Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 review

7 Dec 2010

A slightly more affordable option for those after Nvidia’s table-topping graphics speeds

Price when reviewed: 
289(£300 inc VAT)
5

Nvidia assured us we wouldn’t have to wait long for new cards after last month’s barnstorming GTX 580 and, sure enough, the GTX 570 has already arrived. It’s built around the same re-engineered GF110 architecture as the GTX 580, with only minor tweaks.

The GTX 570 comes with 480 stream processors, down from 512 in the GTX 580. They’re still organised into 32-strong multiprocessors and grouped into four graphics processing clusters; Nvidia has simply deactivated one of the GTX 580’s multiprocessors to create this version. The core clock speed has dropped from 772MHz to 732MHz, and there’s 1.25GB of 3,800MHz GDDR5 RAM compared to the 1.5GB of 4,008MHz memory in the GTX 580. The stream processors are slightly slower too, down to 1,464MHz from 1,544MHz.

The tweaks aren’t dramatic, and the GTX 570 is still fast. An average of 75fps in our High quality Full HD Crysis test is good, but it’s the 48fps in our Very High quality test that really impresses. That’s 9fps faster than the AMD Radeon HD 6870 and only 6fps slower than the GTX 580, which costs around £100 exc VAT more. The GTX 570 also returned a score of 40fps in the Very High quality test with 4x anti-aliasing enabled – 6fps quicker than the HD 6870.

It only faltered in our large monitor tests: 27fps at 2,560 x 1,600 borders on playable, dropping to 23fps with 4x anti-aliasing. Still, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, as even the mighty GTX 580 ran through the former test at just 28fps.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 570

Physically, little has changed. The card is almost 27cm long, so you’ll want to measure your chassis before taking the plunge. It uses two six-pin power connectors, so it’s slightly more accommodating than the GTX 580, which required an eight-pin connection.

Also present – at least on our reference card – is Nvidia’s vapour chamber technology, which uses liquid circulating around an internal chamber to move heat away from the GPU. It works reasonably well: idle and peak temperatures of 50˚C and 84˚C respectively are fine, if a little hotter than the GTX 580 at peak. Although the cooler became slightly louder during our stress tests, it’s nothing more than a gentle hum, on a par with AMD’s latest cards. Finally, in our test rig, a peak total power draw of 283W is slightly lower than both the HD 6870 and GTX 580.

Cool, quiet and faster than AMD’s latest cards, then, the GTX 570 impresses. Its £246 exc VAT price marks it out as an enthusiasts’ card, but it still offers fair value: it’s close to the £350 GTX 580 in terms of performance, but nearer to the £170 Radeon HD 6870 on price.

All things considered, we’d still give the value crown to AMD on this front, but Nvidia’s latest cements its place as the current graphics speed king. It remains to be seen how AMD’s upcoming flagship cards will measure up, but for now the GTX 570 is a solid enthusiast choice, and one that makes the previously excellent GTX 580 look poor value.

Details

Price ex VAT £246
Price inc VAT £289
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4
Overall rating 5

Core Specifications

Graphics card interface PCI Express
Cooling type Active
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 570
Core GPU frequency 732MHz
RAM capacity 1,250MB
Memory type GDDR5

Standards and compatibility

DirectX version support 11.0
Shader model support 4.0

Connectors

DVI-I outputs 2
DVI-D outputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
HDMI outputs 1
7-pin TV outputs 0
Graphics card power connectors 2 x 6-pin

Benchmarks

3D performance (crysis) low settings 144fps
3D performance (crysis), medium settings 100fps
3D performance (crysis) high settings 75fps