MSI Radeon HD 6670 1GB Overclocked Video Card Review

We check out MSIs HD 6670 and take the time to overclock it to see just what kind of performance we can squeeze out of the card.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Aug 4 2011 10:54 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:01 PM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Package

Introduction

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The HD 6670 is a bit of a funny model for us. Normally it's the kind of model we'd look at once when it launches and then not pay too much attention to it since our launch coverage would cover pretty much all you need to know about it.

A little later on, we saw Sapphire release a version under the Ultimate tag which meant it was silent. More interesting, though, was the launch of the Llano platform which brought with it the ability to CrossFire the model with the onboard APU. It was probably the introduction of this which made us all of a sudden start to pay more attention to the HD 6670 again.

So saying that, today we're going to be looking at the HD 6670 from MSI to see what it offers. Because out of the box, though, it carries with it just the reference clocks, I figured we'd take the time to overclock the model to see what kind of performance we're able to get out of it.

Before we look at that, though, and the performance, the first thing we need to do is look at the package. Once we've done that we'll take a closer look at the card before looking at the overclock we managed to achieve. Of course, once that's done it's time to get into the performance side of things and we'll see just what kind of extra performance we were able to get out of the model thanks to the overclock. First things first, though, let's check out what's going on in the package.

Package

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No surprises across the board with a very standard lower end card bundle being shown. We've got a manual, quick install guide and driver CD. Considering the lower end nature of the card, this small bundle is exactly what we'd expect.

Card and Specifications

The Card

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Looking at the card itself, we've got quite a mean little cooler on it. It's dual slot and dual fan. Behind the fans you can see the big heatsink that manages to cover most of the card. The look of it is really nice, though, and you've got this carbon fiber look from a distance and some nice bits of aluminum. It's a pretty sweet cooler for a lower end model.

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With no CrossFire connector or any extra power, we'll just swing around to the I/O side of things. As you can see, we've got a HDMI port on the left, next to that a VGA and finally a Dual-Link DVI connector.

Specifications

Out of the box the MSI HD 6670 as we mentioned just carries with it the default clocks. That means our core comes in at 800MHz while our 1GB of GDDR5 comes in at 4000MHz QDR. Since we've already looked at reference clocked cards, though, we figured it was time to overclock the model and see what we could get out of it.

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Unfortunately we couldn't increase the voltage on the card, so I didn't think we'd have too much luck with the overclock. Much to my surprise, though, we ended up with the core coming in at 950MHz and also increased the memory to 4600MHz QDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark 11

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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, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

Because we wanted to really see the extra performance on offer from the overclock today, we've kept with the Catalyst 11.4 driver suite which was used on our HD 6670 Ultimate. Along with that card, we've also got the HD 6770 Vapor-X and from NVIDIA we've got the GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II.

Let's get started!

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Straight away we can see the kind of performance that overclock brings us with some really strong gains on the MSI HD 6670.

3DMark Vantage

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.

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Getting into Vantage, we can see that really strong performance increase on offer from our HD 6670 when overclocked.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

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.

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Unigine also sees a massive boost in performance and you can see that our MSI HD 6670 isn't all that far away from the HD 6770.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark

Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.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.

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Looking at Resident Evil 5, we can see that the overclock helps us get that 1920 x 1200 FPS above 60. When we overclock this is exactly the kind of performance increase we want to see; we want to move from that level we classify as unplayable (below 60 FPS) to playable (60 FPS and over).

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx

Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

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Looking at HAWX 2, we can again see our overclock gives us a nice boost in performance. We again see that we're able to move from that below 60 FPS average to that over 60 FPS average.

Benchmarks - Mafia II

Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/

Buy It Here

Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Looking at Mafia II, we can see that we continue to get a nice boost in performance. Unfortunately we're below that 60 FPS average we like to aim for, meaning that a detail drop is required to lift that FPS up to a more playable level.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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We do see a boost under Lost Planet 2, but it comes as no surprise that the numbers we're seeing are exceptionally low because of just how intensive Lost Planet 2 is.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/

Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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While not as intensive as Lost Planet 2, we can see that Aliens vs Predator does see a nice boost in performance. Unfortunately we're still below that 60 FPS average we aim for.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.streetfighter.com/

While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane, with the camera having freedom to move in 3D at certain times during fights, for dramatic effect. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, opted for non-photorealistic rendering to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

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Looking at Street Fighter IV, we've got a nice boost in performance and just overall some very strong performance.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

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.

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FarCry 2 sees some strong performance and you can see our overclocked HD 6670 has no issue getting that 30 FPS minimum we aim for.

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.batmanarkhamasylum.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.

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Batman AA sees a nice boost in performance and offers us some very playable FPS.

Temperature Test

Temperature Tests

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Being a low end model, it comes as no surprise that the temperature of the HD 6670 from MSI sits towards the bottom of the pack.

Sound Test

Sound Tests

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).

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Noise levels are a little loud. The card is clearly audible at idle. It's not too bad, but it wouldn't hurt to fire up something like Afterburner and maybe slow down the fan manually when it's at 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 SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal 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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Again, being a lower end card there's no surprise that power draw of the card of course sits below the lower end of the pack.

Final Thoughts

At $99.99US the MSI HD 6670 1GB is a really good little card for the price. Out of the box the performance of the HD 6670 is pretty strong considering the price point it comes in at. What is surprising is the overclocking capability of the card; the last thing I expected was to get a core clock increase of 150MHz. In the end you can see it really helps give us a strong boost in performance.

The best thing about the extra performance on offer, though, isn't that we get a couple of FPS here and there, it's that those extra FPS move our averages from what we would normally call unplayable to playable thanks to the FPS jumping to 60 FPS and over.

It's when we see that we're able to move from below 60 FPS to over 60 FPS that the overclock is most efficient. Sure, getting a 20 FPS increase is great, but moving from a 90 FPS average to 110 FPS average is going to bring with it very little when we're talking about overall game smoothness.

On the other hand, moving from 55 FPS to 65 FPS is an increase that we'd say will make your overall gaming experience better as we move to that smoother level. It's then when we really appreciate the overclock.

All in all, MSI have put together a really nice little card here that hits us at the perfect price point. While the cooler is a little louder at idle than we'd expect, once in a case you probably won't find it too much of an issue. Especially since that at load it's not much louder. There's also the option to manually adjust it if you wanted.

If you're looking for a budget card and want to do a bit of overclocking, it's a great option. If you're also looking for something that you can CrossFire with your new Fusion based system, it's a great option, especially if you take the time to crank up the clock speeds a little bit.

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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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