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ATI Radeon HD 5670

Nikhil Pradhan 2010-01-27
82 Very Good
Price: Rs 5,500

Full Review

The Radeon HD 5670 is one of the newest ATI 5000 series of graphics cards and was code-named Redwood. As with the other 5000 series cards, it does give a performance boost over its predecessor from the 4000 series, the HD 4670. Plus, it adds a couple of extra features.

The HD 5670 put me in a bit of a pickle. It is currently priced at around the Rs. 6,000 mark which makes it a mainstream card and not a budget one. However, I expect that price to drop to the 5K mark within a couple of months and it’s quite clear that ATI means to eventually get the HD 5670 to replace the HD 4670. As a result, it is quite precariously perched between the two categories. Therefore, in my tests on the card, I used benchmarks set by both budget and mainstream cards.


Features

But first, the features. The HD 5670 doesn’t bring anything new to the table as a 5000 series card. It supports DirectX 11 and Eyefinity (a technology that allows multiple displays from a single GPU) like the other 5000 series cards. The reference card we got from ATI came with 512MB of RAM. The HD 5670 has a core clocked at 775MHz and uses a 128-bit memory interface. All in all a good feature set, but nothing that we didn’t expect.

Design


The reference card’s design was pretty straightforward too. It had a plastic case covering about ¾ of the card’s front and a fan embedded in it. It also had a DVI, an HDMI and a Display Port but then again, the available ports will vary according to manufacturers. A worrying factor was the card’s temperature rating; at full load in an open cabinet, the card managed to touch 67 °C which is clearly quite high; even at idle the temperature touched 40 °C.

Fortunately, I didn’t have any noise issues with the Radeon and it ran silently. Also, the card doesn’t require an additional power input, making it suited for a budget gaming rig.

Performance

I tested the HD 5670 on a system comprising of a Core i7 965 processor, 3GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 RAM and an Intel 80GB SSD. I started the tests with 3D Mark ’06 in which the card scored 11,637 points. In 3D Mark Vantage’s Entry, Performance and High presets, the scores were 22,864, 6,258 and 3,653 respectively. Overall, in the synthetic benchmarks, the HD 5670 equaled the Zotac GeForce 9800GT’s performance whereas it took the lead among the entry level cards with about 10% more performance than the Sparkle GeForce 9600GT. If you compare it with the HD 4670, then this percentage gap rises to more than 30%.

I ran a bunch of game benchmarks on the card including our regulars Crysis, Far Cry 2 and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. and also World in Conflict. Overall in games, the HD 5670 again fell short of the 9800GT’s performance by about 10%. At lower resolutions like 1280x1024 and the 1024x768, there wasn’t much to separate the HD 5670 from the HD 4670 or the 9600GT. However, at higher resolutions, the new ATI did perform better.

Bottom Line

As I mentioned earlier, the ATI Radeon HD 5670 is priced at Rs. 6,000. Keeping in mind that this price is sure to drop in the future bringing it into the realm of entry level cards, the HD 5670 gives very good performance for a 5K card. Combining that with its low power requirement makes it a good addition to any mid to budget gaming rig.

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