It's been mostly quiet on the graphics front this Computex, so it's good to see something new: the Radeon HD 4730 from Powercolor.
Unlike the HD 4770 though, this is not a 40nm GPU but an older 55nm. Powercolor confirmed what we already know: it hasn't had a shipment of 40nm GPUs since launch and can only make other SKUs from current 55nm ASICs.
Powercolor claims the HD 4730 is about 15-20 percent slower than the HD 4770, but it still features 512MB of GDDR5 clocked at a respectable 900MHz (3.6GHz effective) on a 128bit interface with a 700MHz core clock. We wonder how much overhead that core clock has - especially considering this card looks like a HD 4870 in length (it's much longer than a 4770) and it requires two
PCI-Express power connectors. We don't think the HD 4730 itself requires that much power considering the quoted performance - but the PCB design has simply been ripped apart and clocked down from other, more powerful products.
The cooler is also greatly simplified to keep the cost down, but still takes up two slots, and there's no memory cooling either. We also suspect the core voltage maybe lowered, in addition to the quite low 700MHz core clock on this 55nm product, to decrease the heat output.
Priced to compete with the GeForce 9600 GT, the HD 4730 should mixup the mainstream market a bit for those unable to buy a HD 4770 or can't afford a HD 4850.
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