Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570 £53

4th May 2011 | 13:14

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570

When is a Radeon HD 6670 not a Radeon HD 6670?

TechRadar rating:

3 stars

A strange offering from Sapphire – the GDDR5 is welcome, but the chunky footprint less so.

Like:

Will play low-res games; Happy with HD videos;

Dislike:

Not happy with HD gaming; Oddly large PCB;

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570: Overview

With its latest two releases, the AMD Radeon HD 6670 and this AMD Radeon HD 6570, AMD is ducking below the £100 mark.

AMD has long been the value proposition when it comes to gaming. Whether it's processors or graphics cards, you can always rely on it to give you options no matter what your cashflow looks like.

Indeed, with this little card at around £50, it's seriously limboing that £100 price point.

So we've seen the HD 6570's big brother in action and, ignoring the more tantalising prospect of the XFX Radeon HD 5770, it's not a bad little budget gamer's card.

Based on the same essential architecture, this slightly slower £50 version ought to be pretty good value too.

They're both running the same new AMD GPU and, in Sapphire clothing, they're both set on a full-size slab of PCB with an Arctic Cooling fan sat atop the warmest parts.

But you've got to ask yourself what you really expect from a £50 GPU.

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570: Benchmarks

Benchmarks

Like the AMD Radeon HD 6670 before it, we've tested the HD 6570 at the standard 22-inch native res of 1680 x 1050. As you can see, at this resolution it just doesn't have the gaming chops to offer much in the way of 3D power. Again you'll up framerates by lowering the in-game settings, but you'll have to drop them a long way to get fully playable.

DirectX 11 gaming performance

Sapphire amd radeon hd 6570

Sapphire amd radeon hd 6570

DirectX 10 gaming performance

Sapphire amd radeon hd 6570

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570: Verdict

Verdict

AMD radeon hd 6570

You really shouldn't be expecting a lot from the AMD Radeon HD 6570.

It's already a bit of a stretch referring to the AMD Radeon HD 6670 as a gamer's card, even a budget one, but the Radeon HD 6570 can realistically carry no such moniker.

Though they're based on the same exact GPU, the firmware onboard is limiting the clockspeed, dropping it by 150MHz to 650MHz, and there is a certain paucity of graphics memory too.

This Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570, though, does at least come with 512MB of GDDR5, rather than the 1GB of DDR3, so has a good deal more bandwidth.

But still, a gaming behemoth it aint.

Rather, this is more of a small, media machine's card, able to throw HD content around without putting the slightest strain on the PC's CPU, while still enabling you to run less-demanding games at low resolutions. In fact, it's exactly what the AMD Radeon HD 5570 was perfect for.

The AMD Radeon HD 6570, then, is the traditional iterative, generational step-up from the card it's replacing. Though it doesn't have the grunt to really justify an upgrade from Radeon HD 5570 to Radeon HD 6570, you simply wont get your money's worth.

So then this is your media centre's ideal companion.

Except not in this Sapphire-guise.

We're big fans of Sapphire's cards, but the fact the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 here is on a standard-height card while the reference board comes on a half-height PCB seems odd.

With the Sapphire Radeon HD 5570 XtendTV you could justify it via the extra silicon the built-in TV tuner needed to function, but there's no real justification for such a chunky card here.

Sapphire may argue that the extra board size and Arctic Cooling chiller make it a cooler, and subsequently quieter, card for the media centre, but AMD's chunky reference cooler is hardly a turbine.

We liked

Basically it's a decent stab at a media graphics card at the £50 price point.

We disliked

Unfortunately though it's not really offering a hell of a lot more over the last generation of cards, and the standard-height PCB seems a littel unnecessary in what ought to be a HTPC card.

Final word

Unfortunately, unless you've got a rather capacious media centre chassis, and a very limited graphics budget to go with it, there's little reason to recommend this cheapo GPU.

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