HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on March 31, 2010


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

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.

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 IceQ
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Figure 1: HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ.

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

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ
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Figure 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!

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ (Contíd)

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 IceQ
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Figure 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 IceQ
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Figure 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 IceQ
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Figure 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 IceQ
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Figure 7: Accessories.

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

Main Specifications

HIS Radeon HD 5670 IceQ main features are:

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

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: 2560x1600 @ 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.

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: 1680x1050 and 1920x1200, 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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

Difference

GeForce 9800 GT

3173

1.0%

Radeon HD 5670

3143

 

GeForce GT 240

2614

20.2%

Radeon HD 5570

2114

48.7%

Call of Duty 4

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing 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, 1680x1050 and 1920x1200, 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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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%

 

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, 1680x1050 and 1920x1200, 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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 5670

78

 

Radeon HD 5570

73

6.8%

GeForce GT 240

55

41.8%

GeForce 9800 GT

54

44.4%

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, 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. 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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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%

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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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%

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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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%

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.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/HIS-Radeon-HD-5670-IceQ-Video-Card-Review/960


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