4670 Crossfire - The secret to budget gaming?

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup

A common mistake made when benchmarking graphics cards is that the rest of the PC system isn't sufficient enough to test the GPU to its limits. This results in a bottleneck situation, where the system can only run at the speed of its slowest component. For this reason, the test configuration chosen below has been specially selected to give the 4670 Crossfire configuration plenty of headroom to produce the best results.

Test SetupCPU
Intel Core2Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz @ 3.6 Ghz

ASUS P5E64 WS Evolution

Cellshock DDR2 PC-2 6400 5-5-5-18 @ 800mhz

Power Supply
Tuniq Ensemble 1200w

Graphics Drivers
NVidia Forceware 180.48
ATI Catalyst 8.12.72276

Operating System
Windows Vista 64bit SP1

A selection of games and benchmark suites has also been chosen to test each of the graphics cards used in today's review on several different game engines. Each graphics card configuration will be run at both low and high resolutions with varying levels of texture filtering to represent 17", 20" and 24" screen sizes.

1024x768 / 0xAA
1680x1050 / 4xAA
1920x1200 / 4xAA


1280x1024 / 0xAA
1680x1050 / 4xAA
1920x1200 / 4xAA

3DMark Vantage
Performance Mode
High Mode
Extreme Mode

ET:Quake Wars
1440x900 / High / 4xAA
1680x1050 / High / 4xAA
1920x1200 / High / 4xAA

Unreal Tournament III
1440x900 / DX10
1680x1050 / DX10
1920x1200 / DX10

Call of Duty 4
1440x900 / Max / 4xAA
1680x1050 / Max / 4xAA
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA

Farcry 2
1440x900 / Max / 4xAA
1680x1050 / Max / 4xAA
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA

Racedriver GRID
1440x900 / High / 4xAA
1680x1050 / High / 4xAA
1920x1200 / High / 4xAA

1440x900 / DX10 / High / 4xAA
1680x1050 / DX10 / High / 4xAA
1920x1200 / DX10 / High / 4xAA

During the benchmarking phase, we will be using the following prices extracted from US retailer newegg.com on 15/01/09 to produce our CPF (Cost Per Frame) graphs. Please remember that these graphs are static and only represent a snapshot of the market at the time of this review.


Using the "Auto-Tune" facility built into the ATI Overdrive™ driver control panel, the maximum overclock we were able to obtain from the Gigabyte HD 4670's in Crossfire was 765MHz on the core and 1050MHz on the memory. This is quite a small increase over the 750MHz / 1000MHz stock values, but in all honesty we weren't expecting a card aimed more at the HTPC market to be an overclocking monster.

Gigabyte HD 4670 overclock

Testing the card at both its stock and our overclocked settings in 3DMark Vantage Performance mode reveals that this small increase in speed on the core and memory certainly wasn't fruitless and managed to bag us over 200 additional points.

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Most Recent Comments

17-01-2009, 11:06:12

"Take two low-end HD 4670's, add one Crossfire connector and you have the recipe for budget gaming. Or do you?"


4670 Crossfire - The secret to budget gaming?Quote

17-01-2009, 11:22:04

Nice article, for me personaly ATI still the best in budget gamming, no one can compete (and now entering high end also ), the only problem about two low end cards are that if the guy thinks like me it will be better get a good one and with some more time another one to Xfire / sli, better than buy two low ends that cost a little more than they bigger brother, also as i saw in the review the performance in high resolution (probably because of smaller memory)

but if the dude is not planning to upgrade, all i should say (after seeing this review) is go for it its a Xfire at the price one of card Quote

17-01-2009, 12:41:24

It's a great study in raw fps output of the 2 in xfire.

xfire has had the luxury of being attached to many great Intel 3/4 series mobos. Something that could/should have been exploited more, and used as a twisted dagger.

Whilst the artificial benching of some markers approaching 4 years of age, it would be with reluctance perhaps, that I would immediately dismiss anything benched prior to 3dmark06. Indeed 3dmark06 is living on extremely thin ice. However, this is ofc dependent on what type of gaming u entertain. Being as there has been a lull in great advancements in gaming imagination, yet alone releases, apart from a fist-full of recycled titles, the number of really-new released games - a user can be forgiven for sticking with a game that could be years old.

Be that as it may, if your on a budget, it could be recognized that you could play such games. If u don't subscribe to buying each game as it's released, u would similarly not be on quite a budget perhaps. 3 or 4 new games and u could be in 4xfire. Similarly, u won't be immediately looking at the 64xQQxAA++ capabilities that ur system would take advantage of. Here then u may not be looking at the 4870 or 260 in the same light - ur after raw fps for ur own personal gaming reasons.

Taking a sideways glance at the PhysX aspect, it would probably be a good run to have taken the driver away from the 260 whilst doing the benching. The effect isn't something that will make a tremendous difference, but using the 260 with a PhysX benefit over cards that don't entertain it, and graphing the results as fps or mark related, means we allow the 260 to do the work the others can't but similarly allow them to be compared, has the 260 doing work unnecessarily. Being as a purchasing decision could be made without PhysX in mind, the card is held back - if u like. A few fps ? Purchasers and forum users use those fps and marks as a religion to condemn each others camps.

As a suggestion to a purchasing user, I couldn't really suggest that they shun the quality aspects, but if the enthusiast themselves is on such a budget and is a massive fan of a single type fps game, it could be a pursuit for them. Still not something I could recommend with a clear head over a single card with some quality aspects. If they were an ATI fan, I would urge a 4870, and equally be happier that they not have so much a chance to be calling me cos the driver aspect has done "something".

Good read.Quote

17-01-2009, 13:10:20

Budget Gaming = Xbox 360 Quote

17-01-2009, 17:06:20

May I ask why the CPF was worked out with $$?Quote

18-01-2009, 04:28:17

Ah, if I am allowed to link to another review website, here it presents a 512mb GDDR4 variant of the 4670. Perhaps with 2 of these in crossfire, the higher end benchmarks would be different? Go to Hexus.net and add this rubbish onto the end: /content/item.php?item=16894 (I can't post URLs yet).Quote

19-01-2009, 12:36:57

Heaven Can Wait
Says in the article you can get one for £55, done a fair amount of searching and it seems the cheapest is nearer to £65Quote

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