Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate Video Card Review



Product: Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate
Company: Sapphire
Author: James Prior
Editor: Pete Vagiakos
Date: July 29th, 2011

Summary

The Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate is designed with a specific market in mind. Consumers looking for silent peformance, not out and out gaming powerhouses but enough graphics firepower to occasionally game at common resolutions. For these people the value of the Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate package is quite high, as the included DiRT 3 game is a modern new title they can enjoy, as well as save money by using the included HDMI 1.4a cable. The HD 6670 supports AMD HD3D which includes 3D movie playback, both of native MVC encoded Blu-Rays and converted movies using software like Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 Mk.II. With great image quality enhancement options via Picture Perfect HD and good audio features ((multi-channel LPCM support including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) it's a solid media consumption and casual gamer card.

The full height form factor, with wrap over heatsink is one detractor. HTPC and SFF builds where space is a premium and noise (or the lack thereof) is a high purchase decision influence will possibly think twice about the Sapphire HD 6670 unless they have the room. Most desktop cases will be fine, but half-height cases are ruled out unfortunately.

Combined with an AMD A-series APU the Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate can be the basis of a powerful, quiet and power efficient platform. For a system without an APU, where the Turks XT GPU will be the sole rendering device, you've got to really want the power/TDP profile or silent fanless design for it to be worth it. The Radeon HD 6670 does have the advantage of UVD 3 and DiVX/XViD hardware decoding over the Radeon HD 6770/6750, so unless gaming performance is the priority over noise and heat/power, the Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate will be a better choice than a Juniper based card.

Many AMD Radeon 6000 series cards come with a coupon for DiRT 3 at the moment, courtesy of partnership with Codemasters and AMD's Gaming Evolved program. The HDMI 1.4a cable is useful, but still not a stand out addition. The Sapphire HD 6670 Ultimate is well built, using a proven PCB design carried forward from the ATI Radeon HD 5600 series - the Turks and Redwood ASIC's are pin compatible, allowing Add-in Board (AIB) manufacturers to tweak existing product designs to bring their boards to market. This also explains the output choices, a missed opportunity for two mini-DisplayPort outputs and Eyefinity-4 support.

The whole value of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate is it's ability to provide meaningful gaming performance at common resolutions without the need for noisy fans or extra power. The 480 Radeon Cores offer a theoretical 768GFLOPS of single precision compute performance, a metric that will become more important as heterogeneous compute applications leverage AMD APP. It's priced a little high for what it is, unless you have to have the silent noise profile in which case it's worth the extra. Rage3D awards 5 stars to silent, mainstream performance gaming star, still unmatched by any integrated graphics solution available.