at using the HD4200 on the 785g series from AMD, but if I can make a true gaming computer out of it ... hm... tempting.
    6
  • Anonymous
    I'm waiting for a HIS HD4670 1GB to arrive soon. It even has HDMI output.

    Got it really cheap from newegg. It'll do fine with my Intel E5200. Nothing like a super gaming machine, but hope to play TF2 and L4D with good gfx. That's all i play atm.
    2
  • tortnotes
    Advertorial? How much did AMD pay for this?
    Not that it's not good content, but come on. Doesn't Tom's make enough from normal ads?
    3
  • duckmanx88
    mlcloud Was looking at using the HD4200 on the 785g series from AMD, but if I can make a true gaming computer out of it ... hm... tempting.


    on their gaming charts the 4670 is listed. plays FEAR 2 pretty well. i assume it can than handle all Source games as well but at lower resolutions, medium settings, no AA, the usual.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Assuming I'm assembling a new system and the HD 4650/4670 is the most cost-effective graphics card... what then is the most cost-effective processor to pair with it?
    0
  • Anonymous
    Good thing to see ATI marketing their 4650/4670.

    I was hoping to see more of their mid-range cards.
    0
  • WINTERLORD
    great article these are some nice cards for the price, i wonder though if you got 2 of them and tried to put them in a crossfire config. since they dont require a power source, other then the pci-e slot, would 2 of them cause any problems drawing all that current through the motherboard? kinda wondering if there would be any impact there.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Ati making great job. In my office there was need to meka PC with 6 individual monitors. Solution - mainboard asus p5q-e + 3 ati 3650 video cards with vga+DVI outputs. Great working very cheep in cost. Tried to meke the same with nvidia 8400gt - no result 4 monitors individual maximum. Ati - rulezzz
    -1
  • lien
    +

    Installed an Sapphire 4650 AGP on a backup system in August.
    Overclocked it & almost pissed myself on how good the image quality was on that system.
    Article confirms....

    value based articles are refreshing
    2
  • Onus
    I absolutely agree. The Ferrari / Focus analogy is particularly apt. If I didn't already have a 4850 in my primary system, another 4670 like the one in my secondary would have been fine (I don't play Crysis).
    As far as running two of them on mobo power, some mobos have an auxiliary molex power connector on them to help with this.
    0
  • WINTERLORD
    anyone see the charts for the 4650? i went to the link (http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/graphics-cards,1.html and looked everywhere, like 3 times over and even used the find on page , feautre in internet explorer and could not find it anywhere.
    0
  • cinergy
    Nice article. Here is a benchie against nvidia's latest: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=794&type=expert&pid=3
    0
  • WINTERLORD
    they have a great article that is up today on toms homepage. just noticed. and it has the 4650 and 4670. thanks
    here is the link. but im sure everyone seen it alrdy on homepage since its new :)
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-220,2445.html
    0
  • ryanegeiger
    "Advertorial"... this is a result of the new legistlation requiring all 'bloggers' to disclose whether or not they're paid for their articles.
    5
  • Stardude82
    falknerAssuming I'm assembling a new system and the HD 4650/4670 is the most cost-effective graphics card... what then is the most cost-effective processor to pair with it?

    I guess it depends what you want to use it for really. For watching high-def video, it doesn't matter much since all the processing is done on the GPU. The new dual-core Celerons/Athlons are great for this. For gaming, Toms has a pretty good monthly "Best Gaming CPU for the Money." Though again, it won't matter much since the GPU will be the bottle neck, though the ~$80 E6300 and Athlon II x2 250 are both phenomenal overclockers.
    1
  • cangelini
    ryanegeiger"Advertorial"... this is a result of the new legistlation requiring all 'bloggers' to disclose whether or not they're paid for their articles.


    No, this is a result of an editorial department that cares about its readers by drawing a clear line between editorial and advertorial content, and still trying to make the advertorial educational/worth reading.
    2
  • Anonymous
    As a HD 4650 GDDR3 user i totally agree with this article.
    0
  • Gintok
    Quote:
    This approach also works with Hybrid CrossFireX, which teams a compatible discrete Radeon card (including the 4650 or 4670) with a compatible IGP.


    I'm confused, I thought Hybrid CrossFireX only supported 3 desktop card, the ATI 2400, 3450 and 3470 NOT the 4650 or 4670. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    1
  • Honis
    They need to mark Advert even if they weren't directly paid. Any gift, like letting Tom's keep the video cards, counts in this legislation. Tom's could write an article absolutely crushing a product but still be required to mark it as advert because they get to keep the company's product.
    0