The mainstream video card. Though many of us hardware geeks have never seriously considered one, mainstream video cards still command a huge majority of the graphics card market. If you didn’t know, mainstream card generally means a video card with a release price of around $100.
So why would you want or need a mainstream video card? Of course the main reason would be to upgrade the graphics of a “store bought” HP/Compaq/Gateway/whatever PC. A mainstream card would also be desirable for an HTPC rig, especially one that will not be used for hardcore gaming, due to the lower power consumption and lower heat produced by the GPU.
The past couple of years, mainstream video cards have gotten much increased graphics power, making them suitable for gaming, of course at lowered settings. AMD’s Radeon HD 4670 had pretty impressive gaming capabilities.
Last year, AMD’s ATI division released five different mainstream cards in their 4000 series of video cards. I looked at three of them, all built by our friends at Sapphire. Having had no previous experience with mainstream cards, I was pretty impressed at the performance for the price.
A few months ago, ATI released their new 5000 series of gaming cards. On January 14, 2010, they released the first of the mainstream cards of that series, the Radeon HD 5670, sporting the 40nm process, with 400 streaming processors and a 775mHz clock. Sapphire has built three versions of the HD 5670, a 1GB model and two 512MB models. Today I will be looking at the top of the line HD 5670, which has a full gig of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1000mHz. Read on to check out the Sapphire Radeon HD 5670!
The Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 is in a sharp looking black box with lots of graphics, features and specs. Inside, the card is protected by a recycled crepe cardboard tray, and is enclosed in a static-free bubblewrap envelope.
Interface: PCI-E 2.0 x16
Manufacture Process: 40nm
Clock Speed: 775mHz
Streaming Processors: 400
Memory: 1024MB GDDR5
Memory Clock: 4000mHz Effective
Power Consumption: Under 75 watts
DirectX: Supports DX11
-Sub-15 (via adapter)
VGA: 2048 x 1536 @85Hz
DVI: 2560 x 1600 @60Hz
DisplayPort: 2560 x 1600 @60Hz
Eyefinity: 4800 x 900 @60Hz (Grouped with 3 monitors supporting resolutions at 1600×900 with one of them supporting Display Port input)
Crossfire Support: Hardware CrossfireX
Operating System: Windows 7/Windows Vista(32/64)/Windows XP(32/64)/Windows Media Center 2005
-Microsoft DirectX 11 Support
-ATI Eyefinity Technology, support up to 3 displays
-ATI Stream technology
-40nm Process Technology
-Advanced GDDR5 Memory Technology
-Microsoft Windows 7® Support
-ATI CrossFireX™ Technology
-Enhanced Anisotropic Filtering
-Accelerated Video Transcoding
-PCI Express® 2.1 support
-Dolby® TrueHD and DTSHD Master AudioTM Support
-ATI Avivo™ Technology Enhanced Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2)
-Supports OpenGL 3.2
– PCI Express® based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the
– 400 Watt or greater power supply recommended (500 Watt for ATI CrossFireX™ technology
in dual mode)
– Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a
list of Certified products
– Minimum 1GB of system memory
– Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
– DVD playback requires DVD drive
– Blu-ray™ playback requires Blu-ray drive