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Powercolor HD4670 PCS Review

ccokeman    -   October 21, 2008
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Conclusion:

The Powercolor HD4670 PCS falls just where you expect it to on the performance ladder when run through our benchmark suite. Perfromance can be improved by not running all of the eye candy and you can still get decent playable performance in most of the games tested. Even with the maximum settings in Call of Duty 4 and Bioshock, the frames per second were smooth and playable in all but the most demanding situations. This card is not a benchmarking and gaming graphics powerhouse. It's not meant to be! What it is meant to do, is some light HD gaming and do an excellent job at playing HD content, while using very little power. Perfect for use in an HTPC. Instead of what has become standard fare in the connectivity department (Dual Link DVI plus HD out), Powercolor has equipped the HD4670PCS with an HDMI out, DVI out, an HDTV out via dongle and bracket, as well as a DisplayPort video out connection. This card has you covered when you need to get the signal out, by covering the older proven technology, as well as giving a small measure of future proofing. Video quality was excellent when combined with a nice 1080p 42 inch display when sent out via the HDMI cable.

I only had two issues with this video card. Overclocking was my first issue, which was just about non-existent with the supplied drivers as well as the 8.8 and 8.9 catalyst suite. As soon as the video driver would load, I would get massive screen corruption that could only be remedied by a resolution change. After a short search, I was able to to find the Beta 8.10 drivers from ATI and this resolved my corruption issues completely. They even let me punch up the clock speeds a tick or two, but nothing really significant. Again you have to take into account what this card is meant to do. The HD4670 does not have the familiar 6 pin or even a 4 pin power connection to supply additional power to the card. It gets everything it needs via the PCIe slot. This low power requirement goes hand in hand with the cooling solution used by Powercolor. If you have been around for a while, you have heard of Zerotherm. Whether you like their products or not, I have found their VGA cooling solutions to work very well. The Zerotherm optomized heatsink used on the HD4670 PCS does what it is supposed to do. The maximum temperature I recorded was 59 degrees Celsius after a nice COD4 session at 1920x1200, with the driver controlling the fan speed. When the fan speed is pushed to 100%, I could not hear it from outside the case. At this speed, cooling performance does increase somewhat to a maximum of 55 Celsius. If you are on a budget and you need a well-rounded card that can hook up to just about any display, this is your card. It offers decent performance in games and has all the qualities that make it ideal for an HTPC. Better yet, it it will fit just about any budget.

 

Pros:

  • Zerotherm optimized cooling
  • Crossfire X capable
  • DisplayPort video out
  • Price

 

Cons:

  • Overclocking
  • Immature driver (8.8 and 8.9 catalyst)

 

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