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Review: Sapphire (AMD) Radeon HD 4670: bullying the mainstream market

by Tarinder Sandhu on 10 September 2008, 09:09

Tags: Radeon HD 4670 512MB, ATI Radeon HD 4670, AMD (NYSE:AMD), Sapphire, ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD), PC

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2008 has seen significant flux in the graphics add-in board market. NVIDIA started out on top, liberally harvesting the G80 architecture that did so well in 2007. ATI (AMD) then hit back with mid-range goodness oozing from the Radeon HD 4800-series, and took back the single-card performance crown with the twin-GPU Radeon HD 4870 X2 part.

However, from a business point of view, an architecture is only as good as the volume it enables you to sell through partners, and the mainstream segment, between £50-£100, is where ATI and NVIDIA make their bread-and-butter revenue.

The fast-moving nature of the graphics industry dictates that the price bracket (£50-£100) is a moving target, with parts being superseded, discontinued, and price-reduced in response to increased competition.

Right now, NVIDIA plies what we can call the mid-range sector with a multitude of overlapping SKUs, from newly-introduced GeForce 9500 GT, up through the GeForce 9600 GSO, 9600 GT, and topping off with the also-new 9800 GT.

ATI, too, isn't short of a part, and the Radeon HD 3600/3800-series is available in a multitude of forms from an eclectic range of partners. Just above the magical £100 mark is the Radeon HD 4850.

Now, ATI, fresh off victory at the high-end of the market, is keen to distill Radeon HD 4800-series mana to the mid-range, and it really is no surprise that our focus for today is a GPU whose lineage is very much from HD 48x0.

ATI's Radeon HD 4670, priced at around £50, aims to redefine what's achievable for a relatively modest outlay. We tell you whether it succeeds or not.