AMD Radeon HD 6570 & 6670 Budget GPUs

Graphics Cards
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While 3DMark is a completely synthetic benchmark, it is a good general indicator of 3D performance, particularly when the score differences are quite high. In this case we see both the HD 6570 and HD 6670 posting significant gains over the GDDR3 version of the HD 5570, particularly in the DX9 and DX10 versions of the benchmark.

Most users consider 30 fps as representing a smooth gaming performance and both the 6570 and 6670 delivered this in our standalone game benchmarks with our test system, which features a budget processor, the Athlon II X3 435, and 4GB of DDR3 memory. Each benchmark was configured with high detail levels and run at 1440x900, a modest 16:10 resolution.

The HD 5570 (GDDR3 version) was borderline in both Lost Planet 2 and Alien vs. Predator, suggesting that in some games, you'll be sacrificing either image quality or framerate. In contrast, the 6570 and 6670 powered through H.A.W.X. 2 with ease so they should be able to drive higher resolutions (full HD) on similar, less demanding titles.


These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 seconds of room ambiance, followed by 5~10 seconds of the VGA test system without a video card installed, and then the actual product's noise at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

Comparable system sound files:


Gaming: Both cards offer reasonably good performance at lower resolutions (1440x900 and lower) compared to the respective models they are meant to replace, the HD 5570 and HD 5670. At larger resolutions, say 1080p, they struggle and a more capable card is required. For more extensive game testing of the HD 6570 and HD 6670, please check out gaming-oriented reviews at sites like HardwareCanucks and AnandTech.

Video Playback: Like the rest of the HD 6000 series, both cards support bitstreaming for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA audio, stereoscopic 3D, and UVD 3, making them among the most versatile graphics cards available for home theaters and the like. Seamless full HD decoding is produced with ease, with Flash video demanding more CPU cycles, as is the norm. We also noticed that the image quality on some of our test clips were less saturated compared to our HD 5570 sample. The end result seems to be more realistic, though whether it looks better is debatable.

Power Consumption: By our estimates, both the AMD Radeon HD 6570 and 6670 use just 10W when idle, which is excellent compared to most cards in the same class. On load, they consume approximately 66W and 57W respectively. We're not sure exactly why the higher-clocked 6670 turned out to be more energy efficient, being more frugal both during video playback and on full load.

Cooling: The HD 6570 stock cooler is what you expect from a reference heatsink for a budget graphics card: the bare minimum. It is fairly quiet when idle, annoyingly loud at load, and managed to keep the GPU core adequately cooled — just barely. The bigger two slot cooling solution employed on the HD 6670 kept it both cooler and quieter when stressed, though it may simply be that our 6670 sample's superb energy efficiency gave it an easier time.

Price: Many AMD budget graphics cards have overlapping price-points at the moment, with the HD 6570, HD 5670, and the GDDR5 version of the HD 5570 all lurking in the same price range. The 5570 is the obvious odd man out, while the 6570 doesn't offer as much value as the 5670, trailing the older card slightly in 3D performance. Also, at US$79, it costs about $10 more than the cheapest 5670.

The HD 5750's price hovers just above US$100, making things difficult for the US$99 HD 6670. The 5750 offers much better gaming performance for just a few dollars more. Still, the 6670 offers better energy efficiency and may be available in low profile versions.

Our thanks to AMD for the reference Radeon HD 6570 512MB and Radeon HD 6670 1GB samples.

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