The Radeon HD 6670 is AMD’s most budget-friendly GPU we’ve looked at. Asus has two versions of the card: one that comes with DVI, HDMI and analogue D-Sub video outputs, which costs around £70, and one that replaces the analogue connector with digital DisplayPort for an extra £10.
It comes with a reasonable 1GB of memory but lacks the processing power of pricier GPUs, with only 480 steam processors running at 800 MHz and a 128-bit memory bus, running at 1GHz (effectively 4GHz). It has only 24 texture units and 8 ROPS, compared with 96 texture units on the Radeon 6970, and 32 ROPs.
As the 6670 has less silicon on it than more powerful AMD graphics cards, it’s also a lot shorter, making it easier to fit inside a smaller case. It only occupies a single expansion slot, and doesn’t need any additional power connectors, as it can draw all the power it needs from the PCI Express slot.
We found its performance to be just about adequate at lower resolutions, but games at 1920 x 1080 were unplayable. An average frame rate of 33.4 in Stalker at 1280 x 1024 is just above the magic 30 frames per second barrier, but at times its performance dropped below that average, resulting in a few choppy sequences.
Bad Company 2 at the same resolution was a similar story, with the mostly smooth gameplay occasionally interrupted when the action became too heavy. Our Crysis test really brought the card to its knees, never going over 22fps on average. To play today’s games with a 6670, it’s likely you’ll need to drop the graphics details down a notch or two.
The lacklustre performance doesn’t make the 6670 a bad purchase though. Slightly older, less intensive games without the graphical detail we were demanding of it should still run smoothly. Its small size and relatively low price make it a good way to upgrade a PC that lacks any discrete graphics card at all.
However if you’re looking for an upgrade to enjoy an upcoming game such as Battlefield 3 in all its visual glory, you’ll definitely need something more powerful.