Review: Great Cooler and Quattro Ports
Nvidia Geforce GTX 570 launched on December 7, 2010, and still holds the spot of Nvidia’s second fastest single-GPU graphics card. Geforce GTX 570 cards are made for hardcore gamers - it packs a nice punch and is priced similarly to the Radeon HD 6970. Gainward offers several different Geforce GTX 570 versions but our today’s test subject is the GTX 570 Golden Sample Edition.
Geforce GTX 570 is based on the GF110 GPU which can be found on the faster Geforce GTX 580 as well. By overclocking the Geforce GTX 570, users can get Geforce GTX 580 performance, but of course, overclocking does introduce other risks.
Nvidia strapped its reference Geforce GTX 570 cards with quality cooling that uses vapor chamber technology. However, Gainward decided to strap its GTX 570 Golden Sample with a special dual fan cooler.
So, the card runs at 750MHz for the GPU, 1500MHz for shaders and 3900MHz (effectively) for the memory. Just to remind you, reference clocks stand at 732MHz for the GPU, 1462MHz for shaders and 3800MHz for memory.
Geforce GTX 580 works at higher clocks – 772MHz GPU, 1544MHz shaders and 4000MHz memory. Furthermore, the Geforce GTX 580 has 512 shaders compared to 480 shaders on Geforce GTX 570. This tells us that the Geforce GTX 580 is faster than the Geforce GTX 570, but since Gainward overclocked its GTX 570 Golden Sample, we expect the performance difference to be at least lower than with reference Geforce GTX 570 cards. In any case, we’ll try to overclock our GTX 570 Golden Sample further and attempt to top the Geforce GTX 580.
That Gainward’s card is a high end product is evident from the relatively big package. However, ‘Golden Sample’ and ‘GOOD’ mean that this is not your ordinary offering, but rather an overclocked card with special cooling.
Gainward’s GOOD Edition cards usually come with several different video outs, this time with two dual-link DVI, one HDMI and one DisplayPort connector. VGA support is provided via the included DVI-to-VGA dongle, with a 6-pin power cable also included in the box.
Gainward’s GTX 570 Golden Sample (GS) comes with special cooling which should keep the temperatures in check. The cooling is pretty similar to that on Gainward’s GTX 570 Golden Sample Goes Like Hell (GS GLH). We’re talking about dual slot cooling with a large heatsink and two powerful 8cm fans.
We noticed that compared to the GTX 570 GS GLH (Launched in December 2010), the GTX 570 GS’ cooling has many more air outlets on the hood, which improves airflow through the heatsink. Nvidia Geforce GTX 570’s reference cooling pushes most of the hot air outside the case, whereas Gainward’s card leaves it inside. However, good news is that Gainward’s cooling is more efficient and the GPU heats up less.
Unlike the GTX 570 GS GLH, which is powered via one 8-pin and one 6-pin power cable, the GTX 570 GS has two 6-pin connectors.
Gainward used Samsung GDDR5 memory (1280MB), model K4G10325FE-HC04, which is rated at 1250MHz (5000MHz GDDR5 effecitvely). Note that the card’s cooling is designed in a way where it cools the GPU, power components and memory chips.
GTX 570 GS has two dual-link DVIs, one HDMI and one DisplayPort. In comparison, reference cards come with two dual-link DVIs and a mini-HDMI. However, Nvidia’s architecture enables for using only two outs at the same time, regardless of Gainward’s efforts. This means that if you want more than two monitors – you’ll have to shell out for another card.
It’s well worth noting that the new Nvidia cards don’t require hassle around HDMI audio, i.e. you won’t need to connect SPDIF cables to your motherboard’s/soundcard’s SPDIF out. Nvidia used HDMI 1.4a interface.
Just like all high-end cards, Gainward’s GTX 570 GS allows for chaining up one or two more Geforce GTX 570 cards, in order to get more performance or have more than two displays (e.g. for 3D Stereo Vision).
Motherboard: EVGA 4xSLI
CPU: Core i7 965 XE (Intel EIST and Vdrop enabled)
Memory: 6GB Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24
Harddisk: OCZ Vertex 2 100 GB
Power Supply: CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold 800W
Case: CoolerMaster HAF X
Fan Controler: Kaze Master Pro 5.25"
Operating System: Win7 64-bit
AMD 11.8 CCC
3D Mark 2011
Gainward’s GTX 570 Golden Sample outran the Radeon HD 6970 but, as you can see from the results, the higher the resolution – the lower the difference.
Aliens vs Predator
The GTX 570 Golden Sample comes factory overclocked but it simply cannot handle the Radeon HD 6970 in some games, AvP being one of them. However, thanks to special cooling that keeps the temperatures way below dangerous thresholds, the GTX 570 Golden Sample can be further overclocked. This helped us in achieving higher scores than the Geforce GTX 580.
We didn’t need to overclock the GTX 570 Golden Sample in Dirt 2 because it churned out a great frame rate at 2560x1600, running at factory clocks throughout. Furthermore, it is faster than Radeon HD 6970 in this game.
The Geforce GTX 570 has 1280MB of memory while the Radeon HD 6970 comes with 2048MB. Metro 2033 likes more memory and runs considerably better with it, especially when playing at 2560x1600 with antialiasing. Up until that resolution, the GTX 570 Golden Sample and RAdeon HD 6970 scores were similar. The Radeon HD 6970’s memory earned it dominance when antialiasing is used, but the GTX 570 Golden Sample wins otherwise.
Gainward’s GTX 570 Golden Sample scored very good results, almost threatening to dethrone the Geforce GTX 580.
Unigine Heaven shows that the Geforce GTX 580 is undisputed tessellation test winner.
The GPU’s full potential can only be tapped into with voltage changes. Gainward GTX 570 Golden Sample allows for GPU voltage changes via Afterburner, and that’s what we used. After upping the voltage to 1100mV, we managed to push our GPU to 900MHz and memory to 4500MHz (effectively).
The GTX 570 Golden Sample’s cooling is great when it comes to performance. In fact, we measured lower GPU temperatures after our overclocking than the reference GTX 570 is capable of right out of the box (76°C compared to the reference card’s 85°C).
GTX 570 Golden Sample
GTX 570 Golden Sample OC
When idle, the GTX 570 Golden Sample is inaudible. The fan is not too loud during more intensive gaming and we were happy enough, although the card is a bit louder than the reference card. However, Gainward could have set the fan to be slower and quieter because the thermals are very good.
Geforce GTX 570 offers good performance in the high-end single-GPU segment, and the only faster card was the Geforce GTX 580. Performance wise, AMD’s competitor Radeon HD 6970 is comparable to the Geforce GTX 570. Of course, we cannot forget the retired Geforce GTX 480, which was Nvidia’s fastest single-GPU card and retired after the Geforce GTX 570 launched. These two cards have very similar performance and gaming results, but the Geforce GTX 570 comes with more efficient GPU and thermals.
Gainward’s GTX 570 Golden Sample is an interesting card, not least due to the custom design cooler. The factory overclock is not that high – the GPU runs at 750MHz compared to the reference 732MHz, whereas the memory is up from 900MHz to 975MHz (3900MHz effectively). The GTX 570 Golden Sample’s overclock is not as high as the one on GTX 570 Golden Sample Goes Like Hell (800MHz GPU), but custom cooling with two fans ensures safe and simple additional overclocking at any time. We managed to push the GPU to 900MHz and score better than the reference Geforce GTX 580.
GOOD Edition’s cooling packs great performance. In fact, it stays below the reference Geforce GTX 570’s temperatures, even after overclocking. However, while the cooler is mostly inaudible, it tends to get a bit louder than the reference one when under load.
Gainward GTX 570 Golden Sample comes with standard HDMI and DisplayPort connectors as well as two dual-link DVI connectors, so users are well covered there. The only downside, if you can call it that, is that Nvidia has a limit of two displays on a single graphics card. This means that you’ll need SLI if you want more than two displays.
Gainward GTX 570 Golden Sample is priced at about €280, here, which is some €20 more than Gainward’s reference GTX 570 with identical cooling.