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, 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 Quote

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 Quote

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.Quote

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?Quote

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.Quote
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