So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Sapphire Radeon HD5670 graphics card
A passively cooled entry-level ATI graphics card with HDMI output
- Silent, 1GB DDR5 memory interface
- Occasional drop in frames during gaming, may be issues in setups with large CPU coolers
The ATI Radeon HD5670 is a reasonably priced entry-level graphics card and its passive cooling makes it ideal for people who are trying to build a silent PC.
Price$ 176.00 (AUD)
The ATI Radeon HD5670 is an entry-level graphics card with 1GB of GDDR5 RAM, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs and DirectX 11 support. It utilises the same 'silent pipe' technology often found on NVIDIA's entry-level cards — this means it has no onboard fan, so it is ideal for people who want to balance performance and noise levels.
The Radeon HD5670, codenamed Redwood, is surprisingly tall for an entry-level graphics card, requiring plenty of room in your case. If you have a large CPU heat sink, such as the Gigabyte 3D Rocket II, this card is probably not for you.
Although the HD5670 doesn't sport the race car look and feel that you find in the higher end ATI Radeon cards, it definitely has decent horsepower. With a clock speed of 775MHz (which can be pushed further with ATI Overdrive) and 1GB of GDDR5 RAM, it is ideal for gamers on a budget. The cheap asking price ($169) also makes it a great candidate for a CrossFireX setup (if you have the room to fit more than one card inside your case, that is).
The HD5670 sports a silver heat sink that covers the majority of the card. On the right of the card are two chrome heat pipes that link to another heat sink on the roof of the card. The card has three ports: DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. The ports can be used in conjunction with ATI Eyefinity technology to run multiple monitors.
Features and performance
Conveniently, this card doesn't require a cable connection to the PSU and according to ATI the card draws a maximum just 64 Watts. We like to think of this card as the Hybrid Toyota Prius — not a great looking piece of machinery, but silent, unusually nimble and gentle on the environment.
While idle, the GPU's Diode (DispIO) hovered around 40 degrees Celsius — which isn't much of a surprise with an ATI graphics card, especially one without a fan. While running a number of benchmarking tests, including 3DMark06, 3DMark Vantage and the Crysis Warhead DX10 benchmark, the card baked at about 65 degrees Celsius.
To test the ATI Radeon HD5670's performance, we used a Vista 64-bit machine running an Intel Core i7 965, 6GB of DDR3 RAM and a Western Digital VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS) hard drive. We then compared the results to other graphics cards we’ve reviewed in the same testbed. (Unless otherwise stated, we have used the DirectX 10 version of each game, with maximum settings enabled.)
|Model||Chipset||Memory||3DMark 06||3DMark Vantage||Crysis (fps)
||Far Cry 2 (fps)
||Lost Planet (fps)
||Call of Juarez (fps)
||Half Life 2:
Episode Two (fps)
|Sapphire ATI Radeon HD5670||ATI Radeon HD 5670||1GB||10969||11841||19.0||N/A||N/A||34.7||N/A|
|ASUS ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB||ATI Radeon HD 5870||1GB||17222||P13206||47.3||71.24||53||83.3||217.61|
|Manli GTX295||NVIDIA GTX295||1GB||9688||P16245||38.9||74.25||N/A||74.3||129.87|
|ASUS ENGTX285||NVIDIA GTX285||1GB||9708||P13532||35.3||60.17||50.1||52.4||131.32|
|ATI Radeon HD 5970||ATI Radeon HD 5970||2GB||9968||P13988||41.37||92.70||83||96.8||138.71|
|ASUS EAH4870X2||ATI Radeon HD 4870X2||2GB||10360||P10486||32.64||N/A||27.8||66.8||137.27|
In 3DMark06 Bench, the HD5670 scored 10,969 3DMarks overall and 4975 in the graphics test. During the 3DMark Vantage tests, we noticed a significant drop in frames at the default ‘performance’ level. While the card scored an overall 11,841 3DMarks and grabbed a GPU score of 5086, it averaged a poor 14 frames per second (fps).
As expected, the card demonstrated severe fps drop when we tested at a Full HD resolution, averaging an unbearable 9fps and scoring a GPU score of 3423.
We thought we would push the card outside its comfort zone with a 1920x1200 Crysis Warhead DirectX 10 benchmark, set at Gamer. We were interested at the fact that the card averaged 19fps, as opposed to the intolerable 9fps at 1920x1080.
The ATI Radeon HD5670 is reasonably priced and ideal if you're interested in reducing the noise of your PC. It’s not the flashiest ATI Radeon card, but it's a great balance between entry-level gaming performance, environmental friendliness and affordability.
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