4670 Crossfire - The secret to budget gaming?



CrossfireXWhen the HD 4670 arrived on the scene several months ago everybody knew that it wasn't going to be about raw gaming power and high resolutions. Priced at less than a meal for two at your favourite restaurant (providing that's not McDonalds) and kitted out with a HDMI port (at least in the case of our Gigabyte model), the card was undoubtedly an ideal candidate for the HTPC scene. However, in the battle between NVIDIA and AMD to bring us graphics cards with the most features at the lowest price points, one intriguing feature was added to the HD 4670 - a Crossfire connector.

In many ways this seems little more than a gimmick, after all Multi-GPU setup's are often considered the next step up for enthusiasts who already own the fastest graphics card on the market and want to run games at ludicrously high resolutions or maybe even simply extend their e-peens. Placing two low-end cards in Crossfire would surely just be a waste of money much better invested in a single mid-range card, wouldn't it?

With the HD 4670 priced at around £55-65 in most places, snapping two up for a Crossfire configuration brings you into the £120 territory of the HD 4850. As we already know the HD 4850 is certainly no slouch when it comes to gaming, and with 1GB models readily available, any potential advantage a pair of 512MB HD 4670 cards may have had in on the additional memory front is certainly negated.

Specs Comparison

Things start to look even more bleak for the HD 4670 when we put it alongside some if its closest relatives. As we can see from the charts above, the 4670 has less than half the stream processors of the 4850, a crippled 128-bit memory interface and a lower number of texture units. All of this results in less than half the pixel pushing power of the HD 4850 (480GFlops vs 1000GFlops) suggesting that even if Crossfire was to be 100% efficient (which it's certainly not), a pair of 4670's would still fall short of the performance of a single 4850.

But of course, we're not going to let any of this deter us from having some fun with potentially one of the cheapest Crossfire configurations the world has ever seen. So join us over on the next page where we lay down the test configuration followed by a healthy selection of benchmarks.

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Most Recent Comments

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

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