All right, so the AMD ATI Radeon HD 5000-series graphics generation has arrived and quickly swept the field in performance tests. If you want the whole story backed up by benchmark tests and deeply technical explanation, see our recent coverage here (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422.html). We love a great come-back story as much as anybody else, but the fact remains that a lot of buyers can’t spring $350+ for the latest dream card, much less two of them to run in a dual-card configuration.
In reality, there are two kinds of graphics enthusiasts: those who will buy the latest and greatest no matter what and those who stand ready to pounce on yesterday’s must-have technology at freshly (and deeply) discounted prices. There’s nothing like a little recession to help boost the ranks of the latter group, so we thought we’d turn the spotlight just a bit and revisit AMD’s former mainstream stars, the 4670 and 4650. Why? Because while cards based on the new HD 5870 may be selling for $379, HD 4650 and HD 4670 cards start at about $55 and $67, respectively.
If you feel like getting 80% of the ATI bang for only 20% of the flagship’s bucks, then read on. We think there’s still a very persuasive case to be made for going a little retro.