|12-07-10, 07:20 AM||#1|
nV News Alumni
nV News GeForce GTX 570 Review - EVGA SuperClocked & NVIDIA Reference
GeForce GTX 570 Review
by nV News Editor in Chief
John “ragejg” Grabski
... A First Look at Features and Gaming Performance of EVGA's GTX 570 SuperClocked and an NVIDIA Reference GTX 570
|12-07-10, 07:21 AM||#2|
nV News Alumni
Less than a month after NVIDIA's release of the $499 GeForce GTX 580 based on the updated and improved GF110 GPU, the Santa Clara company has followed up with another high-end product for enthusiasts – the GTX 570. This is intended to be a replacement of the GTX 470 which has enjoyed generally positive reviews regarding performance, but the words haven't been so positive when talking about GF100-equipped graphics cards on the noise level and power consumption front. The GTX 580 left reviewers and customers impressed with it's increased performance over the GTX 480, along with less noise, less heat and less power consumption. The GTX 570 aims to do the same thing, except at a lower price point.
The Transition from GF100 to GF110:
By now most GPU enthusiasts are familiar with the GF100 architecture, which took NVIDIA's brute-force approach to new heights with outstanding fillrate and memory bandwidth, with a new focus on geometry as well as the now well-known Direct3D 11 feature – tessellation. The GF100 GPUs excel at this feature, and in many gaming scenarios where moderate to heavy tessellation is used, NVIDIA's offerings outperform AMD's in dramatic fashion. Antialiasing performance was also superb, making use of the new Coverage Sample AA (CSAA) to help overall image quality. Surround gaming is also a Fermi exclusive, and when coupled with NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology, the gameplay experience is amplified to an even more exciting level.
The GF110 architecture, which is still not completely understood in some circles, represents a refresh of the GF100 Fermi GPU, and is often referred to as “Fermi Done Right”. Increases in efficiency allowed the new chip to run fully-enabled, something the GeForce GTX 480 (the best example of this) could not do. Technically speaking, the GF100, namely the GTX 480, came to market with only 480 of its 512 CUDA cores enabled, and it is generally believed that NVIDIA's initial GF100 offerings had some memory controller issues as evidenced by the relatively low GDDR5 effective memory speeds. Heat output, power consumption and noise levels gave the GF100 cards a slightly soured reputation, despite the great performance and features. GF110 (occasionally referred to internally as GF100B) aimed to fix as many of the original Fermi's shortcomings as possible. Aside from the fact that the GTX 580 was fully-enabled with higher in clock speeds, representing a 6.6 to 10% performance increase, there were other things going on under the surface. The Z-culling engine was improved, allowing GF110 to better dispose of unneeded pixels during rendering. Also, the original Fermi texture filtering architecture was replaced with that of the GF104 GPU, allowing GF110 to process 4 half-precision (FP16) pixels per clock, whereas GF100 could only filter 2. These changes also account for an 8% performance improvement as stated by NVIDIA. Physically speaking there were changes to the GF100 die to decrease signal noise and refine (to put it broadly) the chip.
The changes in the GPU and resulting video card architecture weren't meant only to improve 3D rendering performance, they also applied to Fermi's Achille's Heel, power consumption, heat output and noise levels. Power consumption at idle and under load was improved by around 10%, but given that the GTX 480 consumed more power than the dual-GPU HD 5970, the 10% improvement still places it in the “power-hungry” category. But an improvement is an improvement; no need to belittle NVIDIA's efforts, especially given the 40nm manufacturing process that they likely wanted to have ditched by now in favor of something smaller. As far as heat level is concerned, I can personally attest that the NVIDIA reference GTX 580 put off less heat than the only GF100 card I've reviewed, a GTX 465. GF100 load temperatures generally hit about 95 degrees Celcius, and the GTX 580 came in quite a bit cooler, usually by15-20%. These lower temperatures were attained by use of a new vapor chamber cooler,
... a GPU that just plain puts off less heat, and the heat output is managed much better due to improved fan controlling software. On the noise front, GF110 cards are a lot quieter than GF100, due once again to the improvements NVIDIA made to the fan software, as well as the design of the fan itself. Fan spin-ups and spin-downs are less abrupt, fan speeds themselves don't have to be as high due to improved fan and shroud design, and the cooling design helps keep things cooler so the fan doesn't have to run as much. Furthermore the new GF110 power monitoring circuitry, seen here, offers on-the-fly voltage protection for each 12v rail on the video card itself, protecting the GPU and components from damage due to combinations of high clock speeds and heat.
In summary, GF110 is a marked improvement over GF100 on many fronts. Reviewers, gamers and hardware enthusiasts alike have had good things to say about the GTX 580, but now at a much lower $349 price point, the GeForce GTX 570 has appeared. Now, let's look more specifically at NVIDIA's newest of their Fermi-based 5-series GPUs.
Next: A Look at NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 570
|12-07-10, 07:22 AM||#3|
nV News Alumni
A Look at NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 570
The GeForce GTX 570 is now set to do to the GTX 470 what the GTX 580 did to the GTX 480. Say that five times fast! Given that this new GF110 variant is for a lower price point than the GTX 580 (starting at $349), it's understandable that some features have been culled.
Memory interface is cut from 384-bit to 320-bit, VRAM is decreased to 1280 MB, CUDA cores have (again?) been cut down to 480, thereby lowering fillrate and performance by what appears to be a small amount. On paper, the GTX 570 look a lot like the GTX 480 in many respects, falls short on a few specs such as number of ROPs and memory amount and interface, but as expressed earlier in this writing, given that it makes use of a "Fermi Done Right" GPU, it's likely to be cooler, quieter, less power hungry, and more efficient in its performance. Besides, the GTX 570 is a replacement for the GTX 470, not the 480, and when you look at those two side by side, it's readily apparent that we're about to see some favorable results, given that everything goes right with respect of NVIDIA's execution of their goals for the GTX 570, both in software and hardware.
Happy Holidays from NVIDIA?
NVIDIA has kindly supplied nV News with a GTX 570 reference card. However, they sent this GPU to me with holiday spirit in mind. Upon removal from the shipping box I was greeted with a classy-looking NVIDIA box that had a “holiday gift” look to it, embossed with large snowflakes with the idea twisted a bit via use of NVIDIA Green. Inside was the GPU, a high-quality printed GTX 570 Review Guide, a 5x7 card stock letter from NVIDIA with some of the obligatory reviewer's information, a holiday card from NVIDIA, and a GTX “Tank” t-shirt (which I'll show at a later time when I hold a small contest, as I'd like to give it to the nV News community).
This was a nice way for NVIDIA to thank their technical writers for the work they put into the GPU reviews, and on my end it is sincerely appreciated. Happy Holidays right back at you, NVIDIA!
Moving onto the card itself, the GeForce GTX 570 is equipped with two DVI ports as well as a mini-HDMI port, and has two SLI interfaces which supports up to Tri-SLI. This video card is 10.5” long, the same length as the GTX 580. Honestly I think everything is almost exactly the same physically on this card as the GTX 580, except for less GDDR5 VRAM and (importantly) a less-needy power-connector requirement; only requiring two six-pin connectors, whereas the GTX 580 required an eight and a six pin connectors as seen below.
Here's the GTX 570 next to a GTX 580. Almost identical on the outside, except for the key difference in the power connectors.
Under the shroud is the same vapor chamber heatsink design used on the GTX 580. Exactly. Here are two pictures taken by NVIDIA (which are just a bit better than mine, although I did modify these a bit) which show GF110 without the shroud, as well as a closeup of the vapor chamber cooling system.
It's hard to tell which of NVIDIA's optimizations helped the most in keeping the GTX 580's temperatures down, but whatever the case, the cooling solution has not been criticized, as it is a part of a larger system of components and technologies working together to make GF110 cooler and quieter. I didn't feel compelled to open up this reference card, as I knew I would just see pretty much exactly what I saw with the GTX 580, so I'll keep it sealed up during this review. Let's look at EVGA's GTX 570.
Next: EVGA's GeForce GTX 570 SuperClocked
|12-07-10, 07:23 AM||#4|
nV News Alumni
EVGA's GeForce GTX 570 SuperClocked
Operating out of Brea, California, EVGA is quite possibly possibly the most recognizable name in graphics cards. They sent a SuperClocked version of their GTX 570 for review. EVGA has provided gamers with innovative graphics solutions dating all the way back to their Geforce 4 MX 440 which utilized a pioneering custom cooling design not seen in other products. They have a huge market presence and are known for their superior level of customer service and product warranties, as well as a large fan base.
On the outside, the EVGA GTX 570 SuperClocked is no different than the reference unit. As a matter of fact, my review unit pretty much was a reference unit, with the original stickers underneath the EVGA stickers. I don't have any problem with that as long as there's at least something that makes this card better than the reference unit.
NVIDIA GTX 580, EVGA GTX 570 SC, NVIDIA GTX 570, and EVGA GTX 460 SC (for scale):
EVGA's GTX 570 SuperClocked is a reference design, but comes out of that factory and to your doorstep with higher clock speeds. The 797/1594 mhz core speed is a 8.8% increase over the reference 732 mhz, and the memory is overclocked 2.6% from 3800 mhz to 3900. These speed increases don't really look to be much, but we'll leave judgment of that for after we've looked at the gaming performance of this card.
Other features that you have access to with purchase of an EVGA GTX 570 SuperClocked:
Between forums, Twitter, Flikr, Facebook, YouTube, Steam and podcasts, there's sure to be a way for you to interact with the EVGA community that best appeals to you. This extremely robust online presence makes an EVGA GPU owner a member of a large, diverse and easy-to-access online community.
EVGA Precision features granular hardware monitoring capabilities, fan adjustment, and of course clock speed adjustment. It also has the capability to display monitoring information on Logitech keyboards with LCD displays, and also offers a simple screenshot utility. EVGA OC Scanner assists in determining safe overclocks by providing a GPU-stressing scene that will artifact if the frequencies are too high.
EVGA remains a step ahead of other GPU vendors, with great warranties, active development of enthusiast software, a huge community, tons of ways to interact with the company, and most of all: consistently great products that almost always exceed expectation.
Previous: A Look at NVIDIA's GTX 570
Next: Testing Environment
|12-07-10, 07:24 AM||#5|
nV News Alumni
Graphics card, driver, and driver settings:
Note: The changelog of the 263-series driver do not mention any gaming performance changes, and this was verified with some testing.
The long PCB of the GTX 570 (and 580) is a tight fit for my case, but perfectly do-able. The temperatures obtained with the GTX 580 ended up being consistent with other reviews, so although it's not the most spacious home for a 10.5” card, there is enough air moving around in the proper directions for the GPU to stay well within operating range.
Regarding Performance Testing:
The GTX 570 is a high-end enthusiast GPU, and even at a moderately high resolution of 1920x1080, many gaming experiences are afforded the opportunity to explore quite a few Antialiasing modes. This review will at times cover that capability. Since the test system in this review has a maximum LCD resolution of 1920x1080, that display mode will be used exclusively, as it is among the most preferred resolutions used by gamers with enthusiast-class systems.
Also, given that two GTX 570 cards are being compared to a GTX 580 in terms of gaming and synthetic benchmark performance, there is a fair amount of detail to the data. In lieu of graphs, charts are used, and each chart has a percentage column which shows the performance of the card vs. the GTX 580. I do hope that readers will find it informative and relatively easy to understand.
Previous: EVGA's GeForce GTX 570 SuperClocked
Next: Performance Results - Gaming Tests
Last edited by ragejg; 12-08-10 at 09:04 AM.
|12-07-10, 07:25 AM||#6|
nV News Alumni
Metro 2033 (THQ)
This heavily system-intensive benchmark was tested using an average of three runs of the
in-game benchmark in DX11 mode (with tessellation ON)at 1920x1080, 16x AF with both
available Antialiasing options (4xAA and AAA), in several different settings configurations.
Note: GPU PhysX was set to auto-select.
Setting A: Quality: Very High; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; DOF: Enabled
Setting B: Quality: High; Advanced PhysX: Disabled; DOF: Disabled
Both of the GTX 570s offer a similar gameplay experience to the GTX 580, although both of
them inch farther away from playability in setting A. It's also good to see the minimum
framerates being so similar to the extremely robust GTX 580. Remember, the GTX 580 costs
around 40% more than the GTX 570, so if the GTX 570s keep this trend up of performing
around 88-90% of their bigger brother, we might just have a bang-for-the-buck on our
hands. The EVGA SuperClocked card only offers marginally better performance than the
Lost Planet 2 (Capcom)
Utilizing the MT Framework engine, Lost Planet 2 has continued the cutting-edge graphical
qualities introduced with the previous game in the series, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition.
Previous NV News reviews have utilized other MT Framework titles (the aforementioned Lost
Planet 1 and Resident Evil 5), but the DirectX 11 features of this new title make it a must
for any modern DX11 GPU review.
Benchmarking Test: Test B, Motion Blur: On, Shadow Detail: High, Texture Detail: High,
Rendering Level: High, DirectX 11 Features: High, Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
The EVGA GTX 570 SC showed its tessellation muscle in this test and pulled a good bit
closer to the GTX 580. Again, this GPU is putting on a good showing despite its slightly
cut-down specs, with even the reference-clocked GTX 570 pulling almost 40 FPS in this
test with 32x CSAA enabled. That's some serious AA, and some serious performance.
Aliens Vs. Predator (SEGA)
This DirectX 11 title (and its benchmark) makes use of adaptive tessellation techniques and
advanced shadowing. The first time I saw this run-through, I was convinced that a video
game could finally do HR Giger's design justice. Settings:
Texture Quality: 3, Shadow Quality: 3, Anisotropic Filtering: 16, SSAO: 1, DX11
Tessellation: On, DX11 Advanced Shadows: On
Although this title doesn't try to overload the GPU with tessellation, there is enough in use
(as well as advanced shadowing) to stress any newer GPU. With a lot going on on-screen,
it's good to see that all three of these cards hang around the same performance grade.
The EVGA card seems to be trying to split the difference between the reference speed GTX
570 and the GTX 580, but can't quite get there. That's not to say that its performance
isn't impressive though.
Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 (UBI)
Using some of the most advanced hardware-based tessellation techniques of any game, the
eagerly anticipated sequel to HAWX places you back in the pilot seat for more aerial
excitement. The tessellation applied to terrain gives this game a unique look, and despite
the fact that the world goes by so quickly in a jet airplane the sometimes-subtle
improvement in visual fidelity sometimes adds up with other graphical enhancements to
make this new title look quite a bit nicer than its predecessor.
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x, Terrain Tessellation: On, View Distance: High, Environment: High,
Texture Quality: High, Postprocessing: On, Depth of Field: On, Particle Density: High,
Even with 32x CSAA enabled, all of these cards manhandle HAWX 2. I'm beginning to think
that even the $349 "base model" reference-speed GTX 570s could serve well doing 1080p
3d Vision gaming.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 SP(EA/DICE)
This is somewhat of a first-generation DX11 title in that it doesn't use tessellation, but the
usage of DX11 soft shadows is noteworthy. Again, I tested a multitude of AA settings to
see what kind of performance hit is incurred in this popular title.
First mission from shoreline (knife) to minefield, INI file tweak: FOV: 78, Level of Detail:
High, Texture Quality: High, Shadow Quality: High, Effects Quality: High, Anisotropic
Filtering: 16x, HBAO: On
In this game, the EVGA SC separates itself from the reference card and performs ten
percentage points better, but it's certainly still worth mentioning that the reference card
could still pull 60 FPS with 32x CSAA enabled.
Far Cry 2 (UBI)
It seems like this games has been a benchmark staple forever. Although the game itself has
received mixed reviews for its long and drawn out sandbox gameplay, its visuals are still
top-notch, and it did prove to be fairly comparable to Crysis.
I utilized the Far Cry 2 benchmarking tool which helps create repeatable benchmark runs of
different settings. I evaluated three different AA settings. In previous tests of Far Cry 2 I
had specified an AF setting, but in reading the review guide, NVIDIA said that AF settings
don't apply properly to the benchmarking tool, so it's best for AF to be set to Application
Preference in the NVIDIA Control Panel. If you the reader have any feedback on my take on
this, please discuss it in the nV News forums.
Demo(Ranch Small), D3D10, Fixed Time Step(No), Disable Artificial Intelligence(Yes), Full
Screen, Vsync(No), Overall Quality(Ultra High), Vegetation(Very High), Shading(Ultra High),
Terrain(Ultra High), Geometry(Ultra High), Post FX(High), Texture(Ultra High), Shadow(Ultra
High), Ambient(High), Hdr(Yes), Bloom(Yes), Fire(Very High), Physics(Very High),
This game still taxes systems heavily when a lot is happening on the screen at once. Again,
the EVGA's added bandwidth gives it a solid lead over the reference card. What was
pleasantly surprising that the minimum framerates weren't very low for the reference card,
though, despite the fact that Demo (Ranch Small) usually likes to create some wild
Aside from the six titles mentioned above, I did get to try some other games out with the
GTX 570s, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops, which runs great at 1920x1080 with 4x AA, and
ijji Games' Alliance of valiant Arms, an Unreal Engine game which ran beautifully with large
amounts of AA as well. the point of what I'm saying is that the GTX 570, and to even more
of a degree the EVGA SuperClocked 570 basically game just like a GTX 580. As a user of a
GTX 580 and after having gotten used to one, going to the 570s involved no sacrifice in
image quality to keep framerates up.
That being said, as far as 2D-monitor 1920x1080 gaming is concerned, the GTX 570 should
be a top choice, and the EVGA SC model should be one of the models taken into
Previous: Testing Environment
Next: Synthetic Benchmark Performance
|12-07-10, 07:26 AM||#7|
nV News Alumni
Synthetic Benchmark Performance
Unigine Heaven 2.1
This benchmark has become a standard for DirectX 11 video card tests, as it features
tessellation and SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion).
1920x1080 resolution, Tessellation: Extreme, Full Screen, Shaders: High, 16x AF
Stone Giant is a new DirectX 11 benchmark that utilizes heavy amounts of tessellation, and also requires that the video card rendering the scene can push large amounts of geometry.
Resolution: 1920x1080, Tessellation: High, 16x AF
3Dmark Vantage is an industry-standard GPU benchmarking tool which tests the DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 capabilities of hardware. It also includes several CPU tests and PhysX support.
Performance Preset, 1280x1024 Resolution
Finnish software company Futuremark, formerly MadOnion.com, founded in 1997 by
demoscene mavens from FutureCrew, just released their new PC gaming benchmarking tool
3Dmark 11 on December 7 2010. Designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance,
3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation,
compute shaders and multi-threading.
Performance (P) 1280x720, Extreme (X) 1920x1080
Synthetic Benchmark Performance Conclusion:
Given the consistency of the results, I feel that I should just sum up the experience of running these benchmarks with a GTX 580, then two 570s. Again, just like the gaming performance, the GTX 570 is capable of delivering an almost GTX 580 level of geometry and tessellation throughput, with the EVGA SC card often knocking on the GTX 580's door, being down only around 5%. Given the results I've seen since the introduction of the GeForce GTX 480, it's very likely that the GTX 570 performs on-par with the "old" flagship card, and may outperform it in certain situations.
Previous: Performance Results - Gaming Tests
Next: Overclocking, Temperatures & Noise Comments
|12-07-10, 07:27 AM||#8|
nV News Alumni
Overclocking, Temperatures & Noise Comments
I wanted to see how much closer the EVGA GTX 570 SuperClocked could get to GTX 580-level performance. In games and synthetic benchmarks it did around 88-96% as good, and it stood to reason that a decent overclock would close the gap. So I tested Heaven, 3DMark 11, Lost Planet 2 and Far Cry 2 so I could get a wide range of rendering methods and get a broad perspective on the capabilities of this new Fermi (done right) card. Using EVGA Precision and OC Scanner, I tested some clock speeds, and settled on what appears to be an overclock that borders between modest and aggressive, 860/1720 core, 2300/4600 for the memory. I did not alter voltages, I simply adjusted clock speeds. Results are as follows:
I'lll keep this short, because it really doesn't require much: The EVGA GTX 570 SuperClocked has the capability to deliver $499 GTX 580 performance - for a lot less, and can also likely handle gaming at higher resolutions such as 2560x1440 or 3D Vision at 1920x1080. ... I think that covers it.
Temperatures & Noise:
Just as the GTX 580 was a treat (especially vs. GF100 cards) in the temperature department, the GTX 570 cards follow that lead to a "T". As a matter of fact my temperatures were indistinguishable from the GTX 580. With the default fan profile, both of the GTX 570s idled at 39-42 degrees, and under heavy load during gaming temperatures were in the 79-84 mark, once again while roaming around in Stone Giant. The temperatures can also likely be attributed once again to the GF110's vapor chamber cooler.
For what it's worth, EVGA is making a new fan profile available to purchasers of the GTX 570 SC that allows for fan adjustments between 30 and 100% as opposed to the 40-80% adjustability of the reference design. This could make for quieter and/or cooler operation.
While we're on the subject of fans, I might as well mention that while using the reference fan profile on both cards, they were pretty much unnoticeable. I did have my GTX 460 plugged in for a little while over the last few days, and I honestly didn't notice any difference when I had one of the GF110 cards plugged in. In other words, good job on the fan/cooler/fan profiles design, NVIDIA. I'm very glad that the loud Fermi (such as the GTX 465 I used for a while) has been replaced by a quieter one.
Previous: Synthetic Benchmark Performance
|12-07-10, 07:28 AM||#9|
nV News Alumni
The GeForce GTX 570 is available today at select online retailers for as low as $349, and the EVGA GTX 570 SuperClocked is available for as low as $375. Obviously there are reasons why the SuperClocked edition is more expensive, and all of the m have to do with the performance potential of the card. I'm not very confident that a non-SC GTX 570 would reach the speeds that the EVGA SC did (although I'll be testing out some overclocking on the reference model soon enough...), and a few extra bucks for what could be a good chunk of performance is a small price to pay.
Whatever the case, my use of the reference GTX 570 gave me an outstanding first impression of this new GPU. It is super-powerful, more efficient, cooler and quieter than its predecessors, is most certainly faster than the GTX 470, ... and it very likely trades blows with the GTX 480.
The EVGA GTX 570 SuperClocked is an outstanding graphics card. Overclockable to GTX 580 levels of performance, there's not really any substitute out there for getting $499 performance for $375. The bundle of accessories was comprehensive, EVGA's warranty coverage is awesome... the poster is pretty cool looking... If I am to knock the card or EVGA in any way I'd say "try harder to cover the existing stickers on the card; if you're not careful the reference NVIDIA stickers will still be visible". But in the grand scheme of things that's an admissible quibble, and what I saw may be attributable to being early in the manufacturing run. Back to the positives, this card is cool and quiet, EVGA's new fan profile should make it even moreso, overclocking capabilities are great, EVGA Precision and OC Scanner are very useful overclocking tools, and the company is very visibly involved in the gaming community. So , a bunch of thumbs up to EVGA on a great GPU at the right time, just in time for the holidays.
One cautionary note: AMD is releasing new GPUs in the coming days and weeks, so it remains to be seen how the GTX 570 will stack up given its $349 starting price. Versus the GTX 580 it does look to be a winner as far as price/performance is concerned, but new AMD GPUs could throw a well-placed curveball to NVIDIA during the rest of the holiday season.
Many thanks go to NVIDIA and EVGA for providing review samples, and to Ollie at Futuremark for helping me with my 3DMark issues. Happy Holidays!
Previous: Overclocking, Temperatures & Noise Comments
Next: Feedback Thread Link
|12-07-10, 07:32 AM||#10|
nV News Alumni
Go here to the feedback thread.
2010-2011 Reviews: GTX 570 | GTX 580 | GTS 450 | GTX 460 | GTX 465
Pre-2010 Reviews: 6600 GT | XMS 4400 DDR | SilenX Cooler | 6800 | 5900 XT | Personal Cinema | 5900 NU
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