Sapphire HD 5670 1GB Review

ccokeman - 2007-09-29 05:08:46 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: January 14, 2010
Price: $100

Introduction:

The Direct X 11 capable cards are coming fast and furious to fit into each price point and performance niche. To this end the Sapphire HD 5670 is being unleashed to the world as a capable card to fill the mainstream price point right around $100. It is the 5th 5 series card released from ATI and its partners and is the only DX 11 card in this price bracket. As a card that is designed to go into mainstream boxes to use its compute capabilities to improve the overall experience by allowing many of the computing tasks to be offloaded to the GPU rather than having the CPU do the work allows the home user who does not have a high end gaming rig do the things they do most quicker such as encoding movies, editing photos watching high definition content either on the web or on the big screen in the home. As a mainstream card the gaming performance may not wow the true gamer but lets see what the Sapphire HD 5670 1GB video card has to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer Look:

The front panel of the package has another iteration of Ruby poised for battle while the capabilities of the Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 are lined up along the top and bottom of the panel. The Arctic cooling, 1GB of GDDR5 memory,Eyefinity support, Native DisplayPort and HDMI connections,CrossfireX and Stream computing are all listed as a full feature set that mirrors the rest of the 5 series cards from Sapphire.The back panel describes each of the features listed on the front and then some. A listing of the awards Sapphires products have earned is to the left and Sapphires commitment to the earth is in the center with the note that the inner and outer packaging is made with recyclable paper products.

 

 

Removing the inner box from the outer cover reveals a cardboard package that has the recyclable logo on it. The inner packaging shows a sprayed cardboard liner that holds the HD 5670 and the accessory bundle.

 

 

The bundle of accessories that Sapphire includes is always a cut above the rest it seems like with all of the hardware and software needed to get you connected and running. You get the documentation and driver disk, a disk containing Arcsofts SIM HD IM client, a dual link DVI to VGA adapter, an HDMI to Dual link DVI adapter and a Crossfire bridge connection to round out the bundle. There is not a power cable included because the HD 5670 does not use that much power and will be powered straight through the PCIe bus connection.

 

Lets take an up close look at the HD 5670.

Closer Look:

The Sapphire HD 5670 is built upon the 40nm Redwood core that comes with clock speeds of 775Mhz on the core and 1000MHz on the 1GB of GDDR5 memory running through a 128bit bus. There are a total of 6 different models of this card with varying specification with the biggest being the difference in the memory capacity and whether the card has Hyper Memory support. The cooler is made by Arctic cooling and is a two slot design. The Sapphire HD 5670 is meant to be used in a 16x PCIE 2.0 slot but can be used in a PCIe 1.0 16x slot as well with support for PCIe 2.1. The PCB is blue and by the standards of the 5 series is the runt of the bunch at just about 6.5 inches in length.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This card comes with a wealth of connectivity options that would make this card perfect for the HTPC builder with native DisplayPort, HDMI 1.3 that offers # Dolby® TrueHD and DTSHD Master AudioTM Support and a dual link DVI connection. With this setup you can run an Eyefinity setup at resolutions of up to 4800x900 60hz. The back side of the HD 5670 is barren and does not contain the power connection we are so used to seeing on higher end cards. This one just does not need it based on its power consumption of 61 watts under load and 14 watts at idle. With that said, a 400 watt power supply is recommended. For CrossfireX, which is available on this card with the dual bridge connections, it jumps to 500W.

 

 

Cooling is handled by way of the Artic Cooling heatsink and fan assembly that is reasonably quiet for its size. The heatsink block is all aluminum without a copper plate or core and should easily dissipate the 61watt heat load from this card. The TIM application is about par for the course and is easily removable.

 

The back of the card has a total of 4 of the 8 Hynix memory modules that are rated to run at 5000Mhz but are only clocked to 4000MHz. The 40nm Redwood core is rated to run at 775MHz with its 400 stream processors, 20 texture units and 32ROPs.

 

 

Lets get the card installed and setup so we can see what really under the hood.


 

Closer Look:

Before you can start fragging you have to install the drivers so that you don't sit there utterly disappointed by the graphics performance of this shiny new card. Thankfully, Sapphire has included a disc to get you started although the manufacturer website is a great alternative. I will browse through the disc to see what is included.

After you insert the disc and allow the autorun to start the process you end up with the Sapphire GUI on the desktop. There are three options to choose from, ATI Easy install, Online Manual and Adobe Reader. Of course, the ATI Easy install is for installing the drivers and proprietary software to gain the most functionality from your new purchase. You have a choice of operating systems to choose from so just choose the appropriate OS and you get to start the ATI driver install wizard. The Online Manual is a link to download the manual while Adobe Reader links to Adobe's website to so you can download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you choose to install the drivers from the disc just move forward through the process and check the options best suited for your needs. You have two options; you can choose either the Express install that manages the whole process for you or the Custom Install that allows you to choose what software you will install from a list. Agree to the EULA and let the wizard finish and do the customary reboot to finish the installation.

 

 

 

 

One of the big knocks on the 5 series cards is the fact that there were really no games available at launch to showcase the DX 11 technology. Fast forward 3+ months and you have a few games to play. Dirt 2 was just released at the beginning of December and Battle Forge has been out and patched for DX 11. Dirt 2 has been a significant part of the bundle in many 5 series cards to get the end user a game that uses the DX 11 features such as tessellation. With Battle Forge you can play online for free or if you like the game you can sign up and buy the game.

 

Closer Look:

The ATI Catalyst Control Center got a new look with the introduction of the 9.7 drivers so it's about time to take an in-depth look at the options and the interface to see how well the GUI is set up and how easy it is to navigate through. Since the basic view is well, basic, I will look through the Advanced panel. The first page to open with ATI Catalyst Control Center is the Welcome page, which has quick hyperlinks to check for driver updates, get in contact with customer care, to give feedback, visit the AMD website, or to join the Folding@Home cause. The next page is the Information Center, which is split into two tabs, one for Graphics Software information and the other for Graphics Hardware information. These two tabs can be very handy for troubleshooting any problems that crop up while using the Sapphire HD 5 series video cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  

 

 

 

The Graphics Hardware tab of the Information Center contains information about the Sapphire HD 5670 , including BIOS version and date, chipset, memory, vendor code, and so on. Most people shouldn’t need the Graphics Hardware and Software information, but it's definitely handy when a problem may occur. The next page is the Desktops & Displays page – this page is for the basic settings of the monitor(s) and desktop. Users can figure out which monitor is which and rotate the outputted image. Clicking the properties or moving along brings us to the Desktop Properties page.

 

 

The Desktop Properties page has much more control over the desktop with settings such as desktop area, color quality, refresh rate, and again, rotation. The next tab in the Desktop Properties page adjusts the color, contrast, brightness, and gamma output. This can be handy on monitors that need some help putting out the appropriate colors – back when I used a CRT a long time ago it helped keep the colors closer to true when the monitor would get aged and get a gray or yellowish tint.

 

 

The Display Options page is very short and is used just for one option – Display Detection Option. The options are automatic or manual detection of displays. The 3D page has several tabs that allow users the ability to define a custom scheme for their games. There are previews for the effects or users can power through all of the settings on the 'All' tab at the end.

 

 

The Avivo Video page has five tabs dedicated to performance and quality adjustments for video output. A preview is included of a woman with flowers and fruit. Again, just as with the 3D page, there is an 'All' tab that can adjust all of the settings for the Avivo Video at once.

 

 

The last page on the graphics menu is the ATI Overdrive. To use this feature users must first click the "lock" to unlock the program after then agreeing to some terms. The software is capable of automatically overclocking the video card through Auto-Tune, but I prefer using the manual settings. Users can test their settings using the Test Custom Clocks button. Fan speed control is relatively new to ATI Overdrive and allows users to define what speed the fan or blower runs at. Underneath and to the right of this are gauges and readouts of some of the more important data for this card – temperature, usage activity, fan speed, GPU clock speed, and memory clock speed. The test feature brings up a full screen image that is pretty basic – greenish reddish with an AMD logo in the bottom left.

 

 

The latest additional menu is the HydraVision menu. The first page is the HydraGrid page, which allows users to define a grid-like component to lock applications to a certain chunk of desktop real estate. Options such as showing the grids when moving a window and showing an icon in the tray are settable at the bottom while adjusting the grid is near the top. The grid can be previewed as the default layout is seen with white bars representing the grids. Users can customize the grid layout to whatever they desire and the keyboard shortcuts are listed out in the image while the red bar means it is the selected grid component to be adjusted.

 

 

The next page is the Desktop Manager, which does exactly what the name implies – it manages the desktop. The desktop manager can keep track of application position and size, and allow spanning across multiple displays. The last page is the Multi Desktop. This name is also suggestive to its use – this program allows users to have multiple desktops ranging from two up to nine. Users can rotate between desktops with the scroll wheel, preserve display settings, and enable another tray icon. This can be useful for those who have a ton of desktop icons as a means to separate them out – one could for instance even make a desktop for each category of their own choosing even – gaming, work, school, and whatever else.

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Now that the Catalyst Control Center has been configured we can get to some gaming or take a rest and let the Sapphire 5700 do some crunching for a cure!

Specifications:

SKU
11168-00
11168-01
11168-02
11168-05
11168-07
11168-06
ASIC
Radeon HD 5670
Radeon HD 5670
Radeon HD 5670
Radeon HD 5670
Radeon HD 5670
Radeon HD 5670
Bus Interface
PCI-E x16 (PCI-E 2.0)
PCI-E x16 (PCI-E 2.0)
PCI-E x16 (PCI-E 2.0)
PCI-E x16 (PCI-E 2.0)
PCI-E x16 (PCI-E 2.0)
PCI-E x16 (PCI-E 2.0)
Memory
1024MB / 128-bit GDDR5
512MB / 128-bit GDDR5
512MB / 128-bit GDDR5
1024MB / 128-bit GDDR5
512MB / 128-bit GDDR5
512MB / 128-bit GDDR5
Hyper Memory Support
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Clock Speed
775Hz Eclk / Effective 4000 MHz Mclk
775Hz Eclk / Effective 4000 MHz Mclk
775Hz Eclk / Effective 4000 MHz Mclk
775Hz Eclk / Effective 4000 MHz Mclk
775Hz Eclk / Effective 4000 MHz Mclk
775Hz Eclk / Effective 4000 MHz Mclk
Cooling System
Dual slot Fan with auto fan control
Dual slot Fan with auto fan control
Dual slot Fan with auto fan control
Dual slot Fan with auto fan control
Dual slot Fan with auto fan control
Dual slot Fan with auto fan control
Bracket
Full Height
Full Height
Full Height
Full Height
Full Height
Full Height
Display Support
DL-DVI-IDisplay Port
HDMI
VGA(Via adaptor)
 
DL-DVI-IDisplay Port
HDMI
VGA(Via adaptor)
 
DL-DVI-I
HDMI
VGA
 
DL-DVI-IDisplay Port
HDMI
VGA(Via adaptor)
 
DL-DVI-IDisplay Port
HDMI
VGA(Via adaptor)
 
DL-DVI-I
HDMI
VGA
 
HDCP
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Eyefinity Support
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Crossfire Support
Hardware Crossfire
Software Crossfire
Software Crossfire
Hardware Crossfire
Software Crossfire
Software Crossfire
Accessories
DVI to VGA Adaptor x1             Crossfire Interconnect Cable x 1
HDMI to DVI cable x1
 
DVI to VGA Adaptor x 1  HDMI to DVI cable x1          
 
DVI to VGA Adaptor x1             Crossfire Interconnect Cable x 1
HDMI to DVI cable x1
 
DVI to VGA Adaptor x 1  HDMI to DVI cable x1          
 
Software Bundle
11168-00-40R is bundled with Arcsoft SIMHD IM*
11168-01-40R is bundled with Arcsoft SIMHD IM*
11168-02-40R is bundled with Arcsoft SIMHD IM*
11168-05-40R is bundled with Arcsoft SIMHD IM*
11168-07-40R is bundled with Arcsoft SIMHD IM*
11168-06-40R is bundled with Arcsoft SIMHD IM*

Features:

 

System Requirements


Maximum Display Resolution:

 

All information courtesy of Sapphire Technology@

Testing:

Testing the Sapphire HD 5670 will consist of running the card through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks to test the performance against many popular competitors to gauge its performance. The games used are some of today's popular titles to give you an idea on how the cards perform relative to each other. The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing where PhysX will be disabled in the nVidia control panel. I will test the card at stock speeds and then overclocked to see how much additional performance is available and determine if it can run with or faster than the current fastest single GPU cards on the market. Of course, all settings are left at defaults in the control panels of each respective manufacturer except where noted. I will be using the latest drivers from each manufacturer at the time of this review.

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

The Sapphire HD 5670 was limited to clock speeds of 850MHz on the core and 1050MHz in the Catalyst control panel. To see what this card could do I turned up the fan speed to 95% and maxed out the clock speeds for the core and memory. The Catalyst Control Center test passed the clock speeds at 850MHz and 1050MHz respectively but was I was greeted with a black screen after a minute of 3DMark Vantage. The customary reboot was required to get the video back. Once back into windows I backed down the memory speed to 1040Mhz and was able to pass 3DMark Vantage and a 30 minute loop of Crysis warhead set to the Gamer preset. Now if you plan on trying for clock speeds in excess of the limits in the Catalyst control Center you should download AMD GPU Clock tool and MSI AfterBurner to make sure you get all the functionality you can. The reason for the two utility approach is that when you set the clock speeds in AMD GPU Clock Tool and apply the setting you default the fan speed to auto. If you go back into the CCC to change the fan speed you lose the clock speeds you set in the GPU Clock Tool. Goofy, but it's what happens. Enter MSI Afterburner - this application was written by the same person responsible for Riva Tuner over at Guru3d and is an easy to use interface that is already able to work with the latest cards from ATI and their partners like Sapphire. After loading up the two tools I started pushing up the clock speed on the Redwood core and was able to reach 900Mhz on the core but it was only stable through 3Dmark Vantage. When I went to start looping Crysis Warhead I was again greeted with a black screen. Backing it down to 895MHz on the core and 1040MHz on the GDDR5 memory took care of all the instability problems enabling a cool 600+ point increase in 3DMark Vantage scores.

 

  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis Warhead
  3. Darkest of Days
  4. Call of Duty World at War
  5. Warhammer 40,000 DOW II
  6. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  7. Resident Evil 5
  8. Left 4 Dead
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage

Testing:

Far Cry 2:

Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built especially for Far Cry 2, this engine allows for real time effects and damage. This next generation First Person Shooter comes to us from Ubisoft surprisingly - not from Crytek. The game is set in a war-torn region of Africa where there is a non-existent central government and the chaos that surrounds this type of social environment. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond, you know the setting. Ubisoft puts the main story line of the game into focus with these statements: "Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfill your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force." In this version of the game, you don't have the beautiful water, but instead the beauty and harshness of the African continent to contend with. Most games give you a set area that can be played through, while Ubisoft has given the gamer the equivalent of 50km2 of the vast African continent to explore while in pursuit of your goals. The settings used are just a few steps below the maximum in-game settings and offer a good blend of performance vs. visual quality.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When compared to the GT 240 the HD 5670 delivers a higher FPS across the board. The margin was greatest at 1280x1024 and was at least 5 FPS at 1920x1200.

Testing:

Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack situated in time with the story line of the original Crysis. As Sergeant "Psycho" Sykes, you have a secret mission to accomplish on the far side of the island. Along the way there are EMP blasts and aliens to contend with, as you hunt down the KPA chief. This game uses an enhanced version of the CryEngine 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far the benchmarking is looking like the HD 5670 has a little more muscle than the GT 240 at all three resolutions.

Testing:

What would testing be if you did not show both sides of the fence? In this test, PhysX was set to low, while leaving the remaining settings intact. You have seen time and again where the ATI cards suffer when PhysX is enabled. Mirror's Edge and Cryostasis are two prime examples. Darkest of Days is no different. What happens in this test shows that, although the game can be played by cards from the red team, the video effects and quality are diminished.

Game Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the Sapphire HD 5670 pulls ahead of the GT 240 it still falls short of the performance delivered by the GTS 250 and HD 4770.

Testing:

Activision's Call of Duty: World at War goes right back to the bread and butter of the franchise - WWII FPS action. In this rendition, you start off in the South Pacific and move through a series of missions that flip back and forth between the Russian front and the island hopping advance toward the Imperial Japanese homeland. Included is a mission on Peliliu Island, arguably one of the more difficult and costly battles in the Pacific theater. The gameplay in the single player mode is rather short, but the game makes up for this shortcoming in online gameplay. If you thought CoD4 looked nice, this game is amazing with the graphics maxed out playing at a high resolution. I will use Fraps to measure a section of gameplay in the Semper Fi map on Makin Island to compare the performance of these video cards.

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Call of Duty World at War the GT 240 offers superior performance when compared to the HD 5670.The HD 4770 and GTS 250 still offer higher performance.

Testing:

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is a Real Time Strategy game that is significantly different than its predecessor, with improved AI and an improved physics engine. You can play either as a single player in campaign mode, or in a multiplayer game where Microsoft's Live ranking system can be used.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the settings used the HD 5670 delivers playable frame rates through all three resolutions allowing it to out perform the GT 240.

Testing:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new game that brings together two bitter foes, the Joker and Batman. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to reign the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to ply your trade.

Game Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the medium settings used Batman is playable with the HD 5670 but you do sacrifice visual quality to gain the higher FPS. Raising the bar on the settings should allow a little better visual quality while still allowing playable FPS.

Testing:

Resident Evil 5 is the sequel to one of the best selling video games of all time. You play the game as Chris Redfield, a survivor of the events at Raccoon City, who now works for the BSAA. Sent to Africa to find the genesis of the latest Bio Organic agents, you meet up with another BSAA operative and work together to solve the problem. The game offers incredible 3D effects and a co-op gaming style.

Game Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GT 240 offered better performance at 1280x1024 but the advantage shrinks as the resolution increases bringing the "experience" to a point where in game you would not notice the difference between the 2 FPS differential.

Testing:

Left 4 Dead from Valve, leaves you as part of a group of survivors in a world where an infection has rapidly turned the populace into a zombie horde. You goal is to make it to a rescue point, all the while fighting what seems like overwhelming odds. Along the way there are safe houses where you can replenish your weapons and health. The movie 'I Am Legend' comes to mind to set the stage for this game. But unlike the movie, there are four characters and not just a lone gun and his faithful companion. The horde is not at all like the typical slow walking, foot shuffling zombie. These zombies are quick and work with the pack mentality. Your job: survival!

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is not a single card in this comparison that wont allow you the joy of killing massive amount of zombies. The HD 5670 delivers no less than 102 FPS at 1920x1200. The HD 4770 and GTS 250 still out perform it in this test.

Testing:

3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest has begun. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Let's see how this setup fares. The settings we will use are listed below.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HD 5670 from Sapphire out performs the GT 240 by a margin that ranges from 1100+ points at 1280x1024 down to just under 1000 points at 1920x1200. This puts the performance well above that of the 4670 but just shy of the 4770.

Testing:

Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. 'Entry' is 1024x768 progressing to 'Extreme' at 1920x1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Except for the "Entry" score the Sapphire HD 5670 stays neck in neck with the GT 240, physically beating it in only 1 of the 3 resolutions. But it does stay close enough to make it a contest.

Conclusion:

At the $100 price point you have in the Sapphire HD 5670 is the only Direct X 11 card at this part of the market. The HD 5670 is not really made to be a gaming power house as you have seen from the gaming benchmarks. It is meant to be a discrete graphics card that works as a co processor to improve the computing experience for the masses. Those that do not have the latest and greatest processor from either Intel or AMD or even if they do but have a lower spec chip the HD 5670 should help out in compute intensive applications such as video editing and creating digital content or watching high definition content. For an HTPC this card this card should excel with its native HDMI 1.3 port with Dolby® TrueHD and DTSHD Master AudioTM support, cool temperatures thanks to the Arctic cooling heatsink and power efficiency. When put under load, the entire system pulled a total of 221 watts at the stock clock speeds of 775MHz/1000MHz and only 223 watts when overclocked. Not bad when you look at the gaming performance it delivers against its direct competition the GT 240. It was only soundly beaten in two of the games it was tested in by the GT 240, Call of Duty World at War and Resident Evil 5. Even so it is not a gaming power house but can deliver an acceptable level of play if you compromise on the visual quality to get the performance. With that said this card is leaps and bounds ahead of the HD 4670. Overclocking the HD 5670 will yield some improvement but I was only able to increase the GPU core clock by 120Mhz on the Redwood core and 40MHz on the GDDR5 memory rated to run at 1250Mhz. In part most likely due to the low power consumption of the card. The cooler does its job well and is inaudible unless you ram up the fan speed. As delivered with the driver controlling the fan speeds the idle temperature was 30 degrees Celsius at idle and 51 Celsius under load. When overclocked with the fan speed manually set to 95% the idle speed moved up to 32 degrees Celsius and dropped to 46 Celsius under load. All in all this offering will do the job; it is designed for and fits a niche in the market. At right around 100 dollars the price point is a tight field to play in as for a few bucks more there are cards that offer more performance but then they lack the DX 11 capabilities as well.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: