Computer users looking for an entry-level graphics card for high-definition video watching, simple photo editing or budget gaming should consider the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570. Experts say it won't blow you away in any category, but it's a good basic choice. High-def video runs well, and most action games run at a playable -- if not totally smooth -- 30 fps, assuming you tone down the resolution to 1,280 by 720 pixels and set the graphical quality to medium.
The low-profile card fits well into small systems by taking only a single PCI-E slot, despite sporting a custom Arctic Cooling fan. If you don't want high-end graphics and can spend a bit more, critics say the Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate (*Est. $100) is another solid budget option that delivers a bit more graphical oomph. That card's massive heatsink helps it run cool and incredibly quiet, but it does block a second PCI-E slot.
While Sapphire cards have a high reputation for quality, users report that customer service is poor if you do run into a problem. Video cards have a two-year warranty after the date of purchase, and shipping and handling fees sometimes apply.
Several sources review stock Radeon 6570 video cards and say they're the entry-level series to beat, but Hexus.net, HardwareHeaven.com, TweakTown.com and TechRadar.com look at the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 specifically. In addition, dozens of users at Newegg.com share their experiences.
TweakTown.com looks at a pair of Sapphire cards in this extensive review, including the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570. Both earn a Best Value award for putting up "some playable numbers in some very modern games" despite their rock-bottom prices.
Review: Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 and HD 6570 Video Cards Review, Shane Baxtor, April 19, 2011
Stuart Davidson is impressed by the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570's ability "to game with high detail levels at 1680x1050 and 1920x1080," although only at lower frame rates. Combined with the card's low price, temperatures and noise levels, that earns it a Value Award.
Review: Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 and Radeon HD 6570 Graphics Cards Review, Stuart Davidson, April 24, 2011
Hexus.net reviews an alternate version of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570, which has a larger fan and consumes two PCI-E slots. The card's low power consumption and noise levels are praised, and the card hits 30-plus fps rates in several games. It's rated 4 out of 5 and earns a Recommended award.
Review: Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 512MB HM Graphics Review, Tarinder Sandhu, April 29, 2011
TechRadar.com isn't as impressed with the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 as other reviewers are, saying it might be good as a multimedia card but has little use for gaming. "Unless you've got a rather capacious media centre chassis, and a very limited graphics budget to go with it, there's little reason to recommend this cheapo GPU," Dave James writes.
Review: Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570 review, Dave James, May 4, 2011
More than 70 users contribute reviews of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 at Newegg.com and give it an overall rating of 4 eggs out of 5. Most call it a great card for low-cost or small-case PCs.
Review: Sapphire 100323L Radeon HD 6570 , Contributors to Newegg.com, As of April 2012