Every month we have a new graphics card launch it seems. This month it could be two with the HD 5830 rumored to come out in the final week of this month as well. I've mentioned a few times that while NVIDIA have started from the bottom and are working their way up, ATI chose to start at the top and work their way down.
While that's been true for the most part, the HD 5830 would actually slot in between the HD 5850 and HD 5770. But today we're not looking at that, we're checking out the new HD 5670 from Sapphire which is the new lowest end model to come in to the HD 5000 series and sits directly below the HD 5750.
The HD 5750 has impressed us; it offers good performance at 1680 x 1050 and is a good option for casual gamers with 22" monitors or lower. Today we have to wonder, will the HD 5670 still make 1680 x 1050 playable or is it going to be a card that is designed for even lower resolutions?
There's only one way to find this out and while we'll look at the performance of the model under a number of games, we'll first have a closer look at the package on the next page before checking out the card itself and the main numbers behind it which make it tick.
Being a more value orientated card, there's not a whole lot going on when it comes to the package. The most standout item would be the HDMI to DVI connector that's included.
Checking out the card, you can see a typical value look to the whole card. There's nothing too fancy, although the cooler is designed by Arctic Cooling which kicks it up a notch when it comes to overall quality and design.
You can see the cooler design is one which uses a lot more fins on the fan itself. Behind that we can see the heatsink that sits directly over the top of the core. In the middle of the fan we can see a Sapphire sticker, and apart from this there's not a whole lot more to look at.
Having a look around the card, we can see across the top we have two CrossFire connectors. What we don't have is a power connector thanks to the lower end design of the model. This is good news for a lot of people who aren't fans of having an extra power connector hanging off the back of their graphics card.
Looking at the connectivity of the card, you can see that we don't have the typical two slot design. Instead we've got only a single slot which in turn has meant we've lost a Dual-Link DVI connector. We do have a DisplayPort and HDMI port, though, and included in the bundle is a HDMI to DVI port. This setup also allows for EyeFinity, so if you're interested in getting into a multi monitor setup on the cheap, this could be an option.
Having a look at the specifications of the HD 5670, it's quite similar to the HD 5750. ROPS are the same, both cards share a 128-bit memory bus and both offer GDDR5. The GPU clock on the HD 5670 is higher by 75MHz and the memory is down 150MHz or 600MHz QDR at 4000MHz QDR.
So while at the moment it might sound like it could be faster, the biggest change comes in the shaders. Instead of 720 which is found on the HD 5750, we've only got 400. This is going to impact performance the most and while the extra GPU MHz will help, it won't be enough to offer the same performance. What kind of difference will it offer? Well, let's check out our test system and start comparing the numbers.
Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage
Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB Kingston Hyper X PC3-16000 2000MHz DDR CL9 (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 640GB SATA 2.0 HDD (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows 7
Drivers: ATI Catalyst Redwood Beta, Catalyst 9.12
We'll be checking out the HD 5670 against the two models above it, the HD 5750 and HD 5770 to see just how far this model sits behind. As for the resolutions we'll be using, since the card is a mid range model we've dropped 2560 x 1600 and will only use 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200. For the same reason, we'll also not be testing the card with AA and AF on.
Let's get started!
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here
3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.
3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
This picture gives us a good idea of how the model sits when compared to the two HD 5700 series cards. We'll have to see what this means in real world games soon, however.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark (DX10 & DX11)
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
Version and / or Patch Used: 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/products/unigine
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.
Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out. If it does it will be included along with the DirectX 10 results.
Direct X 10
Direct X 11
We continue to see that same picture as we saw in our Vantage tests. We'll quickly look at CINEBENCH performance before getting into some real world game tests.
Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10
Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
We can see across the board all three cards perform very similar under CINEBENCH when it comes to OpenGL performance.
Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5
Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com
Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.
Without a minimum, we want to see an average of around 60 FPS. What this means is that our minimum should be around 30 FPS, making the game playable. Having a look here, you can see we're extremely close to that at 1680 x 1050 which is good news.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.03
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com
Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
Unlike the HD 5750, the HD 5670 does struggle to break 30 FPS at 1680 x 1050 at the Very High presets. The good news is that you've got a fair bit of wiggle room when it comes to detail with the ability to drop to medium which should yield the extra numbers you need.
Benchmarks - World in Conflict
World in Conflict
Version and / or Patch Used: 188.8.131.52
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10).
The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game that is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards. We use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
With the settings again quite high, the HD 5670 struggles to get a 30 FPS minimum much like the HD 5750 in this scenario. Like Far Cry 2, though, we've got a lot of room to move when it comes to detail. Dropping to medium is going to help bring those numbers up and make the game playable.
Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham Asylum
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.rocksteadyltd.com
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com
Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.
Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.
Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, while ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.
Batman AA might look good, but it's really not that intensive. We can see that the HD 5670 is able to break the 30 FPS minimum at both resolutions here.
Benchmarks - Darkest of Days
Darkest of Days
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.phantomefx.com
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com
Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.
The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.
Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High, Darkest of Days takes advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, while NVIDIA based cards will be tested at Low and High.
PhysX set to Low
Like our other games that don't have minimums, we want to see an average of around 60 FPS. We're a bit below that here, but dropping the detail again to medium is going to yield those extra FPS we need to make the game playable.
Benchmarks - BattleForge
Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ea.com
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com
The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.
But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.
Note: Supporting DirectX 11, we have separated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared, you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.
DirectX 11 (ATI HD 5000 Series Only)
We can see the HD 5700 series struggle here and it's no different for the HD 5670 which has an average of just over 30 FPS at 1680 x 1050.
Temperature and Sound Tests
With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).
There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
Looking at the heat of the card, it runs slightly warmer than the HD 5750, but sits in line with the HD 5670. This is nothing to worry about either way.
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.
After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
The decision to go Arctic Cooling here seems to be a good one with noise levels coming in quite nice, especially when idle.
Power Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).
There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.
The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.
So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
While the card might lack any extra power at idle, it manages to suck down a fair bit when compared to the other cards. When it comes to load, though, it comes in lower than the other two cards.
The first thing we need to really determine is from a gaming perspective, what kind of user should be looking at this card? That's pretty easy really. If you're on a 22" monitor or smaller, don't game heaps, happy to use medium detail or lower and you don't want to bust the bank wide open, this is a great card for you.
The other people who will really like these cards are ones who want to get in on the EyeFinity action from a desktop real estate / productivity perspective. Due to the budget orientated cost of the card, it's a great option for people who want this kind of setup.
On the bad side of things, performance in games isn't fantastic when you compare it to a lot of the cards we look at. In saying that, though, you can expect only so much from a card that is $99.
We've got to put out a warning on this model; there's going to be a large number of variations of this model and we'll no doubt see companies use GDDR3 memory instead of GDDR5. This is going to put quite a hit on performance. So if you go hunting for a HD 5670 and you get excited by the low price of a particular one, please make sure you look at what kind of memory it uses.
Some of the other variations will include companies not including the CrossFire connectors. While CF will still work, it will be a software option. How this will affect performance, we're not sure, but it costs less for the manufacturer so it will be a cheaper price.
There's also word that we'll see EyeFinity versions of the card which will carry with it six DisplayPorts which will be another great option for people who just want a heap of monitors but don't need the graphics card power.
The HD 5670 is quite an impressive model. It opens up EyeFinity to more people and it gives people who want to jump to a HD 5000 series card on the cheap a good option. But remember, we can't stress enough that if you're happy with the numbers you're seeing here today, make sure that you look at what memory is used on the HD 5670.
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