Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5670 1GB Video Card Review

Installation

Test Rig:
AMD Phenom II X3 720 processor
Asus M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard
Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 2GB Kit
Thermaltake Toughpower Cable Management 850 watt PSU
Spire TherMax Pro CPU cooler
NZXT Tempest Extended midtower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

The Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 would likely be used in a budget rig or HTPC rig, and the test CPU/mobo/memory setup would easily fit the bill for either. The Spire cooler is small enough for many HTPC cases, and does a good job keeping the X3 cool.

Sapphire recommends a minimum 400 watt power supply for a single HD 5670. I’d recommend more than that for a rig similar to this, an 80Plus 500 watt PSU would be sufficient. The 850 watt PSU I’m using is very much overkill.

If this card is replacing an nVidia card, I usually uninstall the original card in the Hardware Manager first, but if you don’t it usually isn’t a big deal.

If you are installing this video card in an HP/Compaq/whatever, you may have to rearrange your expansion cards to make room for the HD 5670’s cooler. If you aren’t computer savvy, this entire operation is probably a little scary for you, but it’s ok. Turn off and unplug your computer. Open the case. Remove the screw holding the PCI bracket in place, pull the card straight out, and place the card in a different slot. 99.9% of the time the drivers will reinstall by themselves.

Pop the card in a PCI-E x16 slot, no extra PCI power connector needed, and install the drivers from the included disk. Vista will try to install drivers itself, sometimes it works the first try, sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get more than just the Standard VGA drivers installed. This particular time I was able to stop Vista searching for the drivers. Usually I can’t. It will take at least a few minutes to install the drivers, Catalyst Install Manager, and Catalyst Control Center.

To change the resolution, click on the “Graphics” drop-down menu at the top left of the CCC and select “Desktop Properties”.

As with all ATI video cards, no S/PDIF cable is needed to get audio out via HDMI. If you are using an HDTV, just plug in the HDMI cable and you should get sound to your TV.

Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 1GB Video Card Review Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 1GB Video Card Review

The fan runs at 28% at default, it is pretty much silent.

Features:
Though the Radeon HD 5670 is a lowly mainstream card, it has the capability to perform ATI’s new technologies just like the big boys.

ATI Eyefinity Technology is AMD/ATI’s support for panoramic gameplay. The Sapphire supports up to three monitors by itself, in CrossfireX we have support for even more monitors.

ATI Stream Technology allows the GPU to work with the CPU to accelerate many applications beyond just graphics.

Hardware CrossfireX is available only on this particular model of Sapphire HD 5670, though software CrossfireX is available on the other models.

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