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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Radeon HD 5670 is one of the latest mainstream video processors from AMD and today we are going to review the IceQ version from HIS (a.k.a. H567Q512), which features a nice cooling system, 512 MB GDDR5 and runs at stock clock settings.

Video cards based on Radeon HD 5670 with 512 MB can be found anywhere between USD 85 and USD 95 (this particular model from HIS can be found for USD 84 at Newegg.com), entering the same price range from Radeon HD 5570 (USD 85) and GeForce GT 240 (USD 90). At this price range you can also find “older” video cards like GeForce 9600 GT (USD 90), GeForce 9800 GT (USD 95) and Radeon HD 4670 (USD 95). It is important to note that all these prices are an average, you can find products being sold for more or for less.

In this review we will compare this Radeon HD 5670 to GeForce GT 240, Radeon HD 5570 and GeForce 9800 GT in order to answer two simple questions: is this video card better than GeForce GT 240? Which one of these video cards presents the best bang for the buck?

In the table below we compare the main specifications from the video cards we included in our review. As you can see, Radeon HD 5670 is basically a Radeon HD 5570 running at a higher clock rate and using a faster memory (GDDR5 instead of GDDR3). As you can see AMD-based models have as an advantage having more processors (“shader units”) and supporting DirectX 11, while on NVIDIA-based models the shader processors run at a higher clock rate (the second number under “core clock”). All cards reviewed were running at the chip manufacturer’s default configuration (i.e., no factory overclocking).

Video Card Core Clock Memory Clock (Real) Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX
HIS Radeon HD 5570 650 MHz 900 MHz 1.8 GHz 128-bit 28.8 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 400 11
HIS Radeon HD 5670 775 MHz 1 GHz 4 GHz 128-bit 64 GB/s 512 MB GDDR5 400 11
ECS GeForce GT 240 550 MHz / 1.34 GHz 850 MHz 3.4 GHz 128-bit 54.4 GB/s 512 MB GDDR5 96 10.1
Palit GeForce 9800 GT 600 MHz / 1.5 GHz 900 MHz 1.8 GHz 256-bit 57.6 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 112 10

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table and NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table tutorials.

Now let’s take a complete look at this model from HIS.

[nextpage title=”HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ”]

HIS offers three different Radeon HD 5670 models. All of them run at the chip’s stock clock configuration and have the IceQ cooling solution. The difference between them is the memory size (512 MB on H567Q512, which is the  model we reviewed or 1 GB on the other two models) and the presence of a DisplayPort output replacing the VGA connector (only on H567Q1GD).

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQFigure 1: HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ.

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQFigure 2: HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ.

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQFigure 3: HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ.

As you can see this video card has three outputs: VGA, HDMI and DVI-D. Finally the manufacturers are dropping the S-Video connector and installing an HDMI output instead!

[nextpage title=”HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ (Cont’d)”]

The active heatsink that comes with this video card is definitely the highlight from this product and a tradition on products from HIS. This cooling solution is actually manufactured by Arctic Cooling, based on their discontinued VGA Silencer product. The cooler, however, doesn’t touch the memory chips, as you can see in Figure 4.

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQFigure 4: Cooler doesn’t touch the memory chips.

In Figure 5, you can see the video card with the heatsink removed, and we were surprised to see only solid capacitors and ferrite chokes, giving this card a top-notch component quality.

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQFigure 5: Video card with heatsink removed.

The reviewed card uses four 1 Gbit GDDR5 chips, making its 512 MB video memory. The chips used are H5GQ1H24MFR-T0 parts from Hynix, which support up to 1 GHz (4 GHz QDR) and since on this video card memory is already accessed at 1 GHz (4 GHz QDR), there is no margin for you to increase the memory clock rate keeping the chips inside the maximum they support.

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQFigure 6: Memory chip.

In Figure 7, you can see the accessories that come with the reviewed card: a folder containing a generic manual and a driver CD.

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQFigure 7: Accessories.

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ main features are:

  • Graphics chip: AMD ATI Radeon HD 5670 running at 775 MHz.
  • Memory: 512 MB GDDR5 memory (128-bit interface) from Hynix (H5GQ1H24
    MFR-T0
    ), running at 1 GHz (“4 GHz”).
  • Bus type: PCI Express x16 2.0.
  • Connectors: One VGA, one DVI-D and one HDMI.
  • Video Capture (VIVO): No.
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: None.
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: One.
  • Games that come with this board: None.
  • Programs that come with this board: None.
  • More information: https://www.hisdigital.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 84.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Video resolution: 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • Intel Inf driver version: 9.1.1.1019
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 10.3
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 196.27

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark Vantage Professional”]

3DMark Vantage measures Shader 4.0 (i.e., DirectX 10) performance and supports PhysX, a programming interface developed by Ageia (now part of NVIDIA) to transfer physics calculations from the system CPU to the video card GPU in order to increase performance. Mechanical physics is the basis for calculations about the interaction of objects. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? Note that since we are considering only the GPU score provided by this program, physics calculations are not taken into account.

We ran this program under two 16:10 widescreen resolutions: 1680×1050 and 1920×1200, first using the “Entry” profile, which basically disables all kinds of video enhancements, and then using the “Performance” profile. The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570 
3DMark Vantage – Entry 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

13555

 
GeForce 9800 GT

13519

0.3%
GeForce GT 240

11789

15.0%
Radeon HD 5570 10304 31.6%

Radeon HD 5570

3DMark Vantage – Entry 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

10880

 
GeForce 9800 GT

10823

0.5%
GeForce GT 240

9341

16.5%
Radeon HD 5570

8223

32.3%

Radeon HD 5570

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT

4104

1.4%
Radeon HD 5670

4048

 
GeForce GT 240

3350

20.8%
Radeon HD 5570

2773

46.0%

Radeon HD 5570

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT

3173

1.0%
Radeon HD 5670

3143

 
GeForce GT 240

2614

20.2%
Radeon HD 5570

2114

48.7%

[nextpage title=”Call of Duty 4″]

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game im
plementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will hapen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

We ran this game under two 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050 and 1920×1200, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was put on the maximum values on the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the game internal benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.” We are putting this demo for downloading here if you want to run your own benchmarks. We ran the demo five times, and the results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570
Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 70.7 29.4%
GeForce GT 240 56.0 2.6%
Radeon HD 5670 54.6  
Radeon HD 5570 36.8 48.5%
Radeon HD 5570
Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 59.4 30.7%
GeForce GT 240 49.8 9.5%
Radeon HD 5670 45.5  
Radeon HD 5570 30.3 50.1%

 

[nextpage title=”Crysis Warhead”]

Crysis Warhead is a DirectX 10 game based on the same engine as the original Crysis, but optimized (it runs under DirectX 9.0c when installed on Windows XP). We ran this game under two 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050 and 1920×1200, setting image quality to its lowest possible values, using the Airfield demo. The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570
Crysis Warhead – Low 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

78

 
Radeon HD 5570

73

6.8%
GeForce GT 240

55

41.8%
GeForce 9800 GT

54

44.4%
Radeon HD 5570
Crysis Warhead – Low 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

78

 
Radeon HD 5570

73

6.8%
GeForce GT 240

55

41.8%
GeForce 9800 GT

54

44.4%

[nextpage title=”Fallout 3″]

Fallout 3 is based on the same engine used by The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and it is a DirectX 9.0c (Shader 3.0) game. We configured the game with “ultra” image quality settings, maxing out all image quality settings, at two 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050 and 1920×1200. To measure performance, we used the FRAPS utility running an outdoor scene at God mode, running through enemy fire, triggering post processing effects, and ending with a big explosion in front of Dupont Circle.

Radeon HD 5570
Fallout 3 – Ultra 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 54.5 7.0%
Radeon HD 5670 51.0  
GeForce GT 240 49.0 4.0%
Radeon HD 5570 38.8 31.3%

Radeon HD 5570

Fallout 3 – Ultra 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 50.4 5.6%
Radeon HD 5670 47.7  
GeForce GT 240 42.8 11.4%
Radeon HD 5570 33.1 44.0%

[nextpage title=”Far Cry 2″]

Far Cry 2 is based on an entirely new game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10 when played under Windows 7 or Vista with a DirectX 10-compatible video card. We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game, setting image quality to the minimum allowed and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

Radeon HD 5570

FarCry 2 – Minimum 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 41.7 24.7%
GeForce GT 240 40.6 21.5%
Radeon HD 5670 33.4  
Radeon HD 5570 29.6 12.8%

Radeon HD 5570

FarCry 2 – Minimum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 42.8 34.5%
GeForce GT 240 35.7 12.1%
Radeon HD 5670 31.9  
Radeon HD 5570 28.9 10.4%

[nextpage title=”Unigine Tropics”]

Unigine is a 3D engine used by some games and simulations. The developer provides two demos for this engine, Tropics and Sanctuary. We ran the Tropics benchmarking module under DirectX 9 mode at full screen with image quality settings maxed out. The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570

Tropics – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5670 23.8  
GeForce 9800 GT 21.7 9.7%
Radeon HD 5570 16.8 41.7%
GeForce GT 240 14.3 66.4%

Radeon HD 5570

Tropics – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 17.5 20.7%
Radeon HD 5670 14.5  
Radeon HD 5570 14.2 2.1%
GeForce GT 240 11.0 31.8%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

First, forget about Radeon HD 5570. Sometimes chip manufacturers release products that are too close to each  other in price but with a huge performance difference between them. This is exactly what happens with Radeon HD 5570 and Radeon HD 5670.

The main competitor to Radeon HD 5670 is GeForce GT 240 and from the six games and simulations we ran, Radeon HD 5670 was faster in five of them, between 4% and 66.4%, depending on the program and video configuration. Therefore, we have to give the crown to Radeon HD 5670 as the best video card today on the USD 85 – USD 95 price range.

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ appears as a nice option because of its cooling system and price.

GeForce GT 240 will appear as a possible option only if you find it costing USD 20 less than Radeon HD 5670 – and keep in mind that we are talking about the GDDR5 model here.