Sapphire HD 4730 512 MB Review 54

Sapphire HD 4730 512 MB Review

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AMD's new 40-nm Radeon HD 4770 was a great success, maybe more successful than many people expected. Together with the limited availability due to yield problems at TSMC there were very few HD 4770 cards available on the market and those sold quickly. To counter this shortage, AMD has created the HD 4730 SKU. It is based on the RV770 which powers the HD 48xx Series, yet is heavily reduced in features. For example the number of shaders has been lowered to 640 (like on the HD 4830). The memory bus width has been cut down to 128-bit, but GDDR5 memory chips are used which effectively gives the card the same bandwidth as a 256 bit GDDR3 based HD 4830. Reducing the memory bus width to 128 bit has more implications. Due to the design of the memory controller the number of ROPs has been halved to 8 as well.
Please note the considerably higher core clock of the HD 4730 compared to other cards like the HD 4850 or even HD 4870.

Sapphire is one of two AIBs who are making the HD 4730 at this time, PowerColor is the second. As I am told by Sapphire the "HD 4730 GPU chips have to be ordered specifically at AMD". This means that AIBs are not just using their excess HD 4830 GPUs on these boards. It could still mean that AMD ships their excess HD 4830 GPUs as HD 4730 GPUs to AIBs. Whether any different binning is used is not known.

When the card was first announced Sapphire told us that there won't be any review samples, so I went out and bought a retail card here in Germany which has surprisingly good stock of the Sapphire HD 4730.

HD 4550
9500 GT
HD 4670
9600 GT
HD 4730
HD 4830
HD 4770
GTS 250
HD 4850
HD 4870
Shader units 803232064640640640128800800
Transistors242M314M512M505M 956M956M826M754M956M956M
Memory Size512 MB256 MB /
512 MB
512 MB512 MB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB 1024 MB 512 MB 512 MB
Memory Bus Width 64 bit128 bit128 bit256 bit 128 bit 256 bit 128 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit
Core Clock600 MHz550 MHz750 MHz650 MHz 750 MHz 575 MHz 750 MHz 738 MHz 625 MHz 750 MHz
Memory Clock800 MHz900 MHz1000 MHz900 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz 800 MHz 1100 MHz 993 MHz 900 MHz
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