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Radeon HD 5670: The Reference Card

ATI Radeon HD 5670: DirectX 11 For $99
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Despite a list of fairly respectable specifications, the Radeon HD 5670 doesn't appear to be a formidably-sized card (a nice change from the behemoths that were the Radeon HD 5970 and 5870). Barely seven inches long, it's a single-slot board with a small enough cooler to keep weight down to a minimum. The physical dimensions are extremely close to Nvidia's recently-released GeForce GT 220, another card in roughly the same price range and also with a 40nm GPU.

Note the lack of power connector. Based on its specifications alone, the Radeon HD 5670 is expected to claim the title of "fastest reference graphics card without a dedicated power connector" from Nvidia's GeForce GT 240. That's the reference design, mind you. PowerColor is selling a modified Radeon HD 5750 without a power connector. But this is still a noteworthy accomplishment, and it speaks to the card's low power usage and heat output.

It is interesting that the reference model AMD sent us did not sport a CrossFire bridge, whereas the images of another reference card the company sent over did have the connector in place. AMD let us know the card can be run in CrossFire without the bridge, and that this class of card actually works well without one. This is because it isn't able to move as much information between cards as the higher-end models, and consequently won't saturate the PCIe interface. Apparently, the decision is being left up to the card vendor whether or not to include the CrossFire connectors for the bridge. Unfortunately, without bridged and un-bridged models to play with, we won't be able to test the performance impact of running one way or the other until a later date.

This reference model they sent includes DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort outputs. We'd have preferred two HDMI outputs in addition to the DVI (or two DVIs and an HDMI), as DisplayPort cables aren't quite mainstream yet. But with DisplayPort becoming more prevalent on graphics cards and monitors, it's only a matter of time before DVI and LVDS are both replaced by DisplayPort. There is some flexibility in the hands of the manufacturers here as another reference model in some pictures they supplied has a VGA, HDMI, and DVI output. As we mentioned, the Radeon HD 5670 can technically handle four outputs, so we expect certain vendors to design and market an Eyefinity-edition sooner or later with a dual-slot bezel and enough slot space to handle more connectors.

Here's the heatsink removed. And here's a close-up of the GPU. Hard to believe this little puppy has more ALUs than the once-flagship Radeon HD 2900 XT, huh?

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