XFX 9600GSO 384mb vs Sapphire HD4670 512mb

Sapphire HD4670 Packaging & Appearance

Sapphire HD4670 Packaging & Appearance
 
'Prepare to Dominate'. I'm not to sure how much domination is going to be done with what is in effect, an entry level gaming graphics card but the outer sleeve certainly sets the scene well with a typical red and black Sapphire package. The front of the outer sleeve advertises the card's 'dominating' features such as CrossfireX technology and HDMI. The 512mb GDDR3 emblem signifies the total memory of the card which is 128mb more than the 9600 GSO, so should give it an advantage when filtering options are applied. The rear of the package goes into greater depth regarding the features. Boasting a 55nm fabrication process, the HD4670 should result in less heat and less power consumption. 
 
Outer sleeve front Outer Sleeve Back
  
The inner box is a basic affair and Sapphire opted to package their card in a sloppy fashion compared to the XFX card. Two sleeves of foam protect the card, which itself is deposited in a padded anti-static bag. While the card should arrive in perfect condition, I do have some concerns regarding the packing methodology as shaking the box revealed the card could indeed move around inside the box, despite the foam. The accessories are both comprehensive and complete. Everything you need is there to get your HD4670 up and running and apart from the usual driver CD, there is also bundled software (PowerDVD and DVD Suite as well as 'Ruby ROM'.  A Crossfire bridge, DVI-VGA, HDMI and S-Video adapters are also included.
 
Inner Box Accessories
  
I was surprised at the size of the card, which measures just 7.5 inches in length. Being a single slot, card it could well find itself at home in an media PC. However, I would hope you have some meaty speakers, as the little 60mm fan does tend to make quite some noise. To the rear of the card, we see an extension of the memory with 4x64mb chips on the back matching the 4x64mb on the front of the card. Also note that Sapphire have opted to use screw fixings to attach the cooler to the card, making it a cinch to change to an after market cooler should the noise of the stock cooler become unbearable.
 
Card front Card Rear
  
The side and front of the card are nothing special other than the card is very slim and should present no clearance issues whatever your motherboard. Noteworthy is the lack of an external power port, the HD4670 does not require any external power source, instead taking all its required power from the PCI-e slot. Great news for small form factor lovers.
 
Card side Card Front
  
The I/O area has the usual host of connectivity with 2 x DVI ports as well as an TV-out slot nestled between them. The card is also CrossfireX capable so it is possible to take advantage of this feature should you have the available PCI-e slots and a compatible motherboard.
 
Connectivity CrossifreX
  
As stated previously, taking the cooler off was indeed very easy with just four screws holding the cooler onto the typical Sapphire blue PCB. The thermal paste used was ample and much better quality than the type used by XFX, this resulted in a much tidier mount and also made the cooler removal so much easier as it wasn't 'cement like' in application.
 
Cooling GPU
 
Here's the core itself, 55nm manufacturing at its finest. Cooler running and requiring less power than the previous generation, the HD4670 might also spring a surpise or two in the overclocking department.
 
Close up
  
Despite my initial concerns over the lackluster packaging, I was impressed overall with the package. The included software, while nothing starting is a bonus at this price point and the card itself was attractive as it was diminutive. With both the XFX and Sapphire stock clocked at a conservative level, lets take a look at how far we can push the two cards on test today.
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Most Recent Comments

20-09-2008, 07:06:42

JN
"The XFX 9600GSO and Sapphire HD4670 go head to head in the battle for mid range supremacy. Who do you think will come out on top?" - by Webbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...204343872l.jpg

XFX 9600GSO 384mb vs Sapphire HD4670 512mb

20-09-2008, 09:18:13

°TheMadDutchDude°
Nice review!

That shows you.. clock speed isn't anything compared to realworld performance, seeing that the 9600GSO can perform better and it has lower clock speeds. I think that is brilliant, personally nVidia are loosing on the higher end market due to the ATi HD4870 etc but they are king of the mid-budget market

20-09-2008, 09:56:14

Jeddy
Nice review, good to see nvidia making *ahem* new products to compete :P (I mean, its like got a 9 on the front, and a gso on the back boss, new technology!)

Good review though, and since i am looking at an sff build/mod/project log i am looking at these kind of mid-range cards

20-09-2008, 10:18:23

MacAllah
There isn't just one spelling "blooper." The entire article is rife with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. I kept reading for the information, but the presentation was so horrid it was nearly unbearable.

On the intro page alone I count 3 mistakes the most horrible of which is the use of "there" when "their" is the word that should be used. Ugh.

20-09-2008, 12:14:40

Diablo
I reckon Nvidia aren't being beaten on the top end of the market, for anyone with loads of cash (i.e. me) the 280GTX presents a great single card solution, with less scaling issues in dual card set up.

Back on topic, great review, very thorough, nice to see the settings in Crysis. I was thinking about the 4670 as a nice card to put in a friends machine. Maybe a 9600GSO might be a better bet, but the 9800GT's look good and they are only about £20 on top.

Will you be using Crysis Warhawk to benchmark things in the future, what with the engine optimising?

20-09-2008, 17:46:41

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='°TheMadDutchDude°'
Nice review!

That shows you.. clock speed isn't anything compared to realworld performance, seeing that the 9600GSO can perform better and it has lower clock speeds. I think that is brilliant, personally nVidia are loosing on the higher end market due to the ATi HD4870 etc but they are king of the mid-budget market
Glad you liked the review. It does appear that NVidia and ATI have changed places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Diablo'
I reckon Nvidia aren't being beaten on the top end of the market, for anyone with loads of cash (i.e. me) the 280GTX presents a great single card solution, with less scaling issues in dual card set up.

Back on topic, great review, very thorough, nice to see the settings in Crysis. I was thinking about the 4670 as a nice card to put in a friends machine. Maybe a 9600GSO might be a better bet, but the 9800GT's look good and they are only about £20 on top.

Will you be using Crysis Warhawk to benchmark things in the future, what with the engine optimising?
I'll be reviewing the 9800GT shortly and will be using the GSO and 4670 for comparison so keep checking the site buddy. Benchmarking with Warhawk will depend on the game engine itself and the challenge it presents to GPU's.

20-09-2008, 17:50:39

°TheMadDutchDude°
Very nice. It is nice to see this forum so alive compared to other ones that I have been on, I really enjoy it and I am going to stick around

I just wish that I could now become a reviewer seeing the fun jobs you guys get!! It also helps that I push my system unbelievably high on air.. I love it but I do realise that I can screw the lot up if I am not careful..

20-09-2008, 19:32:41

MacAllah
Enjoy the cards, I'm too poor to buy either of them.

20-09-2008, 21:28:12

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='°TheMadDutchDude°'
Very nice. It is nice to see this forum so alive compared to other ones that I have been on, I really enjoy it and I am going to stick around

I just wish that I could now become a reviewer seeing the fun jobs you guys get!! It also helps that I push my system unbelievably high on air.. I love it but I do realise that I can screw the lot up if I am not careful..
Reviewing can be fun and it is great to get the latest kit to try out but it is sometimes a thankless task (see above), especially when you consider the time and effort that is put into said reviews for the benefit of others. One must learn not to rise to the bait I guess.

Good luck in pushing your setup, which should become easier now the cold weather is on its way.

21-09-2008, 03:19:03

MacAllah
Yeah. ::steps off Ole' Starlight::

Thank for the review, I'm actually building a computer for my sister soon and my goal is to keep it cheap and powerful. It looks like both of these cards fit that bill. Ciao.

21-09-2008, 04:30:22

°TheMadDutchDude°
Yeah I would put in a cheap Dual Core and OC it like hell, get a good motherboard (maybe a P35) and you are good to go.

Yeah I can OC it like hell now that the weather is getting colder but I have hit my FSB wall.. won't post at anything above 440FSB even with FSB overvolt upped.

21-09-2008, 06:49:59

Rastalovich
Great review, nothing in it for me between the two.

Think in this case u can afford to be a fanboi either way. These are solid midrange cards after all.

21-09-2008, 07:06:11

Diablo
Yeah, when I said warhawk, I meant Crysis warhead...sorry

21-09-2008, 08:14:58

Zoot
Depending on the price I might shove one of these in the Linux box I have at home.

22-09-2008, 16:28:58

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Great review, nothing in it for me between the two.

Think in this case u can afford to be a fanboi either way. These are solid midrange cards after all.
Yup, with either card the end user will be happy imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Zoot'
Depending on the price I might shove one of these in the Linux box I have at home.
Both are on the market sub £70 with the GSO slightly more expensive by a few pound.

22-09-2008, 19:15:08

Zoot
I'm just after looking at Komplett.ie and I can get the 4670 for €78 and the 9600GSO for €87. In the interest of Linux drivers I think the 9600 would be the better buy for me, if I give it a bit of time that is....

Anyway another great review btw.

Just curious, do you find reviewing fun or is it pretty routine after a while?

23-09-2008, 18:44:04

x-thing
Hello, first post for me in this forum, nice to meet you all!

Registered because I found this review curious, and it's not only this one about the 4670. I think that in the rush of comparing price and performance, many reviewers usually put against the HD4670 the 9600GSO, forgetting other fundamental things;

1-the cards are of totally different sizes and the 9600GSO won't fit many standard OEM cases while the 4670 will.

2-The HD4670 consumes far less power, with no 6 pin connector, so I'd not consider an aluminum heatsink mediocre when power consumption is also mediocre compared to the rival card.

Despite being similar in price or performance, I think we're comparing very different cards, for different target buyers. With the 4670 you can be sure you can upgrade almost any HTPC or any Dell or HP case, without worrying about your card intersecting something. The HD4670 is maybe the most important card of this year because after the HD2600/3600 and GF8600 fiasco, it's the first mainstream card in mainstream format in a long time (small PCB, no 6pin power) and it's most direct competitor should be the 9500GT (which is not) while the 9600GSO is better aligned with the HD3850.

In this perspective nvidia is still sadly falling short of the objectives even in the midrange and as of direct competition, I'd rather see the HD4670 leading alone for the moment.

23-09-2008, 18:57:45

Zoot
Welcome to the forum x-thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='x-thing'
In this perspective nvidia is still sadly falling short of the objectives even in the midrange and as of direct competition, I'd rather see the HD4670 leading alone for the moment.
Yeah it's pretty much Red all across the board atm.

Nvidia took a right chance with the GT200 with its huge die size - it's not exactly cheap for the them to make, and thanks to their price drops you can be sure they're not selling them for much of a profit anymore.

ATi's RV770 was a much better chip in many respects, it performs great and it's a lot cheaper for the them to make (55nm V 65nm and a much smaller die).

25-09-2008, 11:52:34

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='x-thing'

1-the cards are of totally different sizes and the 9600GSO won't fit many standard OEM cases while the 4670 will.

2-The HD4670 consumes far less power, with no 6 pin connector, so I'd not consider an aluminum heatsink mediocre when power consumption is also mediocre compared to the rival card.
You make some good points X-thing, welcome to the forum too!

While I agree the cards are different sizes, the performance and price are still similar which make for a valid comparison. I agree that they could be considered for different markets, SFF being one of them and as such this was also mentioned in the review. However, when someone goes shopping, especially someone not willing to spend vast amounts of cash, will surely want to see how much performance they can get for their cash, bang per buck as it were and so the cards were compared on this basis.

I criticised the use of aluminium as if they had used copper then the fan might not have spun up so fast, making for more efficient cooling properties. As you previously pointed out, buyers of SFF and media centers etc may well be considering this card. If it were me shopping for such a card, I would want a near silent cooler, which sadly the 4670 has not, due in part to the aluminium heatsink.

We couldn't really compare the 9600GSO against the 3850 as that card is previous generation so would be unfair and to be quite honest uninteresting. Apart from the fact, we do not always have every card in this and the last generation from which to choose.

26-09-2008, 17:44:38

x-thing
Yes webbo, I completely understand your reasoning; price and availability rule when it comes to the common buyer, and I totally agree here.

Not particularly this but as I said before, many other sites the put the 4670 too much on the personal with the GSO. Yes especially where I live or in the USA it is an absolute steal, however, there are other scenarios the 4670 is the way to go and maybe that could have been made clearer in the conclusions, because it's there that most people jump before reading the whole review and sometimes it does not just "come down to what screen you are looking to game on"; I couldn't use my HD3850 in my sister's 350W PSU PC, and had to swap it with a 4670 first. People seeking quad display with graphics performance will get lots of power savings and cooler systems with two of them compared to two 9600GSOs or 3850s.

The fan is loud, yes, that aluminum heatsink is Sapphire's way to spare some money,the stock cooler is much better. I have also seen a dual slot version from asus, big silent fan on top, that should be nice for HTPCs.

Anyway, let me say that your review was very precise and well made,was interesting to see the slight superiority of the 9600GSO, with the 4670 taking over @ high resolutions, probably because of the 512M of RAM vs 384 of the GSO.

P.S: Just a small question on the sapphire cooler, was it loud or very loud, because I think this is the model I am getting to replace the 3850.

27-09-2008, 04:15:38

w3bbo
Noise is subjective m8. I wouldn't say it would be 'louder' than the 3850 but due to the fans size you may notice it more because of the whine, especially when it is under load. In windows it was fairly quiet, just a slight 'hum' but as soon as you did something 3D intensive and the fan spun up it resembled a very angry hornet.

27-09-2008, 10:27:03

Rastalovich
Apparently, the ATI card draws less power under full load. Whilst at idle, the nVidia draws less.

If u turn ur pc on, play a game, then turn off - the ati draws less power.

If u have ur pc on, browse, do simple desktop stuff, leave it on, play games, then leave it on or off really - the nVidia will draw less power.

27-09-2008, 19:36:33

x-thing
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Apparently, the ATI card draws less power under full load. Whilst at idle, the nVidia draws less.

If u turn ur pc on, play a game, then turn off - the ati draws less power.

If u have ur pc on, browse, do simple desktop stuff, leave it on, play games, then leave it on or off really - the nVidia will draw less power.
That is because ATi hasn't fixed that stupid powerplay driver on the 4000 series, maybe they did it with the last catalyst 8.9.

17-10-2008, 20:32:00

deamon1311
ok folks i have enjoyed my new hd4670 greatly.

i tried out the ati overdrive utility yesterday and i will post my highest stable overclocks below.

core: original:750mhz final:860mhz

memory: original:2008mhz final:2320mhz

note: i am willing to bet others on this forum with better tools could likely put my overclocks on this card to shame.

ive found that this card is a great preformer.

ps: i tested the cards overclocks with several hours of playing oblivion and unreal tournament 3 i had no artifacts or problems.

im out for this post and i wish you guys the best of luck with you overclocking adventures!!

20-10-2008, 07:29:15

x-thing
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='deamon1311'
core: original:750mhz final:860mhz

memory: original:2008mhz final:2320mhz

note: i am willing to bet others on this forum with better tools could likely put my overclocks on this card to shame.
I'd rather think you've been quite lucky with that card because more or less all review sites around have not been able to get much further of 800 MHz for the core and 2100MHz for the memory. What brand was it?
Reply
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