AMD’s Radeon HD 6670 & Radeon HD 6570: Two’s Company, Sub-$100’s A Crowdby Ryan Smith on April 19, 2011 12:01 AM EST
Final Words: It’s Nobody’s Business But The Turks
At the high-end of the market we’re used to seeing AMD and NVIDIA trade blows with similarly priced, similarly performing cards. In the sub-$100 market this is not the case however. At least among the non-crippled versions of various GPUs, NVIDIA and AMD’s GPUs seem to do a better job fitting in between each other than they do going head-to-head with each other. Pricing is what makes these cards compete in the market, rather than their GPUs performing similarly.
In this case Turks seems bound to fit in between NVIDIA’s GF106 (GTS 450) and GF108 (GT 430) GPUs, a position that Redwood (5670) has similarly occupied up to this point. Between those NVIDIA GPUs there’s a very small slice of space that AMD can call their own, at least before pricing is taken into account.
The fact of the matter is that the sub-$100 retail market is extremely crowded, with the space being shared by last generation cards on close-out, current generation cards on sale, and newly introduced cards like the Radeon HD 6670 and Radeon HD 6570 that are designed for that price range in the first place. Compared to the 5600/5500 series cards that the 6670 and 6570 replace, both cards are nice mid-cycle updates. Performance is up by over 10% for the 6670, while the 6570 is very close to the 5670. Without a die shrink, this is probably the best AMD can do to iterate on Redwood.
The problem of course is that based solely on performance, the sub-$100 market is too crowded. As long as power consumption and a low-profile form factor are not concerns, the Radeon HD 5770 and GeForce GTS 450 are both regularly on sale for under $100 and are easily 30% faster than the 6670. Cards like the 6670 and 6570 have their place, but it’s not as performance kings. For that, higher-tier cards on sale have and will continue to be the better buy.
So where to the 6670 and 6570 fit in? That’s hard to say. The 5570 was the ultimate HTPC card, but the 6450 has dethroned it. Unless you can snag a higher-tier card for $80 the 6570 is a good deal – or at least no worse than the 5670 – but the 6670 isn’t as well defined.
The best qualities of both cards are that they’re low-profile cards that don’t need an external power source, and that this is a reference quality we should see in partner cards. With the exception of a couple of one-off non-reference designs like the much more expensive PowerColor Go Green 5750, the 6670 and 6570 are going to be the fastest cards available that don’t require external power. In the OEM market that AMD sold these cards to first, that’s a significant advantage. For the retail market however this is only of particular use for HTPC users that need a bit more gaming horsepwer. For every other use in this price segment, time will tell if it is enough.
Ultimately Turks and the 6670/6570 are technically superior, but at $99 and $79 respectively they won’t have that same superior position on the open market.