AMD's smallest DX11 Radeon tested

Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) reviewed: DirectX 11 for less than 100 Euros

AMDs DirectX-11-Familie "Evergreen" wächst erneut: Nun muss sich die Radeon HD 5670 im Benchmark-Test beweisen. PC Games Hardware verrät, was die "Redwood"-GPU leistet.
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The new year is introduced by another AMD graphics card: The Radeon HD 5670. After the convincing performance of the HD 5800 and HD 5700 series the manufacturer brings DirectX 11 to the market section of prices below 100 Euros. Is the HD 5670 able to continue the success of the bigger cards? PC Games Hardware does the test.

Radeon HD 5670 (20)
Radeon HD 5670 (20) [Source: view picture gallery]
Radeon HD 5670 reviewed: Specifications
On the Radeon HD 5670 AMD uses neither a slimmed down Cypress nor a Juniper chip. Ati created a third HD 5000 graphics chip which carries the codename Redwood. This 40 nanometer device is also produced by TSMC and optimized for best performance per square millimeter chip space. The differences are significant though - even in comparison to the HD 5700 series: Instead of 10 there are only 5 active SIMD units on the HD 5670. So Redwood is a halved Juniper with 400 Shader ALUs (80Vec5), 20 TMUs and 8 ROPs. The chip frequency is set to 775 MHz, which is right in the middle of the HD 5770 (850 MHz) and the HD 5750 (700 MHz). Ati only left the memory interface stays untouched at 128 Bit. It links GDDR5 memory with a frequency of 2000 MHz (Write Clocks * 2) and an amount of either 512 or 1024 MiByte.

In short terms: With the same memory bandwidth the Radeon HD 5670 has halve the calculating power of a HD 5700. The overall package promises better performance than the Radeon HD 4670, but if this is enough to beat the Geforce GT240 remains to be seen.

Radeon HD 5670 reviewed: Board and Cooling
The Radeon HD 5670 is a compact card: The board is 168 millimeters long and doesn't have expensive components like Volterra transformers. For comparison: The HD 5770 is 208 millimeters long and the HD 5750 183 millimeters. Two phases supply the GPU with energy and one the GDDR5 VRAM. A part of the PCB is covered by a single-slot cooler which has a rather simple design: The video memory gets into contact with the heatsink via thermal compound pads and the GPU via thermal grease. The whole cooler is made of aluminum and has a comparatively small surface. A small radial fan with 0.3 ampere supplies the structure with fresh air.

Since AMD advertises Ati Eyefinity as a feature supported by the HD 5670 it isn't surprising that the card has a DisplayPort as well as one Dual-Link DVI and one HDMI connector.

Radeon HD 5670 reviewed: Power Consumption and Loudness
With our equipment we record the acoustic pressure in Decibel (a) and the loudness in Sone at a distance of 50 centimeters. The remaining components of our test system are silent: A AMD Athlon X2 BE 2350 with 2.1 GHz is passively cooled by a Scythe Orochi on a Asrock A780 FDP with AMD 780G chipset. The system is powered by a Nesteq X Zero PSU with 600 watt output and the operating system is stored on a Hama SSD. The ambient noise of our sound lab doesn't exceed 0.1 Sone.

Radeon HD 5670 (17)
Radeon HD 5670 (17) [Source: view picture gallery]
The temperatures and the power consumption are also tested with this test system. We record 2D results on the Windows desktop as well as results at full workload. For this we use Race Driver Grid at 1,920 x 1,200 with 4x MSAA and 16:1 AF. The game is more challenging for the graphics card than Crysis Warhead and other games with a constant workload.

As an absolute worst-case scenario we use Ozone3D Furmark in version 1.6.5. With a renamed exe file this tool stresses the graphics cards to the maximum and is most challenging for the cooling solutions. Important: This scenario reveals what the absolute worst-case is in matters of loudness and power consumption. Such results are most unlikely to be reached during all day usage.

Radeon HD 5670 results
The Radeon HD 5800 and HD 5700 already convinced with low power consumption. The Radeon HD 5670 is no exception to this: In idle mode the card needs only 14 watt. When running Race Driver Grid the power consumption goes up to 49 watt and if challenged with Furmark the card needs 62 watt. This once again means that the card comes close to the TDP values AMD advertises (2D: 16 watt, 3D: 61 watt). In matters of loudness we are a little disappointed though: In idle mode the stocj cooler of the HD 5670 already reached 2.1 sone. But first versions of AMD's board partners, like to one from Sapphire, are much quieter (only 0.2 sone) than the reference design. But under workload the reference design doesn't get louder as the fan speed is not increased. Only the temperature go up of course. It is obvious that AMD once again wanted to have a low-priced cooling solution.

Radeon HD 5670 reviewed: Overclocking
Currently there are two HD 5670 graphics card in the PC games hardware test lboratory: A reference sample from AMD (512 MiByte VRAM) and a variant from Sapphire (1 GiByte). The first model is equipped with four 128 MiByte chips of Hynix's TOC selection (specified for 2000 MHz) while the latter one has additional chips on the rear side of the board and is equipped with the better T2C Ram (specified for 2500 MHz). Accordingly the Sapphire card offered better overclocking capabilities than the stock version: 920/2400 MHz were possible with Sapphire's device while the AMD card reached 860/2100 MHz.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Vötter, Sauter (Jan 14, 2010)

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