Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 Ultimate 1GB Video Card

Sapphire brings the HD 5670 into its Ultimate series. We check out whether or not it's worth considering.

Published Thu, Aug 26 2010 10:33 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Introduction and The Package


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I'm not too sure how it happened, but around the time of the launch of the GTX 460 it seemed that a few ATI partners decided to send out a bunch of their mid range video cards and for the last few weeks I've been playing catch up on them.

While we've been looking at a few of the recently released GDDR5 HD 5500 models, today we have a look at the big brother to those models, the HD 5670. This particular one from Sapphire falls in as part of the Ultimate series and to be honest, I'm not sure if we should be throwing the word ultimate around on any ATI model that doesn't start with HD 58.

In the Sapphire world, though, Ultimate refers to the card using passive cooling, and not so much its performance. So with that being said, let's check out the package before we take a closer look at the card and the 'ultimate' cooling solution that Sapphire has opted for.

The Package

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Opening up the box, we've got a few things in the package which came as a little bit of a surprise. We've got our standard manual and driver CD and a copy of SimHD which we've seen on a few Sapphire cards. In the cable department we've got a CrossFire cable, DVI to VGA convertor and a HDMI to DVI cable.

The Card

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Looking at the card, the cooler does most of the talking thanks to it being quite large. As serious as it looks, though, it's actually only a single slot cooler; technically. Instead it thickens out on the other side. To be honest we're not sure we'd recommend putting anything directly next to the card, just so the amount of air able to get directly to the core isn't impacted.

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Taking a quick spin around the card, we don't have any extra power connectors due to it being quite a mid-range model. We do have our two CrossFire connectors closer to the front and connectivity is pretty good with a Dual-Link DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connector all being present. In the event you want to run two DVI monitors, Sapphire has at least gone to the effort to include a HDMI to DVI adapter so it can be done straight away with no extra expense.


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In the clock department there's nothing out of the ordinary going on which is to be expected since the card uses a passive cooling solution. This means the core comes in at 775MHz while the 1GB of GDDR5 memory carries with it a clock of 4000MHz QDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Western Digital, Noctua and Thermaltake.

Today we'll have a look at how the HD 5670 Ultimate 1GB goes against the new GDDR5 HD 5500 models we've been looking at.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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.

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Compared to the HD 5500s, the HD 5670 Ultimate does show a nice performance jump here. Hopefully it translates well into games.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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 DirectX10 results.

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Heaven also shows a very good gain. You can see the HD 5670s 1920 x 1200 performance is very similar to the HD 5570s performance at the lower 1680 x 1050 resolution.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH


Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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).

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CINEBENCH performance is sitting exactly where we would expect it to.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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.

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We can see that the extra grunt on offer from the HD 5670 helps push 1680 x 1050 performance to a number we want. While the gains are strong, at 1920 x 1200 we're still short of that 60 FPS average we want. Getting up to a smooth experience wouldn't be hard, though.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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 seperated 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.

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While we again see a nice little boost, BattleForge is very intensive and really brings these mid range cards down to a crawl.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

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Like BattleForge we see a good boost in performance, but unfortunately it's not enough to take us to the numbers we need.

Benchmarks - Darkest of Days

Darkest of Days

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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 take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.

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While we do see a nice boost in performance, we're still just under that 60 FPS average we need to see. Saying that, a bit of a detail drop at 1680 x 1050 would get us the numbers we need.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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.

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With the extra grunt we're not at the 30 FPS minimum we need to see. We should be able to gain those last few FPS at 1680 x 1050 with a detail drop, however.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

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, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.

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While the HD 5570 GDDR5 doesn't have any problems breaking the 30 FPS minimum, the HD 5670 helps us just move even further away from it, making sure everything is silky smooth.

Benchmarks - Dark Void

Dark Void

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

The game's story takes place during World War II and centers around a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey (voiced by Nolan North) who is teleported to another world while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. In this world, known as the 'Void', Will encounters an alien race as well as other humans, which are known as the Watchers and the Survivors respectively.

Will reluctantly joins the Survivors who are engaged in a feud with the alien race to satisfy his desire to return to Earth. While aiding the Survivors, Will discovers that the Void is a middle ground that connects both the Watchers homeworld and Earth. It also becomes apparent that the Watchers are supplying the Axis powers with various supplies for reasons unknown. With the help of Nikola Tesla, Will utilizes retrofited Watcher technology to combat the Watchers and eventually find a way to escape the Void.

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Dark Void performs strong on lower end and older cards and here is no different with the HD 5670 putting out good numbers.

Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

ElcomSoft has pioneered many software innovations that have made it easier to recover passwords protecting various types of resources. For the first time in the industry, the company's patent-pending GPU acceleration makes its way into Wi-Fi password recovery, reducing the time required to recover Wi-Fi passwords up to a hundred times.

Supporting up to four NVIDIA boards such as GeForce 8, 9, and 200, as well as ATI video cards such as RADEON HD 4000 Series and up, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor allows building servers with supercomputer performance at a fraction of the price.

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WSA performance is exactly what we would aspect with it sitting towards the very bottom of the pack.

Temperature Test

Temperature 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.

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Considering the Sapphire HD 5670 Ultimate is a passively cooled card, the core temperature is very impressive with it out performing even active cooled models that are lower end.

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.

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Power Draw as you would expect is at the bottom of the graph due to the card being a mid range / lower end model.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)

Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field. This includes benchmarks where PhysX can be forced off like Dark Void and Batman: Arkham Asylum, but not Darkest of Days.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, CINEBENCH R11.5, Resident Evil 5, BattleForge, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off), Dark Void (PhysX Off) and our three High Quality tests which include Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

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Overall, you can see that the HD 5670 Ultimate performance is quite strong compared to the HD 5500s with the updated GDDR5 memory.

Total Value Rating (TVR) & Final Thoughts

Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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Overall value for the model isn't bad, nor is it the best. Of course, if you want a silent version of the card then you can't really look past this one.

Final Thoughts

While the new GDDR5 based HD 5500 series offer some good performance for the price, the difference that the HD 5670 brings to the table is its ability to really play games at 1680 x 1050 with no real dramas and in game settings quite high. The HD 5500s tend to need a decent detail drop to lift the performance up to the numbers we need to see.

For just over $100, $114.99 to be exact, you're getting a fairly good card here. Its performance at 1680 x 1050 and lower is good even when detail is set quite high in game. Older games, or less intensive ones like Dark Void and Batman AA also run very well with the ability to play them at 1920 x 1200 with game settings very high.

The cooler that Sapphire has opted for is fantastic; the quality is just great and this really shows when it comes to looking at the core temperature. It's almost the coolest running card we've tested to date which is saying something since it's passive.

The HD 5670 ultimately sits in quite a good position. It's performance is a fair bit better than the HD 5570 GDDR5 model, while at the same time the HD 5750 which again performs a good bit faster costs a fair bit more. If you're looking at spending a bit over $100, the HD 5670 continues to be a nice option.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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