Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4 512MB video card review
When we first took a look at AMD's mid-range Radeon HD 4670 offering back in late September, we really rather liked it. From a technical perspective, the fact that it offered raw processing power on a par with the previous generation's high-end offering impressed us, and in actual performance terms it did pretty well for itself without ever setting the world alight (and soon coming under pressure from factory overclocked GeForce 9600 GSO boards which had enough firepower to surpass it in gaming terms).
However, if there's one thing we've learned from recent times is that Sapphire are never quite satisfied with AMD's reference graphics board offerings, and thus after releasing a reference-based part we almost always see something new and interesting from the company a few weeks later.
Such is the case with the Radeon HD 4670 - After a few months of allowing potential buyers the ability to buy a card built around the reference specification, we've recently seen two new boards based around this SKU launched by Sapphire. On the one hand you have the reference clocked but passively, silently cooled Radeon HD 4670 Ultimate Edition, and on the other you have the subject of today's review, the Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4. As the card's name should suggest, this part does away with the 512MB of GDDR3 memory used by reference boards in favour of the same quantity of GDDR4 modules, which in turn gives this particular part a slightly higher memory clock speed. On top of this, Sapphire have thrown AMD's reference cooler in the bin, replacing it with a custom solution that promises to be both more efficient and much, much quieter.
Faster and quieter sounds like the contents of the shopping list of any potential graphics board buyer, so can it live up to these promises? Let's give Sapphire's latest offering a look.