Sapphire Ultimate HD4670

Passive cooling all the way!
Author: Toni 'HaoKi' Siik
Published: 29.01.2009
Manufacturer: Sapphire
Product Group: Display Adapters
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi

Overclocking and Temperatures

My expectations really were not that high when I started overclocking this card, as passive cards rarely post awesome overclocks. The GPU really didn't shine, as when the frequency was pushed beyond 759 MHz, we could start seeing some corruption. The memory on the other hand did fairly nicely, as it stretched all the way to 995 MHz from the stock 873 MHz. This overclock gave a fairly nice ~7.5% improvement on the 3DMark06 score (7726 ->8291).


Sapphire Ultimate HD4670

The heatsink of the card really surprised me positively, as it kept the card nice and cool while idle, and the temperatures never really climbed over 63 celsius even when loaded. However, the temperatures are completely at the mercy of the airflow in the case. In this case the card was in an open test-bench, so the temperatures really can't be compared to a situation where the card is in a small and cramped case. For example, the idle temps varied between 42 and 52 centigrade, depending on where I placed the fan that I have on the test-bench. Good airflow is key, when using any passively cooled components.


  • Passive cooling
  • Low power-consumption
  • No need for additional power connector
  • Small size
  • Decent performance
  • Low price (most HD4670s are below 100€)

  • CONS 
  • The passive heatsink blocks one slot
  • Not fast enough for high resolutions
  • Award
    Gold Award for Great Value!

    It's great to see that not every graphics card that is on the market needs huge fans. This elegant card uses a great looking heatsink to do the job, and the best part is that it does so completely silently. This mid-range card really does do its job nicely, as it can throw some nice FPS to the screens even in the newer games, if the user is willing to cut down on the resolution and some settings. I myself am seriously considering this card to my HTPC, as the HDMI combined with passive cooling would make a great combination in a HTPC.

    This is a card for a person that appreciate silence, and really doesn't need to play games at the highest settings. Its actually extremely hard to decide which award to give to this card, as it has a lot of things going for it, but I can't help thinking that this is one of those cards that will be too slow too soon. The card is great value though, and like I said, if your not a gamer, this might be card for you.

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    Additional Information


    Past related articles in

    6-way DDR3 Memory Roundup

    HD4850 Roundup

    XFX GTX 280 XXX Edition

    Gainward Bliss 9800GX2

    Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.
    • 30.01.2009 12:57 Billy

    • Great review!

      Can you please comment on what type of video RAM is installed? Any chance you can post here the model/specs of the RAM chips? They're written on top of the chips. :)

      Edit: I forgot to ask what the 2D clocks are. Can you comment on that too?
    • 30.01.2009 17:32 HaoKi

    • Thanks... :)

      I know they are written on top of the chips... :lol: This card uses Hynix H5RS5223CFR-N0C chips that are speced to run at 1000MHz.
      Product page
      Closer picture of the chip

      The 2D-clocks are 165MHz on the core and 250MHz for the memory...

      Hope I was able to answer your questions. If you have more, don't be afraid to ask. :)
    • 30.01.2009 19:18 Billy

    • HaoKi wrote:
      Thanks... :)

      I know they are written on top of the chips... :lol:

      I just wasn't sure how to phrase my question. I wasn't implying that you didn't know. Sorry! :oops:

      HaoKi wrote:
      This card uses Hynix H5RS5223CFR-N0C chips that are speced to run at 1000MHz.
      Product page
      Closer picture of the chip

      The 2D-clocks are 165MHz on the core and 250MHz for the memory...

      Hope I was able to answer your questions. If you have more, don't be afraid to ask. :)

      Thanks a lot! This is more than I hoped for! :D

      Can you confirm that the GPU voltage drops down to 0.9V when in 2D mode? I'm asking because pretty much every manufacturer is cooking it's own soup in regards to 2D clocks and voltage as you can see in this thread @
      I'm surprised that you couldn't push the memory clock to >= 1000MHz as it's rated for this speed. I know that the passive cooling is the limiting factor here but since you used an open test-bed and an extra fan, the conditions are almost "optimal"...
    • 30.01.2009 19:37 HaoKi

    • Heh... I was just kidding ;)

      I think I can get the voltage for you on tuesday.. :) Gonna be gone for the weekend on a skiing trip.
      I'll also have another crack at getting the memory running faster, but I'm not sure if it will. I started getting artifacts after those frequencies I posted in the review. Maybe there's something I didn't notice. :D The conditions really should be optimal as the fan I used to cool the card was right next to the card while overclocking, blowing air over the exposed memory chips on the back.
    • 30.01.2009 19:51 Billy

    • Conditions inside a case are - of course - a lot worse unless you add fans but then you might as well get an actively cooled card. That's the dilemma I'm in right now: if I need fan(s) to get the card to default clocks of actively cooled cards (750/1000), then I might as well get one of those actively cooled cards. This way I would have a guaranteed 1000MHz mem clock and probably similar noise levels.

      Anyway, have a great weekend and a safe trip! :)
    • 30.01.2009 19:55 HaoKi

    • Well all that depends on the case. :) The problems with the actively cooled HD4670s really is the small fan on the reference-cooler. It makes a lot more noise than for example the 120mm fan that I had spinning at 900rpm next to it... ;)
    • 30.01.2009 20:57 Jipa

    • My weapon of choice for quiet setup would be a normal card and an after market cooler (such as Arctic Cooling Accelero..). With some luck and/or research you could also grab a card w/o a "warranty void if removed"-sticker....

      Or then just try to cope at a bit lower frequencies :)
    • 30.01.2009 21:06 HaoKi

    • Well I just got around to checking the voltage-settings from the bios of the HD4670, but there is no indication of a lowered voltage for 2D... 1.25V is used in every setting, as far as I can see.

      I'll test the memory overclocking again some time next week... If I can't remember, just remind me over here... :D
    • 30.01.2009 22:01 Billy

    • @HaoKi: That's a bummer :( Usually a voltage decrease has more effect on heat and power consumption than a clock decrease...
      Thanks for your patience and quick replies! :D

      @Jipa: In my case a 2 slot cooling solution is out of question because of the Zalman heatsink on the northbridge.
      The only other HD4670 that would fit into my case is Gainwards model without the grill.
    • 30.01.2009 23:31 HaoKi

    • No problem at all. :) Glad if I could help. I'm gonna check the voltage-issue with rivatuner when I get back from the trip. Forgot completely that rivatuner should be able to show the voltages in realtime if my memory serves me correctly. :) Anyways, I'll get back to you...

      I think that we need to see that case of yours... :D
    • 31.01.2009 00:58 Billy

    • My mobile's camera sucks but I've found a review of the Zalman heatsink which has a couple of pictures with the exact same mobo I have - ASUS A8N-E:
      Zalman ZM-NBF47
      The last picture in the review shows how close the heatsink is to the PCI-E slot.
    • 03.02.2009 19:38 HaoKi

    • Hey Billy,

      I just came back from my trip and checked the voltage and memory clocking. I'm afraid there is no new news on either topic. The memory started showing some corruption over 995MHz and the voltage stayed the same in both 2D and 3D. The memory overclocking should however not be the deciding factor when choosing the card. Even if this cards memories only run at 990MHz, when compared to 1000MHz the difference really is minimal. Besides I may have a bad "sample" so you never know how well some other card may clock. :)
    • 19.02.2009 14:10 Billy

    • Sorry for the late reply, HaoKi! :(
      I've been sick for the past 2 weeks and haven't had the chance to play with my Ultimate that much which I bought one day after we started this discussion. Yes, I'm impatient. :D
      • Space/Layout
        The card fits perfectly in my system (even with the huge ZALMAN northbridge cooler). It's not as thick as the screenshots make it look like :D
      • Temps
        2D: 35°C (+/- 2°C)
        3D: 50°C (+/- 3°C)
        They're lower in my closed tower than in your open test bench. Maybe, the closed tower acts as a better "duct system" than an open one. I have only one rear 80mm exhaust fan (~1500rpm) with no other add-in cards that could block air flow.
      • Voltage
        A quick look with RBE confirms your findings: No 0.9V in 2D :(
      • Overclockability
        I haven't tried overclocking it yet and - honestly - I don't expect any miracles nor is it right now high on my priority list. I'll certainly dabble with it once I'm recovered though :)
      • Performance
        The F.E.A.R. 2 demo is perfectly playable with @1440x900 res and high settings except AA. I think that's more than you can expect from a dead silent, low power consuming, passively-cooled 80€ video card :)

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