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

Motherboard
ASUS P5E64 WS Evolution

Memory
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.

3DMark05
1024x768 / 0xAA
1680x1050 / 4xAA
1920x1200 / 4xAA

3DMark06

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

Crysis
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.



Overclocking

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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