Sapphire HD6670 Ultimate review

Passively cooled 3D graphics card with support for three monitors
Photo of Sapphire HD6670 Ultimate
£85

The latest addition to Sapphire’s Ultimate range is the Radeon HD6670 Ultimate. As well as being passively cooled, the card supports Eyefinity and comes with a redeemable voucher to download a free copy of DiRT3 in the box.

Clock speeds
No prizes for guessing that the dual-slot HD6670 Ultimate is built around AMD’s 40nm HD6670 (Turks) budget graphics core, which is – surprisingly, given the confusion AMD has caused with its naming policy for the rest of the 6 series – a direct replacement for the previous generation’s HD5670.

Despite being passively cooled, the HD6670 Ultimate uses reference speeds for the core, shader and memory clocks. So that’s 800MHz for the core and shader, while the 1GB of GDDR5 memory speeds along at 1000MHz (4GHz effective). The HD6670 Ultimate supports Eyefinity through the single dual-link DVI, HDMI (1.4a) and DisplayPort (1.2) outputs on the rear plate.

No noise, no extra power
To keep the card cool and silent, Sapphire has used two finned heatsinks: one on top of the GPU, with the positioned just above the top edge of the PCB. Connecting both together are two heat-pipes that run from the GPU contact plate up into the top radiator. As the card isn’t that power-hungry, at just 66W, it doesn’t need any other power input apart from what’s provided by the PCI-E slot.

Performance
The slice of the market that the HD6670 is aimed at means it’s never going to be a frame-eating monster. But it performs pretty well at low-to-middling resolutions, and if you turn down the in-game details you should just be able to get playable frame rates.

We tested it with Futuremark’s latest version of 3DMark, 3DMark11, at the ‘Performance’ pre-set (1280×720 resolution). It received an overall score of 1825 – a 100 marks more than its HD5670 predecessor. At the same resolution, it produced an average frame rate score of 48.7fps in Just Cause 2.

Company: Sapphire

Positives
  • Silent running, DiRT3 voucher.
Negative
  • Does tend to run a little hot when pushed.

Verdict

A good card for if you're building a decent-sized media or quiet PC where the cooler can get some decent airflow around it - and it does offer three monitor support at a bargain price.