The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

A bad economy does more than just get politicians talking and debating on what will turn things around; it also has a way of shocking the typical consumer into a bit of reality when it comes to money management.  It also has a way of weeding out the wants that everyone has from their real needs.  People's mindsets change from buying the latest, greatest and fastest to buying that which will get the job done and is affordable.  That mindset affects all purchases, from houses and cars to computers.

The latest and greatest in the computing world usually comes at a high price tag.  Those that are first to own a new product will pay the price.  Just ask all the iPhone owners out there that got their products the day of launch only to have the price dramatically drop just a short six weeks later.  That is just one of many examples, but the fact is that the better and faster the technology is, the more it will cost.  Most people that are building new systems or upgrading components in their existing systems today are looking for great value in their purchases.  The $600 video card is just not going to be a big seller to the mainstream computer user.  In fact, it is not likely even going to be the top choice of those that consider themselves enthusiasts.  When talking about video cards, most people are going to want a card that will run the games they play now, includes new technology for future games and comes at a price that is affordable.  That is where the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 comes in to play.  This $100 video card includes new technology, such as GDDR, HDMI output and DX11 compatibility, which brings great value to the table for those on a tight budget.

Just in case you missed it, Legit Reviews introduced and described the ATI Radeon HD 5670 series not too long ago, so we will focus on the details of the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 video card itself.  First off, take a look at the specs:

Specs


 
Bus Speed
  • 16
Bus Type
  • PCI-E 2.1
Core Clock
  • 785 MHz
Chipset
  • ATI Radeon HD 5670
D-SUB
DVI PORT
TV-OUT
VIVO
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
  • N
Card Dimension
  • ATX
Max Digital Resolution

Max VGA Resolution
  • 2560x1600

  • 2048x1536
Core Clock
Memory Bus
Mem Clock
Memory
Memory Type
  • 785MHz
  • 128 bit
  • 4000MHz
  • 1GB
  • GDDR5
Multi View
  • Y

As you can see from the chart, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 video card has a core clock speed of 785MHz and the memory clock is 4000MHz.  So the core clock speed of this card is factory overclocked 10 MHz faster than ATI reference card speeds.
Gigabyte Radeon 5670

Gigabyte does recommend a power supply of at least 400 Watts for this card if run individually. The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 supports ATI's Crossfire multi-GPU technology and the recommendation for that is a 450 Watt power supply.  It is also HDMI compatible, fully supports DX11 and OpenGL 3.1, and comes with a hefty 3 year warranty. 

With all of that in mind, let's get a closer look at this card and see if anything sets it apart from the rest of the pack.

A closer look at the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 is a little longer than 6 1/2 inches and has a fan that almost covers the entire PCB! The reference card only takes up one PCI-e slot, but with the size of the fan in this Gigabyte card, you will be using two slots.  Looking at the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 card, you can see that there is no external power connector needed.  That is nice for those that have an older power supply that does not have this type of connector on it.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

The back of the card lacks any type of heatsink for cooling the memory IC's.  Even in our overclocking, there was no real amount of heat produced that would have required it. The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 features 1GB of GDDR5 memory, so there are four IC's on the front and four on the back.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 graphics card that we looked at used eight Samsung branded memory IC's with a part number of K4G10325FE-HC05.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

This Gigabyte card has Dual-link DVI-I, VGA and HDMI outputs, and is capable of multi-view technology.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

As mentioned, the fan is extremely big on this Gigabyte video card.  In fact, it is an "80mm Large Fan" as Gigabyte so proudly displays on the box.  It is very quiet though, as I hardly ever really noticed it during any of our testing.  The heatsink itself is also very large, and obviously does a fine job of cooling the card during use.

Retail Box and Bundle

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

Gigabyte continues the futuristic design with the box of the Radeon HD 5670 video card. They also proudly display some of the features of the card like GDDR5, the 80mm Large Fan, DX11 and Windows 7 compatibility. 

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

The backside of the box also displays several key features and gives a great description of some of the technology that DX 11 brings to the table like Tessellation, HDR Texture compression, Multi-threading and DirectCompute. 

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

Being a budget oriented card, you do not expect to get too much in the box.  And you don't  You get the card, the owners manual and a driver CD.  Since the card is Crossfire capable, I did expect to at least see the Crossfire bridge included, but alas, it is not there. You will need to purchase one if you plan to run two of these cards in Crossfire mode. 

Moving on...

Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 Test Settings

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

Intel Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i5 750

Motherboard

   ECS H55H-M

Memory

   Patriot Viper DDR3 4GB Kit

Video Card

Albatron GeForce 9600GT

Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670

Hard Drive

Western Digital 250GB

Cooling

Stock Intel Cooler

Power Supply

PC Power & Cooling 750

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit


We have been using our Albatron GeForce 9600GT card for some time now.  It was also basically a $100 card, so we thought it would be interesting to see how the two year old $100 card would compare against today's $100 card.

All tests were run using a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit. For our stock speed tests, we ran everything at default timings for the CPU.  Our 4GB Patriot DDR3 kit was running at speeds of 1333MHz and 8-8-8-26 timings.  We used the latest BIOS available at the time of testing, which was the H5M128A, dated 2/5/2010; we used the WHQL 196.21 NVIDIA drivers for our 9600GT video card and the Catalyst 10.2 drivers for our Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage

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.

3DMark Vantage


Gigabyte Radeon 5670 Heaven Results

Benchmark Results: The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 video card outscores the GeForce 9600 GT by 25% in the overall score of 3DMark Vantage and 26% in the GPU score.  That is a pretty huge increase between these two cards that are/were priced at the $100 range. 

FurMark 1.8.0

FurMark is a very intensive OpenGL benchmark that uses fur rendering algorithms to measure the performance of the graphics card. Fur rendering is especially adapted to overheat the GPU and that's why FurMark is also a perfect stability and stress test tool (also called GPU burner) for the graphics card.

FurMark 1.8.0

The benchmark was rendered in full screen mode with no AA enabled on both video cards.


Gigabyte Radeon 5670 Furmark Results

Benchmark Results: We were able to run the newest version of FurMark for our testing, which showed the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 outscoring the GeForce 9600GT by 5 frames per second.  A 33% increase is a very nice jump for this new $100 card!

Unigine 'Heaven'

Uningine DirectX 11 benchmark heaven

The 'Heaven' benchmark that uses the Unigine easily shows off the full potential of DirectX 11 graphics cards. 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 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 extent and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming. The distinguishing feature of the benchmark is a hardware tessellation that is a scalable technology aimed for automatic subdivision of polygons into smaller and finer pieces so that developers can gain a more detailed look of their games almost free of charge in terms of performance. Thanks to this procedure, the elaboration of the rendered image finally approaches the boundary of veridical visual perception: the virtual reality transcends conjured by your hand.

DirectX 11 benchmark Unigine engine

For this benchmark VSync was turned off and we tested with 0x AA and 4x AF to check out system performance. We also ran the benchmark at 1920x1200 and 1280x1024 to see how the benchmark ran at some different monitor resolutions.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670 Heaven Results

Benchmark Results: Our Heaven benchmark allowed us to see a comparison not only between the two cards, but also between running DX10 and DX11.  In DX10, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 was nearly 15% faster at the resolution of 1280x1024.  At the 1920x1200 resolution, we see the Gigabyte card is almost 18% faster.  Once you set the benchmark to run in DX11 mode, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 did suffer in its performance.  DX11 is certainly much more demanding with the advent of tessellation and other new features added in.  DX11 performance was 72% slower at 1280x1024 and 54% slower in 1920x1024 resolution.  That is a pretty big hit!

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Stalker Call of Pripyat DX11 Performance Benchmark

The events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat unfold shortly after the end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl following the ending in which Strelok destroys the C-Consciousness. Having discovered the open path to the Zone's center, the government decides to stage a large-scale operation to take control of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat utilizes the XRAY 1.6 Engine, allowing advanced modern graphical features through the use of DirectX 11 to be fully integrated; one outstanding feature being the inclusion of real-time GPU tessellation. Regions and maps feature photo realistic scenes of the region it is made to represent. There is also extensive support for older versions of DirectX, meaning that Call of Pripyat is also compatible with older DirectX 8, 9, 10 and 10.1 graphics cards.

Stalker Call of Pripyat DX11 Performance Benchmark

The game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: CoP has no internal benchmarking tools built into the game engine, but they do have a standalone benchmark available that we used for our testing purposes. The screen capture above shows the main window of the benchmark with our settings. Notice we are running Enhanced Full Dynamic Lighting "DX11" as our renderer.


Gigabyte Radeon 5670 S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Results

Benchmark Results: The ability of the Radeon card to handle higher resolutions better is made obvious here in this benchmark. At 1920x1200, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 more than doubled in frames per second.  The cards were closer at a resolution of 1280x1024, but the Gigabyte card still out-performed the 9600GT by nearly 22%.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

Colin McRae: Dirt

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 includes many new race-events, including stadium events. Along with the player, an RV travels from one event to another, and serves as 'headquarters' for the player. It features a roster of contemporary off-road events, taking players to diverse and challenging real-world environments. The game takes place across four continents: Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. The game includes five different event types: Rally, Rallycross, 'Trailblazer,' 'Land Rush' and 'Raid.' The World Tour mode sees players competing in multi-car and solo races at new locations, and also includes a new multiplayer mode.


Gigabyte Radeon 5670 Dirt2 Results

Benchmark Results: Both cards were very playable at the lower 1280x1024 resolution.  The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 card did outperform the 9600GT by a little over 4fps.  At 1920x1200, the difference was less obvious, as the Gigabyte card scored 8% higher than the GeForce card.

JustCause2

Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is a sandbox style action video game currently under development by Swedish developer Avalanche Studios and Eidos Interactive, published by Square Enix. It is the sequel to the 2006 video game, Just Cause.  

Just Cause 2 employs a new version of the Avalanche Engine, Avalanche Engine 2.0, which is an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause.  The game will be set on the other side of the world, compared to Just Cause, which is on the fictional tropical island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Rico Rodriguez will return as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former boss, Tom Sheldon.


Gigabyte Radeon 5670 Just Cause 2 results

Benchmark Results: In our JustCause2 results, there was only a 1.3 fps difference at the 1280x1024 resolution.  Once again though, we see the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 video card give a huge 76% increase over the 9600GT. 

Temperature & Power Consumption

Since video card temperatures and the heat generated by next-generation cards have become an area of concern among enthusiasts and gamers, we want to take a closer look at how the Radeon HD 5670 series does at idle and under a full load.

Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 Idle Temperature

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

At idle, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 had a temperature of 47C.


Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 Load Temperature

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

We fired up FurMark and ran the stability at 640x480, which was enough to put the GPU at 100% load in order to get the highest load temperature possible. This application also charted the temperature results so you can see how the temperature rises and levels off, which is very nice.  At load, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 soared up to 85c, which is higher than the temps we saw on our review of two other Radeon HD 5670 cards. Of course, temps are certainly based on the environment and will vary for everyone.

For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a P3 Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor.  For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the OpenGL benchmark FurMark 1.7.0 at 1920x1200 resolution.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

Power Consumption Results:  At idle we found that the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 used 5 watts more power than that of the 2 year old GeForce 9600GT.  Once we loaded things up though, the Gigabyte card actually consumed 11% less watts than the 9600GT.  Certainly, it is a good thing to see more graphics capability from a card that consumes less power doing it.

Overclocking

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

To overclock the Radeon HD 5670 1GB graphics card, we used the ATI Overdrive utility that is part of the CATALYST Control Center. When you 'unlock' the ATI Overdrive, you can manually set the clock and memory settings or let the 'auto-tune' utility set the frequencies for you. This utility determines the highest core and memory clock frequency that is stable and shows you what the GPU temperature is and how much load the GPU is under during testing.

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

We started out at the default settings of 785MHz on the core and 1000MHz on the memory, but were able to reach 840MHz on the core and 1040MHz on the GDDR5 memory. This is a 55MHz overclock on the core and a 40MHz boost on the GDDR5 memory ICs.

To see what kind of benefit we would see from overclocking, we fired up 3DMark Vantage and manually set the fans at 100% just to be sure heat wasn't an issue when benchmarking at this overclock.


Gigabyte Radeon 5670

Overclocking Results: In our original testing of 3dMark Vantage, we scored x2335 for our overall score and 2239 for the GPU score.  With the overclock enabled, we jumped to x2488 on the overall score and 2388 on the GPU score, which was a nearly 7% gain for both scores.

Final Thoughts on the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670

Gigabyte Radeon 5670

So, as you get ready to look at making your upgrade from the card that cost you $100 two years ago to a card that costs you $100 today, what kind of performance increase can we see?  Actually, for the investment of $109.99 plus shipping, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 is a pretty nice upgrade.  It is certainly a faster card that allowed us to see some decent gains in framerate, but it also was an upgrade that brought in some new features with being DX11 compatible.  Other features like 1GB of GDDR5 memory, being able to run three panels, HDMI out and DirectCompute help make this a card that is just a step above many of the other offerings in this price range, and it certainly is a big upgrade from the previous generation $100 card that we tested against.  It also is a big plus that at load, power consumption was 11% less than the previous gen card as well!

Is this the card that will run all games at high resolutions and be the greatest gaming card ever? No. Not by a long shot, but you are spending WAY less money to get a card that will bring new features to the table along with some speed, and offer an upgrade path to higher fps by allowing you to add another video card to run in Crossfire.


Gigabyte Radeon 5670

In the end, it all comes down to the way a person uses their system.  Is this the best choice in that price range for gaming?  No.  There are a couple of other options that will outperform this card in gaming, like the 5700 series that does cost a bit more, but for the gamer, it is worth the investment for the extra performance you will get. 

If gaming is not your thing, then the jump to the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 card is certainly worth looking at.  It will outperform your older $100 card, provide a way for a triple monitor setup, and give you a low cost way to have a DirectX 11 card in your system.  It is a card that is great for those that are looking to build an HTPC setup.

Legit Bottom Line: The Gigabyte Radeon HD 5670 video card is a $100 card that will boost the performance of your system and allow you to have connectivity options, and well as DirectX 11 capability.  In today's financial climate, this card makes good financial sense!