Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670 £76

4th May 2011 | 11:52

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670

AMD's latest sub-£100 graphics card

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

A decent stab at a gaming GPU for under a hundred quid

Like:

Beats the HD 5670; Nearly playable at 1680 x 1050;

Dislike:

The HD 5770 still has it beat; Tough competition sub-£100;

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670: Overview

We've been getting hot under the GPU-collar for the top end of the graphics market in the last few months, with the release of both AMD's Radeon HD 6990 and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 590 dual-GPU monoliths. But we still love a cheeky, cheap GPU like the AMD Radeon HD 6670.

It's all very well talking about £600 graphics cards that need PC cases the size of Andre the Giant to house them, and a mini Arc reactor to keep them powered, but how many of us are actually going to drop a month's wages on such a pixel-pushing behemoth?

More likely you're going to be looking at a maximum outlay of around £150-£200.

And currently there's a lot of graphics processing power available all the way down the price spectrum too.

AMD though has come in, GPUs-blazing, at a sub-£100 price point with its latest DirectX 11 graphics cards, the £76 Radeon HD 6670 and the £53 Radeon HD 6570.

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670: Benchmarks

Benchmarks

We tested the 6670 here at 1680 x 1050 at the highest settings, with 4x anti-aliasing, and still managed to hit almost playable framerates on some tough games. Drop some of the GPU-intensive settings and you'll be happily gaming with the AMD Radeon HD 6670.

That said, the XFX Radeon HD 5770 is a real budget gamer's card, and beats the 6670 by some margin.

DirectX 11 gaming performance

Sapphire amd radeon hd 6670

Sapphire amd radeon hd 6670

DirectX 10 gaming performance

Sapphire amd radeon hd 6670

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670: Verdict

Verdict

AMD radeon hd 6670

The Radeon HD 6670 is the direct replacement for the out-going Radeon HD 5670, and in a strange twist of nomenclature AMD has actually stuck with a transparent naming structure. So none of the confusion we had looking from the AMD Radeon HD 5850 to the weaker AMD Radeon HD 6850 then.

The AMD Radeon HD 6670, like its runt of a sibling the AMD Radeon HD 6570, runs on the new Turks GPU, though with a clockspeed boost over its sub-£50 brethren.

The make up of the new GPU shows a slight architectural increase over the Radeon HD 5670's Redwood XT core, with 480 shader cores to the previous GPU's 400, 24 texture units to the Radeon HD 5670's 20 and double the number of Render Output Units (ROPs), at 16.

What this all translates into is increased performance over the previous generation's card. That's what it's meant to do, so job done, right?

Well, kinda.

The actual performance boost over the HD 5670 is relatively minor – you're looking at a couple of frames per second increase at best. That said, a couple of fps can sometimes make the difference between playable and unplayable gaming.

You're almost getting playable framerates in the latest games at 1680 x 1050, at the top settings with 4x anti-aliasing thrown in for some serious GPU-stressing. Drop the AA and maybe lower a few other post-processing settings, and you're looking at a decent budget gaming graphics card.

So it's no upgrade for anyone with an HD 5670, but if you've got a lower-end, last-generation card it could just about get you gaming again.

At £76, it's looking like a decent compromise between price and performance, and if you're really on a tight budget you'll still be able to game at your 22-inch panel's native res, albeit with a few graphical niceties dialled down.

As ever in this tightly compressed graphics card market there's a more powerful alternative, but it's a few pounds away. For less than a tenner you're looking at XFX's single-slot Radeon HD 5770, and that's rather close to being a bone fide gaming GPU.

We liked

For the money, the Radeon HD 6670 is a decent-looking budget graphics card. It will run modern games at playable framerates on medium settings, but not much more than that.

We disliked

With almost double the graphical processing power, the Juniper XT GPU in the HD 5770 is far more capable, and a quick look at the DiRT 2 and Just Cause 2 benchmarks ably demonstrate that.

Final word

For just £76 the Radeon HD 6670 does represent a decent stab at budget gaming.

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