Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4

Aron Schatz
February 14, 2009
Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4
While high-end cards may get the majority of press, it is the mainstream line that does the work for the mass market. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4 is an excellent mainstream card.

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While ultra high-end enthusiasts card may be interesting to read about, the majority of the market looks to purchase inexpensive mainstream edition video cards that offer good performance at the right price. Everyone has different needs when purchasing a video card and this is the reason there are a multitude of models to choose from on both the ATI and Nvidia side. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 is a refresh offering GDDR4 instead of the slower GDDR3. In practice, the difference might not be noticeable, but newer technology is usually better in the long run. The real goal of this card is to provide good performance with a price to match. This is the mainstream card of the ATI line-up.



Sapphire usually manages to put some sort of scantily clad female gaming character on the box to attract the potential buyer. ATI's primary red color theme is the key here.


The Radeon HD 4670 sticks to the method that AMD is using to power its new generation of cards. They take a design and either scale it up to the high-end of scale down for the lower end. The RV730 is the heart of the Radeon HD 4670 and is basically a lighter version of the RV770 that the Radeon HD 4870 is built on. While the chipset retains support for UVD2 and the latest Shader Model 4.1/OpenGL 2.0, the transistor count comes in at 514 million as opposed to the 956 million of the RV770 series. Even with the drop in transistor count, the RV730 manages to pack in 320 stream processor to provide a variety of functions. Once OpenCL is released in a stable format, these stream processors will be used for a variety of things that the CPU currently does today.

The RV730 series featured a core clock speed of 750MHz along with 512MB of GDDR3 memory running at 1000MHz. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 has slighter higher specs in that the card uses GDDR4 memory and it runs at 1100MHz. This card fully supports GPU throttling to save power when not in heavy use. ATI calls this PowerPlay.


  • I/O Output: DL-DVI-I/HDMI/VGA
  • Core Clock: 750 MHz & 320 Stream Processors
  • Shader Model 4.1 support
  • Memory Clock: 1100MHz, 2200 Mbps.
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 512MB /128bit GDDR4 memory interface
  • Ultra Low Noise Dual Slot Active Cooler (<20dBA)
  • On-board HDMI.
  • 7.1 Audio Channel Support
  • Microsoft DirectX 10.1 support / OpenGL 2.0 support



Sapphire usually bundles the CyberLink suite of products including the DVD Suite along with the PowerDVD 7 playback software. These are both Windows only software so they are of no use when running Mac or Linux. The driver CD is Windows only as well. A Crossfire cable along with a manual round out the bundle.

4670 GDDR4


Since ASE Labs is moving into the more generalized consumer electronics field, it is important to note that this card is not targeted to the high-end enthusiast. On the contrary, this is one of the mainstream cards that most people would be likely to purchase when looking for a video card upgrade. The 4600 series is the bread and butter revenue generation of the upgrading crowd. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 is a dual slot card with an interesting cooling solution not found on the reference design.


The 4670 comes complete with VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs. Along with all ATI cards in the 4000 series, the HDMI connection provides 7.1 audio through the card itself and is not a pass-through for audio. Unfortunately, ASE Labs does not have a setup for testing HDMI audio fully.


The dual slot heatsink/fan manages to keep the card cooler than the reference design. Most systems can sacrifice a slot under the primary video card, but this is an issue for a few people that use all expansion slots. The Crossfire connections are located at the top of the card.


Absent from the card is the need for a PCI Express power connection. The 4670 draws enough power from the PCI Express slot on the motherboard for the card to function normally. The GDDR4 memory is bonded to the blue ramsinks on both sides of the card and gives the card a distinct blue accent look. Most people probably won't notice the card since the majority of systems this will be installed in won't have a window.


Unlike the 4800 series, this card can fit in any number of cases. Many people have cases that are very cramped and fitting a full size PCI Express card is just an impossibility. The 4670 will have no trouble fitting in these types of situations as long as there is enough room to accommodate the dual slot cooling design.


This card is HDCP compliant for use when restricting your right to view the content you purchased. It is RoHS (meaning it is a green card) and has a blue PCB (the circuit board) which is a standard for many Sapphire cards.

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Installation and Testing

The normal test setup used on ASE Labs consists of the generic Ubuntu 8.10 installation with no updates. We continue to use the drivers present in the Ubuntu repository for use with graphics cards due to the ease of use on installation. This is what most people will do when faced with the same situation and hence the reason why we stick with the same setup.


The screenshot from the Catalyst Control Center for Linux shows the driver version (8.54.3) being used in this review which was the one that was installed from the repository. There are newer drivers available, but this worked absolutely fine. Below the shot is the core and memory speed along with the maximum overclockable range. The core could only go to 800MHz and the memory to 1200MHz.

The maximum overclock we achieved with this particular card was a core speed of 800MHz and a memory speed of 1175MHz. Any higher on the memory and the stress tests would crash. Overclocking on Linux consists of command line work, so it isn't something that normal users will probably be doing, but it is interesting to see.

The system setup used consisted of an Asus P5N-T Deluxe, Kingston 4GB DDR2 running at 800MHz, Ubuntu 8.10 32-bit, Maxtor 80GB HDD. We are using the Phoronix Test Suite to benchmark a few games. ASE Labs will probably be working on customized profiles for testing due to the lack of fine grained results with the test suite, but this review is using the generic built-in profiles. The card was tested against a Sapphire Radeon HD 4850. Testing was done at 1920x1200 and at 8xAA/16xAF

Closed Source Games

4670 OC 
4670 OC 

Open Source Games

4670 OC 
4670 OC 
World of Padman
4670 OC 

The majority of tests are not graphics card bound which is a good thing since the 4670 should be more than capable for the majority of gamers. Even if there are a few higher end games, the frame rates should be acceptable even with a level of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. ET:QW is the only game in this series of testing that showed the strength of the 4850 GPU. We are going to include more games in future reviews than will stress GPUs enough to show differences, but for this card, the results are good.


Shopping around shows that the 4670 level of card comes in at a bit under $100. This is really a sweet spot for graphics card as the majority of people looking for upgrades aren't willing to spend an arm and a leg on high-end cards. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 offers solid performance with an excellent price point to match. Casual gamers looking to get some more performance out of an aging system should look to upgrade their video card if they already have a good CPU.

The 4670 GDDR4 really shows that mainstream cards have come a very long way since the first graphics cards coined the term "GPU." Today's mainstream cards can easily handle a variety of workloads including handling some moderately intensive tasks from time to time. It is good to see technology moving at a pace that allows a majority of people to have performance without too many compromises. The fact that the Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4 offers a fairly silent cooler just sweetens the deal even further. ASE Labs recommends this card for all mainstream buyers.

ASE Labs thanks Sapphire for supplying this card for review.


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