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Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 512MB

Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 4
By , Ed Tittel, Thomas Soderstrom

http://www.sapphiretech.com/
$80
By: Ed Tittel

Everybody who wrangles PC hardware knows that one of the surest-fire ways to upgrade an aging machine is to replace an older graphics card with a newer one. At $80, the Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 512 MB 128-bit GDDR3 can give older systems with integrated graphics (and a spare PCIe slot, of course) a profound boost without involving too much cost or effort. In fact, this card needs no extra power inputs, so installation is especially quick and easy. Its compact form factor (the card is only two-thirds the length of a 3850 or 8800) also makes it an easy fit into a system that may already be packed with other devices and cables.

Recitations of graphics card capabilities often turn into a relentless list of features and functions, speeds and feeds. For the HD 4670, the most salient items include support for DirectX 10.1, 320 stream processing units, 32 texture units, eight blending units (ROPs), and a 128-bit memory interface with GDDR3 RAM. It handles up to 24X anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering (AF), and supports the ATI CrossFireX architecture for multi-GPU support. Likewise, it includes ATI Avivo HD video and display technology, as well as Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) to support Blu-ray and HD video, along with built-in HDMI/HDCP (including HDMI 1.3 support), DVD upscaling, and 7.1 surround sound support. Codecs supported include MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264, which covers most forms of video content nowadays. Output ports include dual DVI-I and S-Video (a special DVI-I to HDMI adapter is included to support HDMI hook-ups to a monitor, TV, or AV receiver).

The budget 4670 centers on the more expensive architecture developed for AMD’s Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 graphics cards and also uses 55 nm circuit design technology. With 320 stream processing units, it packs impressive graphics power for such a low-cost card. This Sapphire model clocks at 750 MHz, and GDDR3 memory is likewise clocked at 2 GHz, just like the reference design from AMD. High-quality Hynix memory chips help ensure quick, reliable data transfers onto the card. With a maximum power draw of only 55 W, the HD 4670 draws less power than many modern CPUs, which explains why no auxiliary power connectors are needed for this device and why it features a small, relatively quiet cooler (we expect to see passively cooled versions hit the market soon, which makes them ideal for HTPC applications).

In fact, as a way to inject new life and capability into a PC that’s more than a year old, the HD 4670 qualifies as a "best technology buy" for such systems. About the only thing that might do more would be to bump up memory to 2 GB for Windows XP and 4 GB for Vista systems. There’s no denying that anybody who uses a mainstream PC will find this an eminently satisfactory graphics card, even if it is used for low-intensity gaming. Tell Santa to bring one for everybody on your list whose desktop could use a graphics boost.

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  • -7 Hide
    snotling , December 2, 2008 11:10 AM
    The model is way too skinny. she makes the hardware look cheap.
  • -6 Hide
    snotling , December 2, 2008 11:16 AM
    SnotlingThe model is way too skinny. she makes the hardware look cheap.

    I did notice there were two girls in there, but even if you add them up you still get too little meat to call that a woman.
  • 0 Hide
    wicko , December 2, 2008 11:28 AM
    Wow, I can't believe I'm reading complaints about these girls. They are skinny, but not anorexic, they look like they're in very good shape. My girlfriend is getting jealous :p 
  • 1 Hide
    blackened144 , December 2, 2008 11:54 AM
    I personally like the brunette for the articles.. Something about her reminds me of Christmas.. The blonde, not so much..
  • -2 Hide
    LSoares1 , December 2, 2008 12:19 PM
    Wait, Did I miss something? What happened to part 2 and 3 of the 2008 Holiday Guide? All I see is part 1 and now this one....
  • -1 Hide
    LSoares1 , December 2, 2008 12:31 PM
    nevermind - I see the links in this article, but I didn't notice them on the Guide section.
  • 7 Hide
    antiacid , December 2, 2008 1:11 PM
    SnotlingThe model is way too skinny. she makes the hardware look cheap.

    Were you looking for "fat girls gone wild" when you opened this review? Seriously, this had to be the dumbest complaint of the year.
  • 2 Hide
    WINTERLORD , December 2, 2008 4:08 PM
    Quote:
    Of course, you’ll void your warranty in the process,


    does anyone know if intel really can tell if your CPU has been just mildly overclocked? with no burn marks ect. i wonder about that cause id love to overclock it's fun to tinker with, but could not afford getting a bum chip, and it not be under warranty.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 2, 2008 4:18 PM
    Nice to see the update about the Seagate fix, finally.
  • 0 Hide
    WINTERLORD , December 2, 2008 4:19 PM
    That "the Gigabyte’s board with 2 graphics slots" is a sweet looking motherboard. and for anyone who just needs one graphics card slot i bet this be an alswome rig as well. a deffinit choice if i upgrade to the core 2 quad route. prolly go nehalem core i7 though
  • -4 Hide
    romans11 , December 2, 2008 5:02 PM
    wickoWow, I can't believe I'm reading complaints about these girls. They are skinny, but not anorexic, they look like they're in very good shape. My girlfriend is getting jealous


    Yeah, but the point is compared to Sarah (particularly with long hair in 2006) these ladies aren't in the same league. Some of us like women who look at least a little curvy.

    I know I should probably comment on the products not just the modeling talent, but since this is where the conversations begins, I'll jump in to the fray.
  • -3 Hide
    snotling , December 2, 2008 6:35 PM
    antiacidWere you looking for "fat girls gone wild" when you opened this review? Seriously, this had to be the dumbest complaint of the year.

    the actual dumbest "comment chain" of the year were on spotlight where hundreds of comments criticized Tamara for using a mac, dressing to casual, dressing to formal, being to expressive, being not expressive enough, being sexy, not being sexy... well I just find it amusing that nobody cares how Ben Meyer and Rob Wright look or dressup.
    Fat girls gone wild... how drastic. What about water-cooled hot chicks ?
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , December 2, 2008 7:55 PM
    For part 6 of this guide, consider recommending this: http://www.livescribe.com/smartpen/index.html My friend has one and god I envy him for it. Helps to handle long lecturs (1hr +) easily.
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , December 2, 2008 7:57 PM
    SnotlingI did notice there were two girls in there, but even if you add them up you still get too little meat to call that a woman.

    lmao
  • 3 Hide
    KyleSTL , December 2, 2008 8:49 PM
    I'm surprized I'm the first to catch it, but the motherboard in the picture is not the UD3R, it is the UD3P. The UD3P has 2 PCIe 16x slots, whereas the UD3R only has one. It you click to see the full sized picture you can read (barely) the correct model number.
  • 2 Hide
    randomizer , December 2, 2008 9:31 PM
    It must suck to handle all that hardware but not be able to keep it.
  • 3 Hide
    randomizer , December 2, 2008 9:33 PM
    Snotlingwell I just find it amusing that nobody cares how Ben Meyer and Rob Wright look or dressup.

    Ben and Rob posing in Christmas gear, that would be funny.
  • 2 Hide
    caamsa , December 2, 2008 9:53 PM
    I am sure that none of you boys have the hardware that these ladies would be interested in anyway.

    Keep your flash drives in your pockets. ;-P
  • -3 Hide
    motleydogg , December 2, 2008 10:15 PM
    Sorry but my floppy drive has been replaced with a hard drive,... I wonder if I can place my RAM in the slot, I wouldn't try turning it on until after everything is in. I would like to monitor the cable being managed. It might get hot, but if we have a fan, I shouldn't have to twist those knobs to control things much,...
  • 1 Hide
    MitchMeister- , December 2, 2008 10:42 PM
    So I keep seeing everyone recommending the E8600.. but why when an E8400 is $100 less and the only difference is that it's not factory overclocked? Or is something on the E8600 that much better?
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