Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670 review

AMD's latest sub-£100 graphics card

AMD Radeon HD 6670
The stronger of AMD's latest sub-£100 siblings

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AMD radeon hd 6670

The Radeon HD 6670 is the direct replacement for the out-going Radeon HD 5670, and in a strange twist of nomenclature AMD has actually stuck with a transparent naming structure. So none of the confusion we had looking from the AMD Radeon HD 5850 to the weaker AMD Radeon HD 6850 then.

The AMD Radeon HD 6670, like its runt of a sibling the AMD Radeon HD 6570, runs on the new Turks GPU, though with a clockspeed boost over its sub-£50 brethren.

The make up of the new GPU shows a slight architectural increase over the Radeon HD 5670's Redwood XT core, with 480 shader cores to the previous GPU's 400, 24 texture units to the Radeon HD 5670's 20 and double the number of Render Output Units (ROPs), at 16.

What this all translates into is increased performance over the previous generation's card. That's what it's meant to do, so job done, right?

Well, kinda.

The actual performance boost over the HD 5670 is relatively minor – you're looking at a couple of frames per second increase at best. That said, a couple of fps can sometimes make the difference between playable and unplayable gaming.

You're almost getting playable framerates in the latest games at 1680 x 1050, at the top settings with 4x anti-aliasing thrown in for some serious GPU-stressing. Drop the AA and maybe lower a few other post-processing settings, and you're looking at a decent budget gaming graphics card.

So it's no upgrade for anyone with an HD 5670, but if you've got a lower-end, last-generation card it could just about get you gaming again.

At £76, it's looking like a decent compromise between price and performance, and if you're really on a tight budget you'll still be able to game at your 22-inch panel's native res, albeit with a few graphical niceties dialled down.

As ever in this tightly compressed graphics card market there's a more powerful alternative, but it's a few pounds away. For less than a tenner you're looking at XFX's single-slot Radeon HD 5770, and that's rather close to being a bone fide gaming GPU.

We liked

For the money, the Radeon HD 6670 is a decent-looking budget graphics card. It will run modern games at playable framerates on medium settings, but not much more than that.

We disliked

With almost double the graphical processing power, the Juniper XT GPU in the HD 5770 is far more capable, and a quick look at the DiRT 2 and Just Cause 2 benchmarks ably demonstrate that.

Final word

For just £76 the Radeon HD 6670 does represent a decent stab at budget gaming.