AMD Radeon HD 6570 & 6670 Budget GPUs

Graphics Cards
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TEST METHODOLOGY

Our test procedure is an in-system test, designed to:

1. Determine whether the cooler is adequate for use in a low-noise system. By adequately cooled, we mean cooled well enough that no misbehavior related to thermal overload is exhibited. Thermal misbehavior in a graphics card can show up in a variety of ways, including:

  • Sudden system shutdown, reboot without warning, or loss of display signal
  • Jaggies and other visual artifacts on the screen.
  • Motion slowing and/or screen freezing.

Any of these misbehaviors are annoying at best and dangerous at worst — dangerous to the health and lifespan of the graphics card, and sometimes to the system OS.

2. Estimate the card's power consumption. This is a good indicator of how efficient the card is and will have an effect on how hot the stock cooler becomes due to power lost in the form of heat. The lower the better.

3. Determine how well the card decodes high definition video.

Test Platform


GPU-Z screenshot: HD 6570 512MB.


GPU-Z screenshot: HD 6670 1GB.

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Estimating DC Power

The following power efficiency figures were obtained for the Seasonic S12-600 used in our test system:

Seasonic S12-500 / 600 TEST RESULTS
DC Output (W)
65.3
89.7
148.7
198.5
249.5
300.2
400
AC Input (W)
87.0
115.0
183.1
242.1
305.0
370.2
500
Efficiency
75.1%
78.0%
81.2%
82.0%
81.8%
81.1%
80%

This data is enough to give us a very good estimate of DC demand in our test system. We extrapolate the DC power output from the measured AC power input based on this data. We won't go through the math; it's easy enough to figure out for yourself if you really want to.

Video Test Suite


1080p | 24fps | ~14mbps

Spaceship is an H.264 encoded clip in an MKV container. It features a hapless robot trying to repair a lamp on a spaceship.



1080p | 24fps | ~10mbps
Rush Hour is a movie trailer encoded in H.264 inside an Apple Quicktime container.


1080p | 24fps | ~8mbps
Coral Reef is encoded in VC-1 using the WMV3 codec commonly recognized by the "WMV-HD" moniker.


1080p | 24fps | ~3.4mbps

Avatar is a 1080p Flash trailer of the motion picture "Avatar" from YouTube.

Testing Procedures

Our first test involves monitoring the system power consumption as well as CPU and GPU temperatures using SpeedFan and GPU-Z during different states: Idle, under load with CPUBurn running to stress the processor, and CPUBurn plus FurMark running to stress both the CPU and GPU simultaneously. This last state is an extremely stressful, worst case scenario test which generates more heat and higher power consumption than can be produced by a modern video game. If it can survive this torture in our low airflow system, it should be able to function normally in the majority of PCs.

If the heatsink has a fan, the load state tests are repeated at various fan speeds (if applicable) while the system case fan is left at its lowest setting of 7V. If the card utilizes a passive cooler, the system fan is varied instead to study the effect of system airflow on the heatsink's performance.

Our second test procedure is to run the system through a video test suite featuring a variety of high definition clips played with PowerDVD and Mozilla Firefox (for Flash video). During playback, a CPU usage graph is created by the Windows Task Manger for analysis to determine the average CPU usage. High CPU usage is indicative of poor video decoding ability. If the video (and/or audio) skips or freezes, we conclude the GPU (in conjunction with the processor) is inadequate to decompress the clip properly. Power consumption during playback of high definition video is also recorded.



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