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AMD Radeon HD 6670 and 6570 Mainstream GPUs
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Date: Apr 19, 2011
Section:Graphics/Sound
Author: Marco Chiappetta
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Introduction and Specifications

A couple of weeks ago, AMD took the wraps off of the Radeon HD 6450, an affordable DirectX 11-class graphics card targeted at users looking to upgrade from basic, integrated graphics solutions. We posted a quick look at the Radeon HD 6450 in our news, and while the card wasn’t a barn-burner, it was certainly a step up from integrated graphics. The card’s low-power characteristics, low profile, and the integration of AMD’s UVD3 video engine also made it an excellent candidate for HTPC applications.

Today AMD continues to flesh out the Radeon HD 6000 series with a few more cards targeted at more budget-friendly, mainstream market segments. As their names suggest, the new Radeon HD 6670 and Radeon HD 6570 cards launching today are somewhat more powerful than the Radeon HD 6450, but they’re also priced a little higher too. We’re still talking about really affordable price-points though; 1GB GDDR5 versions of the Radeon HD 6670 will be available for as low as $99, while the 512MB GDDR5 (or 1GB DDR3) version of Radeon HD 6570 will be available for around $79.

The specifications and main features of these new Radeon HD 6000 series cards are posted below. Then we’ll follow up with some quick and dirty performance tests on the pages ahead...

AMD Radeon HD 6570 and 6670 DirectX 11 GPUs
Specifications & Features

 

Radeon HD 6570 GDDR5

Radeon HD 6570 GDDR3

Radeon HD 6670

Process

40nm

40nm

40nm

Transistors

716M

716M

716M

Engine Clock

650 MHz

650 MHz

800 MHz

Stream Processors

480

480

480

Compute Performance

724 GFLOPS

724 GFLOPS

768 GFLOPS

Texture Units

24

24

24

Texture Fillrate

15.6 GTexels/s

15.6 GTexels/s

19.2 GTexels/s

ROPs

8

8

8

Pixel Fillrate

5.2 Gpixel/s

5.2 Gpixel/s

6.4 Gpixel/s

Z/Stencil

32

32

32

Memory Type

GDDR5

DDR3

GDDR5

Memory Clock

900-1000 MHz

900 MHz

1000 MHz

Memory Data Rate

4 Gbps

1.8 Gbps

4 Gbps

Memory Bandwidth

64 GB/s

28.8 GB/s

64 GB/s

Maximum Board Power

60 W

44 W

66 W

Idle Board Power

11 W

10 W

12 W


   

   
AMD Radeon HD 6570 GDDR5 (top) and Radeon HD 6670 (bottom)

There are three new cards being announced today, GDD5 and GDDR3 versions of the Radeon HD 6570 and a GDDR5 version of the higher-end Radeon HD 6670. All three of the cards are based on the same GPU, however, and differ only in their form factors, memory configurations, and clock speeds.

At the heart of these new cards is a 716 million transistor GPU manufactured on TSMC’s 40nm process node. The GPU is outfitted with 480 stream processors, 24 texture units, and 8 ROPs, and it features a 128-bit memory interface. At its reference clocks of 650MHz for the GPU and 1GHz for the memory (4Gb/s data rate) the Radeon HD 6570 GDDR5 version offers 724 GFLOPS of compute performance, with a 5.2 GPixel/s pixel fillrate, and 64GB/s of memory bandwidth. The Radeon HD 6570 GDDR3 edition offers similar compute and fillrate numbers, but much lower peak memory bandwidth of 28.8GB/s due to the slower data rate of GDDR3 memory. The Radeon HD 6670, however, features a much higher clocked GPU, which will result in better overall performance in most instances. The reference specifications call for an 800MHz GPU clock on the Radeon HD 6670, which ups its fillrate to 6.4 GPixels/s; memory bandwidth is unchanged from the GDDR5 version of the 6570 (when 1GHz memory is used).

As you can see in the chart above, power consumption is very low on these cards as well, with the Radeon HD 6670 offering a max board power of only 66 watts under load (60 or 44 watts for the two Radeon HD 6570 cards). As such, none of these new cards requires supplemental power and heat and noise are non-issues.

Since these new cards are members of the Radeon HD 6000 family, they also share many of the same features of their higher-end counterparts, like UVD3 and Eyefinity support, among others.
 
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Test Setup & Unigine Heaven v2.1

How We Configured Our Test Systems: We tested the graphics cards in this article on a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 motherboard powered by a Core i7 980X six-core processor and 6GB of OCZ DDR3-1333 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the system BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings. Then we manually configured the memory timings (DDR3-1333, CAS 7) and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS and installed the latest DirectX redist, along with the necessary drivers, games, and benchmark applications.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Core i7 980X (3.3GHz)
Gigabyte EX58-UD5 (X58 Express)

Radeon HD 6670
Radeon HD 6570
Radeon HD 5750
GeForce GTS 450

6GB OCZ DDR3-1333
Western Digital Raptor 150GB
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX Nov. 2010 Redist
ATI Catalyst v11.4b
NVIDIA GeForce Drivers 270.61

Benchmarks Used:

Unigine Heaven v2.1
Futuremark 3DMark11
FarCry 2
Alien vs. Predator
Metro 2033

Unigine Heaven v2.1 Benchmark
Pseudo-DirectX 11 Gaming


Unigine Heaven

The Unigine Heaven Benchmark v2.0 is built around the Unigine game engine. Unigine is a cross-platform real-time 3D engine, with support for DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11 and OpenGL. The Heaven benchmark--when run in DX11 mode--also makes comprehensive use of tessellation technology and advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion), and it also features volumetric cumulonimbus clouds generated by a physically accurate algorithm and a dynamic sky with light scattering.

As of this writing, Radeon HD 5770 and NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 cards can be found for prices ranging from about $79 to $119 (after rebates), so we've included performance numbers from those two cards as points of reference throughout this piece.

The numbers show the new Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 trailing the previous-gen cards by a fair margin in the Unigine Heaven benchmark.

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3DMark11 and FarCry 2

Futuremark 3DMark11
Synthetic DirectX Gaming


Futuremark 3DMark11

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows Vista and 7-based systems because it uses the advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 11, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Performance preset option, which uses a resolution of 1280x720 with no anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering.

3DMark11 tells essentially the same story as Unigine Heaven from the previous page. The new Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 cards can't quite keep pace with the Radeon HD 5770 or GeForce GTS 450.

FarCry 2
DirectX Gaming Performance


FarCry 2

Like the original, FarCry 2 is one of the more visually impressive games to be released on the PC to date. Courtesy of the Dunia game engine developed by Ubisoft, FarCry 2's game-play is enhanced by advanced environment physics, destructible terrain, high resolution textures, complex shaders, realistic dynamic lighting, and motion-captured animations.  We benchmarked the graphics cards in this article with a fully patched version of FarCry 2, using one of the built-in demo runs recorded in the "Ranch" map.  The test results shown here were run at various resolutions with 4X AA enabled.

The performance trend continues in the FarCry 2 benchmark. Both the Radeon HD 6570 and 6670 put up playable framerates in FC2 at these taxing settings, but the older, similarly priced cards offer much more performance.

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Metro 2033 and Alien vs. Predator

Metro 2033
DirecX11 Gaming Performance


Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is your basic post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment, but rather you’re left to deal with life, or lack there-of more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. The game is loosely based on a novel by Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2003 boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform currently including a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism. This title also supports NVIDIA PhysX technology for impressive in-game physics effects. We tested the game resolutions of 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 with 4X anti-aliasing and in-game image quality options set to their High Quality mode, with DOF effects disabled.

Metro 2033 tells us more of the same. Note that the 512MB frame buffer on the Radeon HD 6570 is overwhelmed by this game with the settings we used at 1920x1200, hence the relatively low score.

Alien vs. Predator
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance


Alien vs. Predator

The Alien vs. Predator benchmark makes use of the advanced Tessellation, screen space ambient occlusion and high-quality shadow features, available with DirectX 11. In addition to enabling all of the aforementioned DirectX 11 related features offered by this benchmark, we also switched on 4X anti-aliasing along with 16X anisotropic filtering to more heavily tax the graphics cards being tested.

The Radeon HD 6670 almost catches the GeForce GTS 450 in the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark, but still ultimately misses the mark.

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Total System Power Consumption

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points--namely power consumption and noise. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling and while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the graphics cards alone.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

The new Radeon HD 6570 and 6670 proved to be quite power friendly. The card consumed the lease amount of power while both idling and under load. Then again, looking back at the performance numbers, they should consume the least amount of power of the group of the cards tested here.

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Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The new Radeon HD 6570 and Radeon HD 6670 performed relatively well throughout our testing, but couldn’t keep pace with a couple of similarly priced, previous generation cards. As expected, the smaller frame buffer and lower-GPU clock of the Radeon HD 6570 resulted in somewhat lower performance than the Radeon HD 6670. Even still, the slightly higher-end Radeon HD 6670 trailed the older Radeon HD 5750 and GeForce GTS 450 throughout our tests.


AMD Radoen HD 6570 GDDR5 and Radeon HD 6670

The Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 are arriving at a time when stock on previous-generation cards is still plentiful and many manufacturers are running promos that bring their prices way down. As we mentioned earlier, the 1GB GDDR5 versions of the Radeon HD 6670 we tested will be available for as low as $99, while the 512MB GDDR5 (or 1GB DDR3) version of Radeon HD 6570 will be available for around $79. At this point in time, however, much better performing cards are available for less money. For example, XFX’s Radeon HD 5750 is available for only $79 after a mail in rebate and Galaxy, ZOTAC, and Sparkle GeForce GTS 450 cards are available for $85, $95, and $97, respectively, again after mail in rebates. At these prices, unless the lower-profiles and minimal power requirements of the Radeon HD 6570 and 6670 are must-haves for you, the previous-generation cards simply offer more bang for the buck. Even if the rebates weren’t currently in place, the $100 - $115 price points of the previous-gen cards are absolutely worth the extra investment, as the numbers have shown.

If we disregard the mail-in-rebate situation for moment, that puts the Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 up against cards like the GeForce GTS 240 / 440 and Radeon HD 5570. Against these cards, the Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 would offer better overall performance, and they’d be vastly superior to any integrated graphics solution too, but cards like the GT 240 / 440 and 5570 can be found for as little as $55 today. Strictly in terms of price, the situation doesn’t look so good for the Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 at the moment. Whether that remains the case in the coming weeks as older stock dwindles and street prices on Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 cards settle remains to be seen, however.

For now, the new Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670 are evolutionary products that bring virtually all of the features of AMD’s excellent Radeon HD 6000 series down to sub-$100 price points. They’re also quite power friendly and quiet, and would make excellent cards for HTPC applications. If you’re on a budget and live-and-die by framerates though, there’s more performance to be had for similar or slightly more money.

  • Low Power
  • Low Profile
  • Cool and Quiet
  • Affordable
  • UVD3 and Eyefinity Support

  • More Performance Available For Similar Investment
  • Can't Keep Pace With Older 5750 or GTS 450

 



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