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Two weeks ago we saw the paper launch of the Radeon HD 6450, the low-end member of AMD’s Northern Islands family of GPUs. It was a solid product for HTPC use and a very notable improvement over the 5450 it replaced, but it was an uncharacteristically delayed launch for AMD. At the same time we noted that the Northern Islands family had one more GPU we had not seen: Turks.

As it turns out, Turks-based video cards will be launching alongside the 6450 today, delivering all of the remaining Northern Islands products in a single push. Turks will be powering the Radeon HD 6670 and Radeon HD 6570, replacing the Redwood-based Radeon HD 5670 and Radeon HD 5570 respectively. Considering that we saw AMD deliver a solid update for their low-end lineup with the 6450, will we see the same with Turks and the 6670/6570? Let’s find out.

  AMD Radeon HD 6670 AMD Radeon HD 5670 AMD Radeon HD 6570 (GDDR5) AMD Radeon HD 5570
Stream Processors 480 400 480 400
Texture Units 24 20 24 20
ROPs 8 8 8 8
Core Clock 800MHz 775MHz 650MHz 650Mhz
Memory Clock 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 900MHz (1800MHz data rate) DDR3
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
VRAM 1GB 1GB / 512MB 512MB 1GB
FP64 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Transistor Count 716M 627M 716M 627M
TDP 66W 61W 60W 42.7W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $99 $65-$85 $79 $50-$70

Turks is the 4th and final member of the Northern Islands family, or to be more practical the 3rd and final member of the revised Evergreen family. Based on Redwood before it, Turks implements the Northern Islands series’ architectural improvements while also implementing a larger number of SIMDs in order to give AMD a mid-cycle performance boost on the same TSMC 40nm process.  With the 6450 dragging up the low-end of the market and competitive pressure from NVIDIA, AMD needed a product above the 5670 but still smaller/cheaper than the 5750, and that is what Turks will provide.

Architecturally, Turks is very close to Redwood. Compared to Redwood it has 6 SIMDs instead of 5 SIMDs, giving it 480 SPs and 24 texture units versus 400 SPs and 20 texture units on Redwood. The ROP count remains unchanged at 8 ROPs, while the memory bus is still 128 bits wide. Of course being a Northern Islands GPU, Turks implements all of the common improvements we see with NI: UVD3, improved texture filtering, HDMI 1.4a (e.g. Blu-Ray 3D), a revised tessellation unit, and DisplayPort 1.2 support.

These improvements have of course added some bulk to the die; Redwood was comprised of 627 million transistors while Turks is 716M. This in turn has increased the die size slightly to 118mm2, coming from 104mm2 on Redwood. Power consumption has also gone up accordingly, but less so than the transistor count or die size did. For the 6670 the TDP is 66W, versus 60W for the 5670. The 6570 GDDR5 meanwhile is rated for 60W versus 43W for the 5570; this is largely a consequence of switching to GDDR5. Meanwhile idle power consumption is 10W for the 6570 DDR3, 11W for the 6570 GDDR5, and 12W for the 6670.

As far as performance is concerned, the 6670 is close to the 5670 on paper. At 800MHz the 6670 has a 25MHz (3%) core clock advantage, while the 1GHz (4GHz data rate) memory clock is identical to the 5670. The big advantages for the 6670 are any gains in architectural efficiency, combined with the additional SIMD; the SIMD alone gives the 6670 a 20% shading and texturing improvement over the 5670. With the same 8 ROPs between the two cards, the 6670 should excel in shading and texturing bound situations, while ROP or memory bandwidth bound situations will be much closer.


Top: Radeon HD 6670. Bottom: Radeon HD 6570

For the 6570 on the other hand, the performance advantage is quite a bit larger. The original 5570 – and the one we continue to test today – launched with DDR3 memory. AMD did introduce a GDDR5 variant in the summer of 2010, but it never gained much traction. So compared to the 5570, the GDDR5 6570 with its 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 has 222% the memory bandwidth of the DDR3 5570 and its 900MHz (1.8GHz data rate) RAM. Now there’s a catch in all of this: similar to how the 5570 ended up, AMD will be launching cards with both GDDR5 and DDR3. The GDDR5 cards like the one we’re reviewing today will come with 512MB of RAM, while the DDR3 cards will come with 1GB of RAM. The extra RAM has its advantages in some edge cases, but our advice always has been and remains to be that you should pick the GDDR5 versions of most video cards over the (G)DDR3 versions. The only notable downside to the GDDR5 card in this case is that GDDR5’s power consumption is much higher, which is why the GDDR5 6570 is a 60W card while the DDR3 6570 is 44W.

RAM aside, the 6570 has the same advantages over the 5570 as the 6670 has over the 6570. With identical core clocks of 650MHz, the performance difference comes down to the RAM, followed by the 20% increase in the SIMD count. The GDDR5 6570 should outperform the DDR3 5570 by quite a bit at all times, but it’s going to absolutely shine in memory bandwidth or shader-bound situations, while anything that’s ROP-bound will be closer.

AMD will be launching the 6670 at $99 and the 6570 at $79, putting both cards right in the middle of the highly-competitive sub-$100 market. Competing cards include the Radeon HD 5670, the frequently discounted to $99 Radeon HD 5770, the similarly discounted GeForce GTS 450, and the GeForce GT 440 – a higher clocked GF108 (GT 430) part with GDDR5 that NVIDIA quietly released back in February. As was the case with the 6450 and most other sub-$100 launches, without a die shrink new parts cannot compete with discounted parts from a higher tier, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 6670 in particular is easily beaten on performance at $99.

Thankfully unlike the 6450, the 6670 and 6570 are hard launching today. They will be appearing at e-tailers later today alongside the 6450.

April 2011 Video Card MSRPs
NVIDIA Price AMD
$700 Radeon HD 6990
$480  
$320 Radeon HD 6970
  $260 Radeon HD 6950 2GB
$240 Radeon HD 6950 1GB
  $200 Radeon HD 6870
$160 Radeon HD 6850
$150 Radeon HD 6790
$130  
  $110 Radeon HD 5770
  $99 Radeon HD 6670
$95-$110  
  $79 Radeon HD 6570
$50-$70 Radeon HD 5570
$55 Radeon HD 6450
$30-$50 Radeon HD 5450

 

Meet The Radeon HD 6670 & Radeon HD 6570
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  • Taft12 - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - link

    Courtesy of Hardwarezone (and Techconnect), here's a look at what many of the major AMD video card hardware partners have for us on release day:

    ASUS:
    http://www.hardwarezone.com/tech-news/view/166085

    Gigabyte:
    http://www.hardwarezone.com/tech-news/view/166139

    MSI:
    http://www.hardwarezone.com/tech-news/view/166128

    Sapphire:
    http://www.hardwarezone.com/tech-news/view/166079

    HIS:
    http://www.tcmagazine.com/tcm/news/hardware/37325/...

    Powercolor:
    http://www.tcmagazine.com/tcm/news/hardware/37324/...

    Highlights (for me): the HIS fanless 6570 and that dual-fan MSI 6670! I'm sure many more overclocked and exotic cooler models (like MSI Cyclone and HIS IceQ) are on their way
    Reply
  • LB-ID - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - link

    The eternal question. Reply
  • ekoostik - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - link

    I just read all the comments looking for something like this. Thanks for not letting me down. Ryan, nice TMBG reference. Reply
  • larson0699 - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - link

    We know, we know. The article immediately reads "copypasta" when I see this. *sigh* Reply
  • jah1subs - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - link

    Personally, I expect my next build to be used mostly as a work (browser + Office 2010) PC (no games) and to be used sometimes as an HTPC and -- very infrequently -- a video encoder since our only child will probably be more than 500 miles away, going to college. I am cheap, especially about electricity. My apartment is all fluorescents today and I am impatiently waiting for 5000K LED bulbs.

    Therefore, I may be looking at the 6570, or, more likely, the 6450. But what about the Sandy Bridge integrated 3000 graphics? Below, I have copied several paragraphs about the 23.976 fps problem from The Sandy Bridge Review, "A Near-Perfect HTPC." What is the current status of the software fix mentioned in the last paragraph? Is it available? Have you tested it?

    "What happens when you try to play 23.976 fps content on a display that refreshes itself 24.000 times per second? You get a repeated frame approximately every 40 seconds to synchronize the source frame rate with the display frame rate. That repeated frame appears to your eyes as judder in motion, particularly evident in scenes involving a panning camera."

    "How big of an issue this is depends on the user. Some can just ignore the judder, others will attempt to smooth it out by setting their display to 60Hz, while others will be driven absolutely insane by it."

    "If you fall into the latter category, your only option for resolution is to buy a discrete graphics card. Currently AMD’s Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 series GPUs correctly output a 23.976Hz refresh rate if requested. These GPUs also support bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, while the 6000 series supports HDMI 1.4a and stereoscopic 3D. The same is true for NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 430, which happens to be a pretty decent discrete HTPC card."

    "Intel has committed to addressing the problem in the next major platform revision, which unfortunately seems to be Ivy Bridge in 2012. There is a short-term solution for HTPC users absolutely set on Sandy Bridge. Intel has a software workaround that enables 23.97Hz output. There’s still a frame rate mismatch at 23.97Hz, but it would be significantly reduced compared to the current 24.000Hz-only situation."

    Anandtech, thank you in advance for your reply.
    Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - link

    For an office/browser setup. Any current technology will work just fine. My old 2009 ThinkPad runs Windows7 pretty good with a PDC 1.8Ghz (bottom end Core2) with crappy intel graphics and 2GB of RAM.

    The AMD Fusion Llano platform is pretty exciting and its not even the top-end bulldog. Its onboard graphics destroys intel and it'll help the CPU with other tasks.

    Sandy bridge is very good of course, so just add a $60~80 video card and you are ready to go. Sad we have to talk about todays CPUs by their code-names.

    ** Don't expect an answer concerning the 23.976fps issues. Call intel on that one. intel always had and always will have sub-par graphics. Check out HOW stupid Intel is.

    For the bottom end SB, it has the worst performing built-in GPU. The top-end has their best, which is still pathetic compared to the graphics built into AMD chipsets. Logic should dictate that the person who spends $500+ on a CPU, is most likely going to have a dedicated video card - DUH! Even a $40 6450 will smoke any built-in Sandybridge graphics. Its the entry level systems that need better graphics.
    Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - link

    i got 640 sp in 2009 for 99$... (4770) screw u AMD... go sell this POS to Nintendo Reply
  • Spoelie - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - link

    Sapphire just launched an 5850 SKU ("xtreme") at sub 150$ prices...

    euroland: 115€
    http://azerty.nl/0-970-401029/sapphire-radeon-hd-5...

    newegg: 145$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    crazy prices for the performance
    don't know how long supplies will last but it launched less than 10 days ago..
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Friday, April 22, 2011 - link

    Has anyone actually seen a low-profile 6670 offered for sale anywhere? I see only a small handful of full-height cards when I search. Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, April 25, 2011 - link

    No OEM ever made a low-profile 5670 and I don't imagine there will be a low-profile 6670 either. Reply

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