It's been ages since we've seen HIS attach a model with its IceQ+ cooling. Over the recent months we've seen more iCooler and reference cards from the company. It's not that there's anything wrong with these models, it's just that when I think of HIS, the first series that comes to mind is the IceQ+ ones.
The latest model to get the IceQ+ treatment comes in the form of a HD 5670 which follows up from the HD 5750 model we looked at just recently. Having a look at this particular card, you'll see the IceQ+ cooler that we've seen in the past from other mid-range HIS models in the same series.
Already impressed with what the IceQ+ version of the HD 5750 offered us, it's time to see what the cheaper HD 5670 can do. This is ultimately the model we would recommend for entry level gaming, be it in the sense you game at 1680 x 1050 mid detail or lower, or just don't game very often.
Let's not delay any longer and get stuck into the package that HIS has put together for us before having a closer look at the card.
The package is a little lighter than the HD 5750 one we saw the other day. Apart from the standard manual and driver CD, we've got a little HIS sticker along with a Crossfire connector.
While the HD 5750 IceQ+ we looked at the other day used the higher end IceQ+ cooler, the HD 5670 uses one of the older designs. We've seen this design in the past and if our old experiences are anything to go by, it should perform well.
You can't see heaps of the card face-on due to the massive cooler. As always, HIS have added their name to the cooler via a sticker. Here we also see the model is part of the IceQ series, as we've mentioned a few times.
Without a power connector on the HD 5670, the only stand out point on the PCB for us is the two Crossfire connectors located at the top of the card. The nature of the cooler doesn't inhibit your ability to use these connectors, so if you want to do a bit of budget Crossfire, the option is available.
Connectivity is offered with the help of a Dual-Link DVI connector, HDMI port and a VGA port. HIS in this case has chosen to drop the DisplayPort connection. While not major for most people, it is indeed worth noting.
Having a look at GPU-Z, you can see that there's no change in clock speeds when it comes to the core and memory clock. This means that the core stays at the same 775MHz which we've seen on other HD 5670s.
The 1GB of GDDR5 remains unchanged with the standard 4GHz QDR clock. While being an IceQ+ model, this isn't a Turbo one so the stock clocks don't come as a surprise. The main thing we want to look at here is the performance of the cooling.
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
Today we'll be seeing how the HD 5670 IceQ+ from HIS goes against the stock cooled model from ATI. We've also thrown in the HD 5750 IceQ+ model we looked at the other day just for good measure.
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.
Straight out the gate we don't see anything that surprises us. The card performs as we would expect against the stock HD 5670.
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 both HD 5670s perform very close to each other, which isn't any surprise.
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).
As always, our cards line up just as we would expect under CINEBENCH.
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.
Looking at RE5, you can see that when it comes to the gaming side of things, we're getting some decent numbers at 1680 x 1050. While a little under the 60 FPS average we want, a small detail drop would lift that number.
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.
With Far Cry 2 maxed out, you can see performance isn't great for the HD 5670 at both resolutions. Dropping the detail down to medium will leave us to a more respectable number, though.
Benchmarks - World in Conflict
World in Conflict
Version and / or Patch Used: 184.108.40.206
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.
WIC while being quite old is still quite an intensive game. You can see at Very High our minimum FPS is a little low. Like Far Cry 2, if we drop the detail down to medium we're going be able to lift that number to a more playable level.
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.
While Batman AA looks great, it manages to perform well on a wide range of cards. You can see here that we're able to break the 30 FPS minimum at both resolutions which is great.
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
Again with our detail set to very high we can't get quite enough FPS. Dropping that detail down like a few other games here; this will lift that average up to 60 FPS.
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)
BattleForge numbers aren't great on most cards and here isn't any different. Mind you, the HIS model lines up with the standard ATI one as we would expect.
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.
Compared to the stock cooler, you can see we've got a few c drop.
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).
While the temperature of the core is only a minor drop, you can see we've got a significant drop in noise levels when compared to the stock HD 5670 cooler.
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.
At idle the HIS card was sucking a bit more juice, but at load the card lines up with the stock HD 5670.
It's great to see another model get the IceQ+ treatment from HIS. Looking at the gaming performance, the numbers are exactly what we would expect out of a card that carries with it the same stock clocks as a reference one.
When it came to looking at how the cooler performed, it was a bit disappointing to see that the card only ran a few degrees cooler than a standard model. However, when you have a look at the noise levels, you see exactly what the IceQ+ series are about. Not only do you get a small drop in temps, but you also get a great drop in noise levels which is fantastic.
The HD 5670 continues to be a good mid range card for people who want to game at 1680 x 1050 or lower with in-game detail set to around the medium mark. If you want a bit more power and you're happy to spend the money, we would suggest that you probably look at the HD 5750 IceQ+ version we just looked at the other day.
If you want to do a bit of light gaming or you're looking for a card to suit a nice Home Theater PC and noise levels are on top of the list when it comes to priorities, this is a great option. As we've already said, though, if you want a bit more power we would suggest you look at the IceQ+ version of the HD 5750.