The HD 5670 continues to be a stand out model thanks to the value for money the model represents when it comes to gaming. Sure, you can't game at the highest resolutions, but if you're a casual gamer at 1680 x 1050 the chances are you're going to be able to get a frame rate out of the model that you're happy with.
The latest version of the model to arrive comes from GIGABYTE and packs the OC label on it. GIGABYTE has really been a bit of hit and miss when it comes to OC video cards. Sometimes we see a small bump in clocks and other times we see models that come under the Super Overclock series that sport some serious MHz.
What we'll do before we have a closer look at the overclock that is on offer from GIGABYTE is see what's in the package and then have a closer look at the card and the cooler that GIGABYTE have chosen to use today.
Looking at the package, you can see a fairly standard HD 5670 spread with no extra cables being included and just the standard paperwork and driver CD inside. For the most part you don't really need much else, so the bundle as always doesn't really come as a surprise.
Having a look at the card, you can see that the cooler GIGABYTE has opted for isn't anything we haven't seen before. With that said, it's one we've been happy with a few times now due to the fact it's an 80mm fan which means it's able to push more air at a lower RPM, which in turn means less noise.
Apart from the GIGABYTE sticker in the middle of the fan, there's not a whole lot more to look at thanks to the fan itself having quite a large shroud around the 80mm fan that manages to cover up most the card.
Like other HD 5670s we've looked at, the card lacks the need for any extra power connector, but does carry with it the standard CrossFire ports that we're use to seeing on the HD 5600 series and above.
In the I/O department we can see that GIGABYTE has dropped the DisplayPort for a VGA one. They have still included HDMI and Dual-Link DVI, though. While the card uses only a single slot for the connection, it is a dual slot card due to the larger nature of the fan.
When it comes to having a look at the clocks of the GIGABYTE HD 5670 OC, we think that the OC title might have been a bit of a stretch. Looking at the 1GB of GDDR5 memory, we can see that GIGABYTE has opted for the stock 4GHz QDR clock.
On the core front they've bumped it to 785MHz which is only 10MHz above the stock clock of 775MHz. With that said, this isn't the first time we've seen a company offer only a small overclock and slap the OC tag on the model.
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: Catalyst 10.1
Today we'll compare the HD 5670 OC from GIGABYTE against a stock clocked Sapphire one. There's not a whole lot more to say, so 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.
In Vantage we don't really see much difference between the stock model and the overclocked one here.
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
Here we see a slight bump in performance, but nothing that's worth getting excited about.
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).
CINEBENCH performance is exactly where you would expect it to be with both models scoring almost identically.
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.
We see a little bump in performance at 1920 x 1200, but nothing that's going to make a difference. The main thing we're looking at is that we're around that 60 FPS average we want to be at when running at 1680 x 1050.
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.
Across the board we see a small jump in performance. Again, though, there's nothing that's going to be game changing here.
Benchmarks - World in Conflict
World in Conflict
Version and / or Patch Used: 18.104.22.168
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.
In the minimum department we can see another bump in performance. Across the board, though, the boost isn't going to make a difference to in-game performance due to the fact we're below that 30 FPS minimum we need to see.
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.
We again see a little bump in performance. Considering we're already above 30 FPS in the minimum department at both resolutions, the extra FPS isn't going to really change the gaming experience, but the extra FPS is always appreciated nonetheless.
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
A little bit of positive movement, but nothing major at both resolutions.
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 leave our gaming tests with a small bump again, but nothing that's worth getting excited about.
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.
The big fan does a good job of keeping the heat down.
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 it idled a little higher when at load, there wasn't really a difference. At least we got a nice drop in temps.
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.
Power draw is a little higher at idle, but sits fairly in line with the Sapphire version at load.
It's a bit annoying that the OC tag has been slapped onto the GIGABYTE HD 5670 when the overclock is only 10MHz up on the core. If it wasn't for the fact that we liked the model on a whole so much and also the fact that the model still manages to come in cheaper than some of the stock clocked models at $109.99, I might have a bigger issue with it.
What you're ultimately getting from the HD 5670 OC from GIGABYTE is a card that carries with it the price of a standard clocked model, an extra 10MHz on the core and a nice cooler that does a good job of keeping the core temperature down.
While we would've preferred an extra few MHz on the core and maybe a bump in the memory clock, the bottom line is that the price of this model is no more expensive than most other models which means you're ultimately getting a bump in performance for no extra cost.
All in all, we've got another nice little HD 5670 that offers us some good performance at 1680 x 1050 and carries with it a nice cooler that does a good job of keeping our core temperature down while not outputting too much noise.
While we're not all that comfortable with the fact GIGABYTE threw on the OC tag for a card that has a 10MHz bump in core speeds, the fact of the matter is that it costs you nothing more to get that bump in performance which is what makes the card a real winner.