The Gigabyte HD 5670 1GB is a great sub-£80 graphics card, with low power needs. Is its performance good enough to make it a bargain? Here's our Gigabyte HD 5670 review.

'Mainstream gaming' is a rather open-ended concept. Cards like this 5670 and the Zotac GeForce GT 240 aren’t really designed for playing even slightly older games at high resolutions or with detail levels ratcheted up. However, provided your needs are modest, the Gigabyte HD 5670 1GB graphics card has elements to commend it. It even gives the GT 240 a good run for its money, and it does so while also offering DirectX 11 capabilities.

The Gigabyte HD 5670 1GB isn’t chockablock with sophisticated technology. Its dimensions are modest and its cooling system is functional but not especially advanced. No power connector is needed for this card, and its power needs are arguably lower than those of any of the cards here. The GT 240 beats it while idle, but at full load its 61 Watts of output is lower than anything else. This particular version of the 5670 comes with just DVI and HDMI, so you won’t be able to use it for Eyefinity. Some versions of the 5670 carry the additional DisplayPort connector needed for Eyefinity, but there's really too little firepower available to make that a viable use for this card. Gigabyte has therefore done well to leave out the additional pricy port.

On paper, the Gigabyte HD 5670 1GB is significantly superior to the GT 240, and not a distance behind even the ATI Radeon HD 5750. Both the 5670 and GT 240 are 512MB cards, but at this level, double the RAM would probably be a waste. And the 5670 amply compensates by specifying GDDR5 rather than GDDR3 RAM. As a result its 1GHz memory clock speed works out at an effective 4GHz when the quadrupling effect of the GDDR5 RAM is taken into account (GDDR3 merely doubles it). The memory bandwidth of 64GBps isn’t too far behind the 74.2GBps of the 5750, and is considerably more than twice that of the GT 240’s 25.3GBps.

The Gigabyte HD 5670 1GB's core clock speed is a whopping 775MHz – 65MHz up on even the 5750, and a gigantic 225MHz better than the GT 240. The 400 stream processor allocation is more modest, but still several times that of the GT 240. The floating point performance is summed up by the 5670’s 620 GigaFlops, and this is again streets ahead of the GT 240’s figure of 106.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: what's the best graphics card?

See also: Group test: what's the best budget graphics card?

Gigabyte HD 5670 1GB: Specs

  • ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics processor
  • 512MB GDDR5 installed RAM
  • memory interface: 128bit
  • memory clock: 1GHz
  • Core clock: 4GHz
  • Core clock: 775MHz
  • stream processors: 400
  • texture units: 20
  • ROP units: 8
  • memory bandwidth: 64.0 GBytes/sec
  • Fill rate: 15.5 GTexels/sec
  • floating point performance: 620 GFlops
  • maximum board power: 61W
  • idle board power: 14W
  • power connectors: None
  • interface: PCI Express
  • DirectX 11
  • DVI, HDMI
  • ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics processor
  • 512MB GDDR5 installed RAM
  • memory interface: 128bit
  • memory clock: 1GHz
  • Core clock: 4GHz
  • Core clock: 775MHz
  • stream processors: 400
  • texture units: 20
  • ROP units: 8
  • memory bandwidth: 64.0 GBytes/sec
  • Fill rate: 15.5 GTexels/sec
  • floating point performance: 620 GFlops
  • maximum board power: 61W
  • idle board power: 14W
  • power connectors: None
  • interface: PCI Express
  • DirectX 11
  • DVI, HDMI

OUR VERDICT

The Gigabyte HD 5670 1GB isn't likely to be your first choice if your primary interest is gaming performance. It can't handle DirectX 11 particularly well and struggles with games that require significant levels of detail or high resolutions. However, it narrowly beat the GT 240 in two of the three DX10 games. Against the more expensive 5750, it was frequently between 6 and 8fps behind. Only in Hawx did it finish a long way behind – 38fps. Against the GT 240, the 5670 is better value (whether you want the ability to support DirectX 11 or not), but unless you need a low-powered HTPC card, we’d recommend you save up a little extra for the 5750 or 5770.

Find the best price