Graphics Cards Guide

ATI Radeon HD 5670 (Reference Card) review

ATI Radeon HD 5670 - The New Mainstream Warrior

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Capturing the Mainstream Market

Capturing the Mainstream Market

Things are looking good for ATI lately. Not only were they first to get DirectX 11 compatible graphics cards into the market, but NVIDIA's inability to release their own DirectX 11 solutions in the same time span also meant that ATI has had the entire DirectX 11 market to themselves for almost a full four months!

To rub salt into NVIDIA's wounds, in the past four months they have also reclaimed the title of fastest single GPU (the Cypress XT found on the Radeon HD 5870) and also the title of fastest single graphics card (Radeon HD 5970) from NVIDIA.

Not content with their dominant display of late, ATI is following up on its recent successes with a brand new graphics card for the more budget-minded, the Radeon HD 5670. The new Radeon HD 5670 cards will be powered by the Redwood XT GPU, which has 400 stream processing units, 20 texture mapping units and 8 raster operating units. Its core will run at 775MHz, with the memory at 4000MHz DDR. Memory bus width will be kept at 128 bits width (similar to the Radeon HD 5770 and Radeon HD 5750), and the new cards will come in either 512MB or 1GB flavors.

Admittedly, when compared to the current 'base' model of the Evergreen series - the Radeon HD 5750 - which is running on the 720-stream processor Juniper LE GPU, the Redwood XT does look kind of lightweight. However, ATI has said that the Radeon HD 5670 will be considerably more affordable - under US$100 (S$138) to be exact - making it the first truly affordable DirectX 11 graphics card. And despite being an affordable part with not as much horsepower as its other Evergreen brothers, the Radeon HD 5670 still supports EyeFinity, which means it can power up to three displays simultaneously.

According to statistics from ATI, over 15 million gamers have Steam accounts and there are over 11 million World of Warcraft players. Of them, only a mere 10% have a display resolution of 1920 x 1200 or more, and around 66% are using a sub US$100 graphics card. As such, the budget to mainstream segment is a huge one, and this is the exact target audience ATI is aiming with the new Radeon HD 5670.

We are sure you are eager to find out how ATI's latest offering fares, but first here's a look at the specifications of the Radeon HD 5670 and how it stacks up against other competitive SKUs.

The Radeon HD 5670 & Competitive Comparison SKUs
Model ATI Radeon HD 5670 NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 ATI Radeon HD 4670 ATI Radeon HD 4770 NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
Core Code Redwood XT GT215 RV730 RV740 G92 G94
Transistor Count 627 million Unknown 514 million 826 million 754 million 505 million
Manufacturing Process 40nm 40nm 55nm 40nm 65 / 55nm 65nm
Core Clock 775MHz 550MHz 750MHz 750MHz 600MHz 650MHz
Stream Processors 400 96 320 640 112 64
Stream Processor Clock 775MHz 1340MHz 750MHz 750MHz 1800MHz 1625MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units 20 32 32 32 56 32
Raster Operator Units (ROP) 8 16 8 16 16 16
Memory Clock 4000MHz DDR 1800MHz DDR (GDDR3) / 3600MHz DDR (GDDR5) 2000MHz DDR 3200MHz DDR 1800MHz DDR 1800MHz DDR
DDR Memory Bus 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 256-bit 256-bit
PCI Express Interface PCIe x16 ver 2.0 PCIe x 16 ver 2.0 PCIe x16 ver 2.0 PCIe x16 ver 2.0 PCIe x 16 ver 2.0 PCIe x 16 ver 2.0
PCIe Power Connectors None None None 1 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin
Multi-GPU Technology CrossFireX (vendor dependent) None CrossFireX CrossFireX SLI SLI
DVI Output Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HDCP Output Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Street Price Launch Price: < US$100 ~US$99 ~US$75 ~US$120 ~US$110 ~US$100