AMD intros sub-$100 Radeon HD 6670, 6570 cards

This, I believe, rounds out the Radeon HD 6000 series. Originally scheduled for a first-quarter release, AMD's new Turks graphics processor has made its official debut on two new budget cards: the Radeon HD 6670, which starts at $99, and the Radeon HD 6570, which you'll find priced at $79 and up.

The Radeon HD 6670 and 6570, respectively. Source: AMD.

These two models complement the $55 Radeon HD 6450 that came out earlier this month—though, as their pricing suggests, they're less pruned-down in terms of computing resources. AMD has also implemented support for four-display Eyefinity configurations, whereas the 6450 only supports up to three monitors. Otherwise, all the features you'd expect in 6000-series Radeons are there, from DirectX 11 support to the UVD3 video decoder and stereoscopic 3D capabilities.

Looking at raw specifications, one gets the impression that the two newcomers will fall a wee bit behind the Radeon HD 5770 (which can be found labeled as a Radeon HD 6770 in some pre-built systems) on the performance scale:

Radeon HD 5770 800 850 MHz 16 40 4.8 GT/s 128 bits 108W
Radeon HD 6670 480 800 MHz 8 24 4.0 GT/s 128 bits 66W
Radeon HD 6570 (GDDR5) 480 650 MHz 8 24 4.0 GT/s 128 bits 60W
Radeon HD 6570 (DDR3) 480 650 MHz 8 24 1.8 GT/s 128 bits 44W
Radeon HD 6450 (GDDR5) 160 750 MHz 4 8 3.6 GT/s 64 bits 27W
Radeon HD 6450 (DDR3) 160 625 MHz 4 8 1.6 GT/s 64 bits 20W

That's interesting because the 5770 can be had for as little as $109.99 at Newegg right now—only a $10 step up from the 6670's starting price. When we brought this up with AMD, we were told that the firm is emphasizing the Radeon HD 6670's lower power consumption, which is purportedly an important trait in international markets like China. In other words, those looking for high frame rates will probably wanna grab a 5770, but users and system builders putting together small, cheap, low-power machines might find the 6670 more appealing.

AMD may enjoy a bigger profit margin on the 6670, too, because that card has a smaller, cheaper-to-manufacture GPU. For reference, the Juniper chip inside the 5770 packs 1040 million transistors, while Turks has 716 million, and the 6450's Caicos GPU packs only 370 million. All three chips are manufactured by TSMC on a 40-nm fab process.

As for the cheaper Radeon HD 6570, that model provides a middle ground between its big brother and the 6450. Two middle grounds, actually, since AMD is offering it in variants with GDDR5 or DDR3 memory, the latter having substantially less bandwidth.

So, there you go: two new Radeons to flesh out AMD's new sub-$100 product family. I can't say I'm all that excited about these, but I can see the appeal for folks seeking low-power solutions for multi-monitor productivity or very light gaming. Here's hoping we'll see versions with passive cooling or at least bigger coolers with large, quiet fans, though. Part of the appeal of low-power GPUs is quiet cooling, but as we found with the Radeon HD 6450, small fans can actually make entry-level cards louder than pricier, more power-hungry alternatives.

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