HIS 6670 Fan 1GB GDDR5 £93
10th Jan 2012 | 09:30
A low-profile HTPC offering decent performance figures
HIS has a reputation for employing unusual and efficient cooling solutions on its cards, and the HIS 6670 Fan 1GB GDDR5 is no exception.
This is its low-profile rendition of the HD 6670, AMD's lower-end gaming GPU. Granted, it's the type of graphics core that's hard to get too excited about, but while it struggles to produce triple-figure frame rates, at least it doesn't come with a triple figure price tag.
The low profile design brings home theatre PCs to mind, and it comes with extra brackets that can include or exclude the VGA output alongside the 3D-capable HDMI v1.4 and dual-link DVI ports.
The HIS 6670 Fan takes the full 1GB GDDR5 memory option rather than the cheaper GDDR3, and so has a decent 4GHz memory clock alongside the usual 800MHz core clock.
The GPU chiller comes in the shape of a dual 45mm fan cooling solution that proves to be far thinner than the stock cooler and far more elegant.
As a low power, low profile graphics card, we can see the HIS 6670 Fan 1GB GDDR5 making a beeline for many home theatre installations. While it's certainly not a silent solution, its main advantage is the cooling efficiency of the dual-fan system.
Under continuous full load the GPU never breached 50°C while the automatic fan speed remained at around 40 per cent. HIS offers a silent solution with its HIS 6670 iSilence 4 1GB DDR3 as an alternative, but it only uses the slower 1.6GHz DDR3.
Fixing the fan speed to its lowest 20 per cent setting only raised the temperature a whisker to 50°C, therefore we think you could happily slap on a fan controller to further reduce this. Compare that to the Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate which reported temperatures of 100°C under full load.
The enhanced cooling on offer here enables easy overclocking too. There were no signs of strain taking the core up to 900MHz and the memory up to 4,600MHz, which provided a 10 to 12 per cent increase in frame rates.
With the two low profile brackets provided, you can keep all three main video outputs active, with the analogue VGA output sitting next to its digital DVI and HDMI v1.4 friends. The v1.4 HDMI output is compatible with 3D displays, which means you can make use of the AMD HD3D technology.
DirectX 11 tessellation performance
Heaven 2.5: Frames per second: Higher is better
HIS 6670 Fan 1GB GDDR5: 6.0
Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate: 5.9
Sapphire HD 5670 Ultimate: 4.6
DirectX 11 gaming performance
AvP: Frames per second: Higher is better
HIS 6670 Fan 1GB GDDR5: 16
Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate: 15
Sapphire HD 5670 Ultimate: 12
DirectX 11 gaming performance
DiRT 3: Frames per second: Higher is better
HIS 6670 Fan 1GB GDDR5: 24
Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate: 24
Sapphire HD 5670 Ultimate: 21
Ultimately, performance is very slightly enhanced over other Radeon HD 6670 cards we've tested. The results may seem far from ideal for 1080p displays, but our benchmarks are run at the top detail settings with 4x AA. For example, shifting DiRT 3 from Ultra to High settings would see the frame rate double to a very playable 40fps or so.
HTPC purists may baulk at the fan-based cooling, but overall noise remained around the same as our test system's low-speed 110mm CPU cooler. Performance equals or exceeds that of other Radeon HD 6670 cards we've tested, but only just.
Overall, this is an excellent low-cost card with good overclocking abilities. Even so, we can't help thinking that it's not quite in the same class as the HD 5770.
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