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AMD to Strike Nvidia 9500 With HD4600

By , Aaron Heibert - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 0 comment

The graphics card market has been quite intense lately up until now. With the clouds and dust settling after the AMD and Nvidia dispute, both contenders are playing on an even battle field – Or are they ?

Coming this September 10, AMD plans to unveil its HD4600 series (RV730 XT / PRO) cards to directly compete with the Nvidia 9500 series. We will see two flavors brought forward as the HD4670 (RV730-XT) and the HD4650 (RV730-Pro). Both cards are manufactured on the 55 nm architecture at speeds of 750 MHz and 600 MHz. Each card will utilize 320 Stream Processing Units. Some of the other technical, and notable features of the HD4600 series are as follows :

- PowerPlay 2.0 Functions
- Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2
- Direct-X 10.1
- Shader Model 4.1
- Physics acceleration & Dynamic geometry acceleration
- 24X CFAA Technology

Another point worth mentioning is that new V3700 & V5700 FirePro specialized workstation cards are based off the RV730-XT (HD4670) technology. Both card editions will also have Macro Vision Detection (MVD) on them as well. Macro Vision Detection is a form a copy protection that is transparent while viewing media, but apparent when attempting to copy certain media from input sources. Typically the copied version has the quality substantially degraded.

Kit

Model

Freq.

Memory

Bandwidth

Pattern

HDCP

CrossFire

B70901

RV730 XT

750/1000

512 MB GDDR3

128-bit

16Mx32 dual rank

Yes

Hardware

B66601

RV730 XT

750/873

1 GB DDR3

128-bit

64Mx16

Yes

Hardware

B66801

RV730 PRO

600/500

512 MB DDR2

128-bit

32Mx16

Yes

Software

B66501

RV730 PRO

600/500

512 MB DDR2

128-bit

32Mx16

Yes

Software

N/A*

RV730 PRO

600/667

512 MB DDR3

128-bit

32Mx16

Yes

Hardware


 

Both the HD4670 and HD4650 utilize a 128-Bit memory bandwidth. No 256-Bit version has been mentioned as of current. The HD4650 coming with 512MB DDR2 and the HD4670 coming with a choice of 512 MB or 1024 MB DDR3. The HD4670 (RV730-XT) supports hardware crossfire while the HD4650 (RV730-Pro) supports software based crossfire at this time. It appears that there is a version utilizing the RV730-Pro technology that will support hardware crossfire, however at this time it is not set it in stone.

Power consumptions of the HD4600 series are relatively low at 70 to 80 Watts for the HD4670 and 50 to 55 Watts for the HD4650. It’s also worth mentioning the lack of external power connector on this series of card, which has its pros and its cons. Average systems housing 450 Watts or more should be just fine with this card. If you plan to run two cards in crossfire 550 Watts minimum is suggested.

Based on this information however, the 4600 series being a new release appears to be somewhat of a step backward. If you were to compare the specs of the HD4670 (RV730) to the older HD3870 (RV670) you would instantly notice the dial has been turned back on the specs, and what for ? Let’s have a look :



HD3870
(RV67)

HD4670
(RV730)

Engine

775 MHz

750 MHz

Memory

1125 MHz

1000 MHz

Interface

256-Bit

128-Bit

Stream Processors

320

320

Architecture

55n m

55 nm

Transfer

72 GB/s

32 GB/s

TDP

90 – 100 Watts

70 – 80 Watts


 

As you can clearly see, the HD4670 (RV730) appears to be a dialed back version of the older HD3870 (RV670). Seeing as the HD3870 is still readily available all over the web and in stores for a reasonable average price of $130 and the HD4870 for $270 – there may be little incentive to purchase this card. (Unless if the HD3800 series were completely phased out and not so readily available, the HD4600 series could take its place with a new price.) A real benefit to this card is quite possibly for a Home Theatre PC in a compact case stuffed into a ventilation restricted entertainment unit. Since the HD4600 series cards have lower wattage. With the lack of an external power connector, they certainly will not be generating much heat turning your case into an easy-bake oven.

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