Sapphire hd 5570 xtendtv

As a GPU alone, the Radeon HD 5570 model is a decent little budget card using the same 'Redwood' core as its big brother, the Radeon HD 5670.

It sports 400 shader cores and 16 ROPs. It can just about handle Crysis, tessellate polygons, and alone it'll cost you less than fifty quid. As a gaming card, it's a pretty good piece of silicon for the cash.

The question is how much does the integrated tuner justify the inflated price tag?

Well, to put it bluntly, barely.

First off it can only receive DVB-T (aka Freeview) information currently, so there's no HDTV available here. However since the bundled Mirics FlexiTV software uses the GPU to handle all the decoding work, it's certainly capable of handling DVB-T2 (that's HD) signals in the future.

The FlexiTV software is more a set of drivers than a suite of burgeoning functionality like Compro's DTV software bundled with its VideoMate U680F, so you'll be using Media Centre for watching and recording. However, FlexiTV includes a server mode that lets you stream broadcasting from your machine to any other via internet.

The peripheral hardware itself lets the HD 5570 down a bit though. No batteries included for the remote? Come on.

The IR receiver for said remote looks at least twice as big as it needs to be and coupled with the antenna it creates a lot of clutter, which has always been a big downside of TV tuners.

As a bundle this is a fairly acceptable deal and an exciting outing for integrated tuners, but at present it makes more sense to buy the HD5570 and a decent tuner separately.

We liked

This is a great all-purpose GPU for the price even before taking the integrated tuner into account.

It's a smart call by Sapphire to use this model, as attractive to thrifty gamers as media-minded enthusiasts.

It's a simple setup and installation and everything works as you'd expect it to. Apart from cluttering your desktop it's as subtle and easy as any TV tuner should be.

We disliked

It's not that anything doesn't work, or that it's overpriced. If the TV tuner looks like an added bonus in this package, it's right for you.

If you're serious about this aspect though, there are better on the market for less that offer more favourable software suites.

Final word

Decent budget gaming card with TV functionality thrown in. You could do yourself a better deal by buying the same GPU with a separate tuner though.