Launched less than a quarter of a year ago, the Radeon HD 4670 was the GPU that was meant to spearhead ATI's efforts in the sub US$100 mainstream segment. Priced at a sweet US$79, it can handle most of today's games at decent settings and as such, is great value for money.
But while it is certainly capable, it hasn't been the all-conquering mainstream monster that ATI had hoped it would be. Employing the new RV730 core, its performance was substantially less than its HD 4800 siblings, leaving a wide performance gap that needed to be plugged. This performance gap was eventually addressed with the Radeon HD 4830 or at least that's what ATI thought, because our tests showed that the 4830 was too powerful and leaned too much towards the 4850. This meant there was still a significant performance gap between the HD 4670 and HD 4830, giving NVIDIA a free rein in that performance segment. The GeForce 9600 GSO, in particular, looks as if it could make a meal out of the HD 4670.
Although the HD 4670 might not be the most powerful mainstream graphics card around, it has a couple of tricks up its sleeve - such as support for CrossFireX. In a CrossFireX setup, a maximum of four HD 4670s can be linked together, offering added graphics processing power. The GeForce 9600 GT and GeForce 9600 GSO, on the other hand, has only support for up to 2-way SLI. Of course, with its mainstream performance, linking 4 of these cards is not very impractical so that's only good on paper. What really should be useful to mainstream users will probably be the Avivo HD processing power found on the 4670.
Having said that, now let us turn our attention to the first of our two Radeon HD 4670 cards.
The first thing you'll probably notice about the MSI R4670 is that it uses a shorter PCB compared to its more powerful HD 4800 siblings, and this has an effect on the way things are laid out. For example, because of the lack of PCB real estate, memory chips are found on both sides of the card. In the case of the MSI, it's four on each side. Also, take note that while the box says the R4670 comes with DDR3 memory, it actually does not. Upon further investigation, we discovered that the MSI R4670 actually comes with Hynix H5RS5223CFR-N0C GDDR3 1.0ns memory chips, which is arguably more expensive than DDR3.
To add on, the MSI R4670 comes with ATI's reference clock speeds for the Radeon HD 4670 SKU, which is 750MHz at the core and 2000MHz DDR at the memory.
This is what the MSI 4670 came with: