Radeon HD 4730 benchmark tests

Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 reviewed

Ati Radeon HD 4730 sounds like a smaller HD 4770 and thus like a possible price-performance success. PC Games Hardware testes the capabilities with a sample card from Sapphire.
Sapphire HD 4730 (4)
Sapphire HD 4730 (4) [Source: view picture gallery]
Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 reviewed: Introduction
The Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 Lite-Retail is a combination of RV770 graphics chip and GDDR5 video memory. Thus the card could possibly be a new price-performance hit on the level of a HD 4770.

Regardless of the 7 in its name the HD 4730 is not based on the 40 nanometer GPU RV740 of the HD 4770 but on the older RV770 chip (55 nanometers). The modern GDDR5 memory from Qimonda is specified for 1,100 MHz - apparently the rate of yield is so good that this memory is used on all Radeons with GDDR5. With 750/900 MHz the HD 4730 is running at about the same clock speeds as the HD 4770 and the memory interface and the number of TMUs are the same, too. The biggest difference besides the bandwidth is the number of ROPs: A HD 4770 has 16 and a HD 4730 only 8 Raster Operators.

It is not only the length of the PCB (24.1 centimeters) that reminds of the HD 4870/HD 4890, but also its layout. Thereby the big heatsink for the voltage converters is a positive surprise - many other cards have a much smaller cooler. The GPU is cooled by an aluminum solution - that bears resemblance to Intel's boxed CPU cooler - which is equipped with an 80 mm fan. By the way: On the box it says that the second PCI-E power connector is optional, but in our tests the HD 4730 didn't start running if we plugged in only one power connector.

Our sample of the Radeon HD 4730 arrived in a silver box. Besides the card itself Sapphire adds to Molex to PCI-E 6-pin adaptations and a CD with drivers to the range of delivery.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 reviewed: Loudness and cooling
In idle mode the fan reaches 2.9 sone, which, given a chip temperature of 53 degrees Celsius, is just too much. But in 3D mode the loudness is not increased any further. The idle power consumption of 62 watt is also surprisingly high - here the GDDR5 memory running at 900 MHz all the time and the complex board layout come into effect. In 3D mode on the other hand the Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 needs only 135 watt if stressed with Furmark - so the second 6-pin PCI-E power connector actually wouldn't have been necessary because of the power consumption only.

Please pay attention to the fact that the real power consumption of the graphics card had been recorded - in three different scenarios. Besides the idle mode while running the Windows desktop and the game test with Race Driver: Grid we also challenged the card with the "Xtreme Burning Mode” of the Furmark which represents a worst-case scenario. The loudness of the card was recorded at a distance of 50 centimeters.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 reviewed: Overclocking
While the RV740 of a HD 4870 is supplied with 1.26 volt, the RV770 of the Sapphire HD 4730 is running at 1.31 volt. In combination with the custom cooling solution we reach 815 MHz stable in Crysis. The video memory is overclocking friendly and runs even at 1,100 MHz without production aberrations. Due to the increase clock speeds Race Driver: Grid runs 14 percent faster at 1,680 x 1,050 (4x MSAA/16:1 AF).

Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 reviewed: Conclusion
The Sapphire Radeon HD 4730 is currently available for about 80 Euros. Due to the noise level and power consumption in idle mode the RV770-GDDR5 hybrid is not fully convincing, but offers performance adequate to the price. Nevertheless, for about 25 Euros more you already get a slightly faster HD 4770 which isn't as loud and doesn't require as much energy.

More graphics card reviews:
Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed
Nvidia Geforce GTX 295 Single PCB reviewed
Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Vapor-X reviewed
Review: Ati RadeonHD 4770 vs. HD 4850 & Geforce 9800 GT
Powercolor Radeon HD 4890 LCS reviewed

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Author: Marc Sauter (Jul 01, 2009)

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