ATI Radeon HD 5670 Review

Written by Harry Butler

January 14, 2010 | 15:22

Tags: #benchmarks #crysis #directx-11 #dx11 #fallout #hd-5670 #mainstream #performance #review #testing

Companies: #amd

Cooling and Outputs

The reductions in power requirements have also meant that the HD 5670 requires significantly less cooling than its siblings, and allows the HD 5670 to become the first single-slot DX11 graphics card. Gone is the batmobile styling of the 58xx series and HD 5770 though, to be replaced with an almost identical cooler to that of the HD 5670’s predecessor, the ATI Radeon HD 4670.

A small paddle fan and accompanying shroud, mounted atop a copper thermal interface plate, and the black colour scheme certainly suits the dimensions of what is already a small card. While the fan itself is only fitted with a two-pin power cable - meaning there’s no option for variable fan speed - it should keep things cool and was almost inaudibly quiet. Considering the low thermal output of the GPU (less than 60W) this is to be expected. Of course, board partners are free to use whatever cooling they wish, and we’re sure we’ll see either cheaper or possibly even passive versions of the HD 5670 before long.

ATI Radeon HD 5670 Review Mainstreaming and Sapphire's ATI Radeon HD 5670 ATI Radeon HD 5670 Review Mainstreaming and Sapphire's ATI Radeon HD 5670
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Stock HD 5670s will ship with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs with support for three concurrent displays via ATI’s Eyefinity multi-monitor technology, although four is possible with board partner additions. Needless to say though, such a low end card is going to struggle terribly powering three 1,680 x 1,050 monitors simultaneously in games (the resolution would be 5,040 x 1,050). The combination of DVI, D-Sub, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs will likely change dependant on the board partner, so be sure to check carefully if you require a certain output.

ATI Radeon HD 5670 Review Mainstreaming and Sapphire's ATI Radeon HD 5670 ATI Radeon HD 5670 Review Mainstreaming and Sapphire's ATI Radeon HD 5670
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Amazingly, the inclusion of CrossFire support will also differ between board partners, with one of our sample cards fitted with absolutely no CrossFire connectors, and another toting the usual array. Considering ATI has made such a big fuss about this being an easy to understand, easy to install card for the mainstream market, such key differences between cards of the same model can only make the situation more complicated for entry level users.

Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5670 1GB

Manufacturer: Sapphire
UK Price (as Reviewed): £93.24 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): TBC

Sapphire’s HD 5670 offering isn’t too far different from the stock card in dimensions or components and while we’re sure there will be pre-overclocked versions of this card eventually, this release model ships at the stock clocks of 775MHz for the GPU and 1GHz (4GHz effective) memory.

While there will be both 512MB and 1GB versions of the HD 5670, the Sapphire sports 1GB of GDDR5, along with a custom cooler to replace the single-slot copper cooler on the stock card. Sapphire’s offering is quite a bit larger than the stock heatsink, making the card dual-slot rather than single-slot. Sapphire also replaces the stock paddle fan with a simpler direct airflow fan mounted on a plastic bracket which blows directly down onto the heatsink below. Like the stock card, the fan has only two pins, so there’s no variable fan speed.

ATI Radeon HD 5670 Review Mainstreaming and Sapphire's ATI Radeon HD 5670 ATI Radeon HD 5670 Review Mainstreaming and Sapphire's ATI Radeon HD 5670
Click to enlarge

The Sapphire card is fitted with the same three video outputs of DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort as the stock card, which should cover most single-screen users. Those with multiple monitors will thank sapphire for including both an HDMI to DVI cable and a DVI to D-Sub adapter to ensure maximum compatibility. While the DisplayPort output might not be of much use to many now (not many screens have DisplayPort inputs) there's an element of future-proofing with its inclusion.

Sapphire has also included a CrossFire bridge, along with the usual user manual and installation driver. Unlike all the higher spec DirectX 11 cards, there’s no copy of Colin McRae: Dirt 2 included for you to test out your fancy new graphics card.

Warranty

The Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 1GB comes complete with a two-year warranty that includes cover for parts and labour. During the first year of the product’s life, your point of contact should be the retailer. However, if you’re having problems getting hold of the retailer (or the retailer goes out of business), you should contact Sapphire’s support team directly. During the second year of the warranty period, you should talk directly with Sapphire.
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