In our recent reviews we focused on ultrafast multi-GPU solutions that may cost you $1000 and more. Such tests are indeed interesting and produce the raw data for hot discussions about which GPU developer is better after all. But it must be acknowledged that few gamers have a Radeon HD 4970 or a pair of GeForce GTX 480 cards in their computers. Most of us have to limit ourselves to far more modest products. As a matter of fact, $200 and cheaper graphics cards constitute the largest share of AMD’s and Nvidia’s sales.
We guess it is the $100 line that separates gaming graphics cards from multimedia ones which are meant for HD video decoding and playback. We can see such interesting products as Nvidia GeForce GT 240 and ATI Radeon HD 5670 near that line. They are good for any HTPC but also fast enough for some gaming. It is also in this category that we can see the majority of original solutions designed in unique ways whereas top-end products usually follow the reference designs developed by AMD and Nvidia.
Today we are going to review and test one such card that we have got from Axle. The manufacturer offers a broad range of products up to Radeon HD 5970, but our hero is the modest Axle Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5. Being a new model, it is not yet represented on the Axle website in any way other than flash promos. Ours is a presale sample that differs from the retail version with some characteristics. The card is interesting enough for a review, especially as we have not yet tried to overclock a Radeon HD 5670. Benchmarking it at increased frequencies is the goal of this test session.
Axle Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR3
Package and Accessories
The graphics card from Axle comes to retail in a rather small and inconspicuous box designed in a restrained black-and-red manner. The picture on the front of the box is far from original.
Judging by the caption “Radeon HD 5000”, this packaging is unified for the entire series of Axle products based on AMD graphics processors. To confirm this supposition, there is a table on the back of the box that compares their specs. The orange sticker tells you the specific graphics card model as well as its memory subsystem parameters. The other two stickers are about the special features of the Axle Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5: its Arctic Cooling cooler and top-quality solid-state capacitors. Besides the graphics card, the box contains the following accessories:
- One 2x4-pin PATA → 1x6-pin PCIe adapter;
- Brief installation guide;
- CD disk with drivers;
- Axle logo sticker.
The user manual is a figured folder with a drivers disc. This format can hardly contain a lot of information, yet it does provide the details about how to put the card into a computer, power it up and install its driver. We don’t have any complaints about the card’s accessories considering its pricing of about $100. Like the packaging, these are up to the product’s positioning.