ATI Radeon HD 5670: DirectX 11 For $99

The Radeon HD 5670 Architecture

Thus far, AMD's Radeon HD 5000-series has demonstrated a predictable relationship between the high-performance models ending in the suffix '70,' each successively-lower model offering half of the stream processors of its more powerful cousin. The Radeon HD 5670 continues this trend:

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Header Cell - Column 0 Radeon HD 5970Radeon HD 5870Radeon HD 5770Radeon HD 5670
Shader Processors:3,2001,600800400
Texture Units:160804020
Color ROPs:6432168
Core Clock:725 MHz850 MHz850 MHz775 MHz
GDDR5 Memory Clock:1000 MHz1200 MHz1200 MHz1000 MHz
Memory Bus:256-bit256-bit128-bit128-bit
Data Rate:8 Gb/s9.6 Gb/s4.8 Gb/s4 Gb/s
Compute Power (TFLOPs):4.642.721.360.62
Transistors (Billions):
Maximum Power:294W188W108W61W
Idle Power:42W27W18W14W

What's interesting here is that the new Radeon HD 5670 offers similar memory bandwidth compared to the higher-end Radeon HD 5770. Both cards offer a 128-bit bus with GDDR5 memory on-board, resulting in memory performance that isn't all that different.

Let's look at the Radeon HD 5670 block diagram for a better idea of how it compares to its siblings:

We went through the Radeon HD 5000-series architecture in detail in our Radeon HD 5870 launch article, so I won't rehash the minutia. We will look at the differences in the Radeon HD 5670 though. In short, the 5670 is one quarter of a 5870. It contains five SIMD engines, each with four texture units and 16 stream processors, and each stream processor with its five ALUs (which ATI calls Stream Cores). As a result, this GPU boasts 400 stream cores and 20 texture units. Note that there are two 64-bit memory controllers sharing two render back-ends. Each render back-end contains four color ROP units resulting in a total of eight ROPs and a 128-bit memory interface.

Lets compare this to the Radeon HD 4770 we're hoping the new Radeon HD 5670 will be able to compete with:

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Header Cell - Column 0 Radeon HD 5670Radeon HD 4770
Shader Processors:400640
Texture Units:2032
Color ROPs:816
Core Clock:775 MHz750 MHz
GDDR5 Memory Clock:1,000 MHz800 MHz
Memory Bus:128-bit128-bit
Data Rate:4 Gb/s3.2 Gb/s
Transistors (Billions):.6270.826

Our hopes that the Radeon HD 5670 will meet Radeon HD 4770 performance are somewhat dashed to some extent. The Radeon HD 4770 has more than a 50% increase in ALUs and texture units compared to the new 5670, not to mention two times the ROPs. The only real advantage the 5670 can boast compared to its previous-generation predecessor is a bit more bandwidth, due to a higher memory speed. Based on this, we're going to predict that the Radeon HD 5670 will fall well short of the 4770 when it comes to 3D gaming, and will instead have to pick up the slack with its value-added features.

The Radeon HD 4850 and 4770 are on the verge of extinction, which will open up some breathing room for the new $100 card in ATI's own lineup. The demise of the respectable GeForce 9800 GT and GTS 250 is less certain with GF100 (Nvidia's next-gen graphics architecture) delayed.

Of course there are quite a few capabilities that the Radeon HD 5000-series cards are able to boast currently not offered by its competition. For example, this card doesn't require a dedicated power connector. Moreover, you get some of the extras covered in previous Radeon HD 5000-series introductions: DirectX 11, Eyefinity, and bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats. Let's talk about how these features work on the Radeon HD 5670.

  • amdfangirl
    4800x900? Are you serious?

    Otherwise, great review. Just curious, are you going to make Flash 10.1 playback a benchmark? I'm just interested.
  • amdfangirl
    Oh yes, could you add the hierarchy chart and show where the HD 5670 fits in?
  • stridervm
    I wish there was a Radeon 4850 in the comparison chart for.... Comparison....
  • noob2222
    If it weren't for the 4770, this would be priced decently, at the same price it kills the 240. If they were to lower the price to $80 for the 5670, the 240 would get the dumb buy of the year award. IMO $90 would be about right, $80 is definatly too cheap.

    Here it will have to compete against the similarly-performing $80 GeForce 9600 GT

    ... wrong. it won crysis, was close in far cry2 and Hawx. It was slaughtered in the rest of the games by the 5670.

  • notty22
    ..................Radeon HD 5670 Radeon HD 4770
    Shader Processors 400 640
    Texture Units: 20 32

    Color ROPs: 8 16

    Those numbers against the 4770 show, a crippled card. Is this to leave something in the cupboard for the next generation ?
    Just meh, no reason for this card to exist at all.

  • belial2k
    I think the points made here about the pricing could be made about the entire 5xxx series. At no point in the entire line is there a GOOD value. Everything can be beaten in price/ performance by previous generation cards or combination of cards...even the 5870 loses badly to two 4890s for less money. The only thing they have going for them is DX11 and eyefinity, which for most gamers are rather questionable "value" adds because of the huge hit DX11 gives framerates and the 3 monitors needed for eyefinity. All these cards need to come down in price before they become smart price/performance buys.
  • duckmanx88
    notty22Just meh, no reason for this card to exist at all.
    low price point, low power consumption, and extremely close to the 9800GT in performance. Plenty of reasons to like this card. especially for a casual Sims or Torchlight gamer.
  • cleeve
    noob2222It was slaughtered in the rest of the games by the 5670.
    "Slaughtered". +1 for hyperbole!
  • noob2222
    Cleeve"Slaughtered". +1 for hyperbole!What would you call 12-20% faster across the board?
    oh, right, "similar" noting like the pot calling the kettle black huh.
  • Otus
    4850 and 4770 will be out soon and prices for what units are left will probably rise in price. There's probably room for price cuts for 5670 at a