|ATI Radeon HD5670 HDMI Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Thursday, 14 January 2010|
Page 16 of 16
ATI Radeon HD5670 Conclusion
The performance of the HD5670 is pretty amazing, considering the modest looking hardware and low cost. One way of showing this objectively is to look at the power required to deliver the performance. The HD5670 offers slightly less same performance as an HD4830 for less than half the power, and that's at full load, without all the power saving tricks that are used to get the idle power to 14 watts. It's 10 degrees cooler, too, at both idle and full load, with a tiny, single-slot cooler. Performance is more than just frames-per-second, though; the ability to run 2-3 monitors with Full ATI EyeFinity Support counts, too. Plus, we've been measuring performance with Beta drivers. So, while the raw performance numbers are good enough for the target price point today, I predict even better things to come for both price and performance.
The appearance of the product itself is both small and substantial. The cooler housing is pretty simple for the most part; the design is clean and offers a perfect canvas for the partners to display their best artwork. There are definitely some non-reference designs in the works, but the usual motivation for that effort is usually improving the thermal performance. I don't see that as a real necessity with this card/chip combo. The reference design has plenty of cooling capacity for the tiny Redwood GPU.
The build quality of the Radeon 5670 was good, for an engineering sample. The parts were all high quality, and while the PC board may have had a few rough edges, the cooler section was manufactured and assembled perfectly.
The features of the HD5670 have been carried over in full measure from the HD5800 series: DirectX 11, Full ATI Eyefinity Support, ATI Stream Technology Support, DirectCompute 11 and OpenCL Support, HDMI 1.3a with Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. Nothing was left out on this card, despite it being produced for a price point well below its kin. We've barely scratched the surface of the features in this review, but clearly the card will thrive in a multi-functional role, as well as provide a solid entry-level gaming experience.
ATI is aiming at a price point of $99 for the HD5670 with 512MB of GDDR5 RAM. The Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 sells for $90, while the PowerColor AX5670 lists for $95 and XFX for $100. A quick look at Newegg shows this to be the target price for most GT240 cards, with GDDR5 memory. ATI priced this card right at the GT240, knowing that it had an advantage, performance-wise. In addition, it has advanced features that the other cards can't match. I expect pricing to be more dynamic in this sector, as the competition is fierce for this, the largest share of the consumer pie.
The ATI Radeon HD5670 earns a Golden Tachometer Award, because it's the card many people kept wishing for. The mainstream consumer wanted something powerful, easy to install, and cheap. ATI hit all three targets with a low power solution that answers the eternal question: "Can I use this video card with my XYZ OEM power supply?" For every mainstream user you know, who wants a cheap, easy upgrade, and maybe a dual-monitor setup, too...the ATI Radeon HD5670 fits the bill.
+ Unmatched feature set
- Small, simple hardware design won't impress others
Final Score: 9.3 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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