The Radeon HD 6670 and HD 6570 appear to be good late release cards for a design that is now coming full circle from the HD 6800 cards released last year. Turks brings a 40nm GPU die to the sub-$100 space yet again, replacing the likes of the HD 5600 series and offers up better performance, more efficient power usage and slightly improved features. If the performance is the key differentiator here, then the HD 6670 and HD 6570 move the bar forward on the AMD side of the camp not dramatically, but enough to warrant a new name and a new release.
I think the performance delta between the HD 6670 and HD 6570 was a bit too small to warrant both releases though – with only a clock speed increase to show for it, the HD 6670 was usually just slightly faster than the HD 6570. Had AMD decided to include additional stream processors or an even higher clock speed inside that 75 watt window, the HD 6670 might have stood out from the crowd a bit more.
The GeForce GT 430 card, which we didn’t show in our testing, falls somewhere between the HD 6670 and HD 6570 in terms of gaming performance, but is also priced lower than both at $69 retail, $55 with some rebates and sales depending on the day you look. The GTS 450 from NVIDIA, originally priced much higher, has slowly moved its way down near that magical $100 price point and can be found for $110 everywhere and as low as $99 with rebates and sales. Considering how easily the GTS 450 was able to handle the HD 6670 1GB card in our gaming tests, looking at performance alone, giving the nod to Turks is difficult to do.
Even with AMD’s own last generation option, the Radeon HD 5770, the performance gap is significant. In our tests the HD 5770 was the best of the four cards benchmarked and doesn’t cost more than $5-10 above the price of the GTS 450. Yes we are getting into the world of "for just $XX more you can get…" but in this incredibly crowded space there is no way to get around it.
Despite NVIDIA’s callings about PhysX, CUDA and 3D Vision, it is hard not to view the feature set of the new Radeon HD 6670 and HD 6570 in a better light than the GTS 450 or GT 430 cards. While Eyefinity is touted as gaming option on these sub-$100 GPUs, I don’t agree with it. What I do see as a benefit is the ability to run three monitors (or four in the case of the HD 6670) off of a single, low-cost graphics card while still having decent gaming performance on a single display when you want it.
Both of these new cards of course support the full range of HTPC features like decode offloading support, etc as well as support for the new HDML 1.4a standard and 3D monitor output. If you were looking to build a 3D-ready HTPC for your new 3D-ready TV, both the HD 6670 and HD 6570 are capable of handling that job for you.
Pricing and Availability
As we have mentioned throughout the review, the prices of current budget graphics cards not only crowds the market, but makes even slight changes devastating to our conclusions.
- Radeon HD 6670 1GB GDDR5 – $99
- Radeon HD 6570 512MB GDDR5 – $79
- NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 1GB OC – $105
- Radeon HD 5770 1GB – $115
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 – $65
The HD 6670 and HD 6570 perform closely enough in our games testing that I would almost always recommend going with the cheaper of the two as you are unlikely to see real world gaming improvements from the simple clock speed increase the HD 6670 offers. However, if you can find the GTS 450 or HD 5770 on sale at one of any number of online retailers for the same price as the HD 6670 or HD 6570, then THAT is going to be your best budget gaming option.
In the end the AMD Radeon HD 6670 and HD 6570 are solid additions to an already crowded budget graphics card market. They definitely improve on the already solid performance and feature set of the Radeon HD 5600-series of cards and do so at the same launch-time price points. The problem that both of these cards have (and that many graphics releases are seeing recently) is the price merges that occur when higher performance, older GPUs go on sale or offer rebates to take a step down in market. The GTS 450 and HD 5770 both can sometime be had for under $100 and easily outperform the brand new $99 HD 6670.
As with all things GPU, once the dust settles (if it ever actually did for more than a day or so), the HD 6670 and HD 6570 are going to be great budget graphics card options for users looking to claw their way out of the integrated graphics quagmire.