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Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4 & HD 4830
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by Rob Williams on February 25, 2009 in AMD-Based GPU

Gaming on a budget isn’t as difficult as it once was, thanks to superb offerings from both ATI and NVIDIA that go for a modest price. But, what about the sub-$100 crowd? We’ll find that out here, at least from the ATI side of things, with Sapphire’s HD 4670 GDDR4 and HD 4830. Both feature great efficiency, and believe it or not, great overclocking as well.

Mirror’s Edge

What was the last first-person game on the PC to truly blow you away, or offer some unique gameplay experience? New first-person shooters come out quite often, and while some show off some new features and gameplay twists, few of them truly regenerate the genre like we’d hope. Mirror’s Edge is a title that strived to do just that, and for the most part, I’d have to say they’ve done a great job.

First and foremost, Mirror’s Edge isn’t so much a first-person shooter as it is a first-person adventure game, because for the most part, combat isn’t the main focus. Throughout some of the few levels I played through, at times there could be a full ten-minute span without even seeing a single person, which is actually somewhat refreshing. The game focuses on figuring out the best way to get from point A to point B, heavily utilizing the parkour style of travel.

Most levels in Mirror’s Edge offers a similar level of system-intensity, so I based our choice on one that was fun to play through, and one that allowed an easily-replicable run-through. It takes place in chapter six, “Pirandello Kruger”, and Checkpoint A. We begin in a large building, behind a window, looking out at the city. Our run-through takes us outside of this building, down to the street and up to the top of the building shown to the right in the above screenshot.

In this particular title, 40 FPS is ideal for smooth gameplay, but anything between 30-40 would considered playable by most standards. In a game where you have an open world like this, and you need absolutely quick reflexes to pull off a few maneuvers, having as many FPS at your disposal as possible is a good thing. That said, the HD 4830 could handle the game just fine at 1920×1200, while the HD 4670 runs much better at 1680×1050… at least with anti-aliasing enabled.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB x 2
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
118.680 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB x 2
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
88.346 FPS
Zotac GTX 295 1792MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
70.562 FPS
Zotac GTX 285 1GB AMP!
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
51.733 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
48.385 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
44.806 FPS
Diamond HD 4870 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
41.452 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
38.122 FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
35.297 FPS
Sapphire HD 4830 512MB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
32.589 FPS
Sapphire HD 4670 512MB
1920×1200 – Max Detail, 0xAA
39.204 FPS

Although the performance on the HD 4830 was a tad on the slower side at 2560×1600, gameplay felt quite reasonable in my tests (which expanded beyond our testing level). 1920×1200 on that card would be a much better experience, but the performance was still “good enough” at 2560×1600 to be fully playable. On the HD 4670 side of things, 1920×1200 was the best we could do, sans AA, which delivered a very respectable 39 FPS.


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