ASUS GTX 570 Review

tacohunter52 - 2010-12-10 20:49:03 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: tacohunter52   
Reviewed on: February 3, 2011
Price: $349

Introduction:

Everyone has got to admit that they were at least semi-excited about the release of NVIDIA's GTX 580. What else could be more interesting than a new card taking the crown of the fastest single GPU card. Even so, NVIDIA didn't stop there. The graphical computing beast soon released the GTX 570 core which proved to be more than 20% faster than the GTX 470. NVIDIA then went on to their recent release of the very affordable, extremely powerful GTX 560 Ti. All of these releases, combined with all of ATI's recent releases it can, once again, be very hard to choose which GPU is right for you.

Today we'll be looking at an offering of the GTX 570 from ASUS, simply called the "ASUS GTX 570". This card comes with everything you'd expect from ASUS. This includes voltage tweakablitiy, DX11 support, and of course the modified GF 110 core. So without further ado, let's take a look at what this card has to offer, and how it stacks up against the rest of the competition.

Closer Look:

First up is the box. The ASUS GTX 570 arrives with a green and black color scheme. The front of the box features the very familiar horseman holding a sword. This appears to be the same horseman that ASUS used on their "Dark Knight" addition cards. Flipping the box over reveals some specs about the card as well as a picture of the card's display ports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like we've seen with many other cards from ASUS, there is a second black box underneath the initial packaging. This then offers you a fold up flap which reveals three smaller black compartments. The first and second compartments contain the included extras. These are a Molex to 6-Pin connector, a DVI to VGA adapter, an HDMI adapter, and a Driver CD. Lifting up the first compartment reveals the beautiful ASUS GTX 570.

 

 

 

Now that we've checked out the packaging, let's take a look at the ASUS GTX 570 itself.

Closer Look:

The ASUS GTX 570, at a quick glance, appears to be very similar to NVIDIA's reference design. We can see a few obvious differences on the heat spreader, but not much more. Flipping the card over reveals the card's black PCB. Once again we see no backplate on the card, but this shouldn't affect cooling much. Flipping the card upwards reveals the ASUS logo as well as the SLI and power connectors. The opposing side features nothing more than the black fan shroud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as connectivity goes, anyone who purchases the ASUS GTX 570 will be able to utilize two DVI connectors and an HDMI port. The card is powered by two 6-Pin connectors and it uses the ever friendly PCIe x16 interface. Users who enjoy using the SLI feature of NVIDIA's cards will be happy to know that the ASUS GTX 570 has two SLI connectors. This means you will be able to pair this baby with some friends, as long as you've got the dough. Those friends being another one or two GTX 570's and perhaps involving NVIDIA's stereoscopic 3D Vision system with a trio of monitors for a 3D surround experience

 

 

 

Upon removing the plastic fan shroud we can see exactly how the ASUS GTX 570's cooler works. The massive chunk of finned aluminum sits right on top of the GF 110 core. The black fan next to it will blow air through the fins allowing the sink to dissipate more heat. We can also see that there is a large black heatspreader covering the card's memory chips as well as its other important components.

 

 

Once we remove the large metal heat spreader we are able to see the card's remaining components. This includes all of the memory modules and the GF 110 core. The ASUS GTX 570's memory is clocked at 950MHz, and its core is clocked at 742MHz. To top it all off you'll be able to utilize a shader clock of 1484MHz. In using the ASUS Smart Doctor utility to overclock the ASUS GTX 570, the question will be how high will the overclock go keeping in mind the claim of up to a 50% increase in clock speed.

 

 

Taking one last look at the cooler we can see that it is a very large chunk of finned aluminum. The large array of fins look as though they are able to dissipate a massive amount of heat due to the use of a large vapor chamber attached to the bottom of the aluminum fin array. Flipping the HSF over allows us to see how the vapor chamber is implemented and how the contact surface of the chamber is significantly higher than the one used on the GTX 580. Another point of interest is the small strips of foam that are used on the ASUS GTX 570 to force all of the air through the fin array instead of allowing some airflow around it - effectively using all of the air ingested by the fan to cool the card. It's the little things that make the difference.

 

 

Now let's take a look at how this baby performs!

Specifications:

Graphics Engine:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
Bus Standard:
PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory
GDDR5 1280MB
Engine Clock:
742 MHz
CUDA Core:
480
Shader Clock:
1464 MHz
Memory Clock:
3800 MHz (950MHz GDDR5)
RAMDAC:
400MHz
Memory Interface:
320-Bit
Resolution:
D-Sub Max Resolution 2048x1536
DVI Max Resolution 2560x1600
Accessories:
1 x Power Cable
1 x Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter
Software:
ASUS Utilities & Driver
Dimensions:
11” x 5” Inch

Features:

 

 

 

All information courtesy of ASUS @http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=8SBmUPe9H5QdS4xb&templete=2

Testing:

Testing of the ASUS GTX 570 will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where it falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing, with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the card at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see how much additional performance is available and to determine if it can run with the current fastest single-GPU cards on the market. The drivers used in this test will be the 260.89 Forceware drivers from NVIDIA for all cards save the GTX 580 and the 10.10 Catalyst drivers for AMD. Tests will be conducted at both stock and overclocked settings to gauge performance when an increase in clock speed is applied. There is a change in how our graphs are now setup, with the card being tested highlighted in GREEN for NVIDIA video cards and RED for AMD Radeon cards. As our tests are very comprehensive, we hope this makes it a little bit easier to pick them out of the crowd. The cards are placed in order from highest to lowest performing.

 

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

The ASUS GTX 570 is a factory overclocked card, so I had high hopes for the clock speeds that this one would reach. NVIDIA's reference GTX 570 was able to reach clock speeds of 785MHz. Seeing as the ASUS GTX 570 was clocked just 43MHz below this, I knew it was going to surpass the reference overclock. In the end, we were able to up the core clock to an impressive 933MHz. Unfortunately we weren't able to get as large of an increase out of the memory clocks. We were however, able to up the memory speeds to 1092MHz. Last but not least, the shader clocks. The factory overclock put the ASUS GTX 570's shader clock at 1484MHz. We of course wanted to see a large increase in clock speeds, and that's just what we got. We were able to increase the shader clock speeds to 1866MHz.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

In the past, I had used MSI's Kombuster utility to check for stability coupled with the ability to run through the entire test suite. I have found that some game tests would still fail with this utility, so I have moved to testing with several games at maximum settings through several resolutions to verify the clock speeds that are listed below. Why the change? I have found some cards will play fine at a 4xAA setting, but fail when using 8xAA due to the increased graphics load. If it fails, then the clock speeds and tests are rerun until they pass.

   

 

  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Crysis Warhead
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
  7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  8. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption

Aliens vs. Predator, developed by Rebellion Developments, is a science fiction first-person shooter and is a remake of its 1999 game. The game is based off the two popular sci fi franchises. In this game, you have the option of playing through the single player campaigns as one of three species, the Alien, the Predator, and the Human Colonial Marine. The Game uses Rebellion's Asura game engine that supports Dynamic Lighting, Shader Model 3.0, Soft Particle systems, and Physics. To test this game I will be using the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark tool with the settings listed below. All DirectX 11 features are enabled.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 continued to perform just under the GTX 580. It was also able to perform on par with, or better, than the HD 6950 throughout this benchmark.

Testing:

Part first-person shooter, part survival horror, Metro 2033 is based on the novel of the same name, written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. You play as Artyom in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, where you'll spend most of your time traversing the metro system, with occasional trips to the surface. Despite the dark atmosphere and bleak future for mankind, the visuals are anything but bleak. Powered by the 4A Engine, with support for DirectX 11, NVIDIA PhysX and NVIDIA 3D Vision, the tunnels are extremely varied — in your travels, you'll come across human outposts, bandit settlements, and even half-eaten corpses. Ensuring you feel all the tension, there is no map and no health meter. Get lost without enough gas mask filters and adrenaline shots and you may soon wind up as one of those half-eaten corpses — chewed up by some horrifying manner of irradiated beast that hides in the shadows just waiting for some hapless soul to wander by.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 performed more or less the same as the HD 6970 while running at its stock clocks. Once overclocked, the ASUS GTX 570 was almost able to match the GTX 580.

Testing:

Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack situated in time with the story line of the original Crysis. As Sergeant "Psycho" Sykes, you have a secret mission to accomplish on the far side of the island. Along the way there are EMP blasts and aliens to contend with, as you hunt down the KPA chief. This game uses an enhanced version of the CryEngine 2.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 managed to outperform or perform on par with the GTX 480 in every benchmark. The overclock gave us a nice little performance increase, and occasionally allowed the card to perform on par with the GTX 580.

Testing:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is an iteration of the venerable first person shooter series, Call of Duty. Despite its long, successful pedigree, the game is not without substantial criticism and controversy, especially on the PC. Aside from the extremely short campaign and lack of innovation, the PC version's reception was also marred by its lack of support for user-run dedicated servers, which means no user-created maps, no mods, and no customized game modes. You're also limited to 18-player matches instead of the 64-player matches that were possible in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Despite all this, the game has been well received and the in-house IW 4.0 engine renders the maps in gorgeous detail, making it a perfect candidate for OCC benchmarking. You start off the single player missions playing as Private Allen and jump right into a serious firefight. This is the point where testing will begin. Testing will be done using actual game play with FPS measured by Fraps.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

Once again the ASUS GTX 570 outperformed the GTX 480 in every benchmark. After being overclocked, it was able to perform better than the GTX 580.

Testing:

Just Cause 2 is a third-person shooter that takes place on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. In this sequel to 2006's Just Cause, you return as Agent Rico Rodriguez to overthrow an evil dictator and confront your former boss. When you don't feel like following the main story line, you're free to roam the island, pulling off crazy stunts and causing massive destruction in your wake, all beautifully rendered by the Avalanche Engine 2.0. In the end, that's what the game basically boils down to — crazy stunts and blowing things up. In fact, blowing things up and wreaking havoc is actually necessary to unlock new missions and items.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 was able to perform far above the 6970 in each benchmark. When overclocked, it was able to perform increasingly closer to the GTX 580.

Testing:

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.0 is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on the Unigine engine. What sets the Heaven Benchmark apart is the addition of hardware tessellation, available in three modes — Moderate, Normal and Extreme. Although tessellation requires a video card with DirectX 11 support and Windows Vista/7, the Heaven Benchmark also supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and OpenGL. Visually, it features beautiful floating islands that contain a tiny village and extremely detailed architecture.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 performed just under the HD 6970 and then above it once overclocked, with the exception of the 2560 x 1600 resolution.

Testing:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new game that brings together two bitter rivals, the Joker and Batman. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to rein the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to become the Dark Knight.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 managed to perform about the same as the HD 5870 at stock settings. Once overclocked it was able to outperform ATI's offering.

Testing:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a first-person shooter developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts for Windows, PS3 and XBox. This game is part of the Battlefield franchise and uses the Frostbite 1.5 Engine, allowing for destructible environments. You can play the single player campaign or multiplayer with five different game modes. Released in March 2010, it has so far sold in excess of six million copies.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 once again performs better then the HD 6970 and performs almost the same as the GTX 580 when overclocked.

Testing:

3DMark 11 is the next installment for Futuremark in the 3DMark series with Vantage as its predecessor. The name implies that this benchmark is for Microsoft DirectX 11 and with an unintended coincidence, the name matches the upcoming date in number (which was the naming scheme to some prior versions of 3DMark nonetheless). 3DMark 11 is designed solely for DirectX 11 so Windows Vista or 7 are required along with a DirectX 11 graphics card in order to run this test. The Basic Edition has unlimited free tests on performance mode whereas Vantage only allowed for a single test run. The advanced edition costs $19.95 and unlocks nearly all of the features of the benchmark and the professional edition runs $995.00 and is mainly suited for corporate use. The new benchmark contains six tests, four of which are aimed only at graphical testing, one to test for physics handling and one to combine graphics and physics testing together. The open source Bullet Physics library is used for physics simulations and although not as mainstream as Havok or PhysX, it still seems to be a popular choice.

With the new benchmark comes two new demos that can be watched, both based on the tests but unlike the tests, these contain basic audio. The first demo is titled "Deep Sea" and have a few vessels exploring what looks to be a sunken U-Boat. The second demo is titled "High Temple" and is similar to South American tribal ruins with statues and the occasional vehicle around. The demos are simple in that they have no story, they are really just a demonstration of what the testing will be like. The vehicles have the logos of the sponsors MSI and Antec on their sides with the sponsorships helping to make the basic edition free. The four graphics tests are slight variants of the demos. I will use the three benchmark test preset levels to test the performance of each card. The presets are used as they are comparable to what can be run with the free version so that results can be compared across more than just a custom set of test parameters.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

During the 3DMark 11 benchmark I was very pleased to see that the ASUS GTX 570 performed, for the most part, as one of the top three cards in each resolution.

Testing:

Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista-based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. "Entry" is 1024 x 768 progressing to "Extreme" at 1920 x 1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

   

Higher = Better

 

We once again saw the ASUS GTX 570 perform in the top three in every one of the benchmarks. It was occasionally the top card, and usually the second. I for one, was impressed.

Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using MSI Kombuster, which is paired with MSI's Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using the stability test set to a resolution of 1920 x 1200 using 8xAA. I will use a 15 minute time frame to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card's BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will be a 20 minute cool down with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running the overclocked idle and load testing. For load testing the GTX 580 and GTX 570, I will use Crysis Warhead run at 2560 x 1600 using the Gamer setting with 8xAA looping the Avalanche benchmark scenario, as I have found this to put a load close to that of Kombuster on a video card. This is needed as a way around the current limiting ability of the GTX 500 series when it detects programs that put an unrealistic load on the GPU, which Kombuster does.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Lower = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 ended up performing in between every other card. It wasn't the hottest, and it wasn't the coolest. At load once overclocked, we saw the temperatures shoot up quite a bit, but this is to be expected.

Testing:

Power consumption of the system will be measured in both idle states and loaded states and will take into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use MSI Kombuster to load the GPU for a 15 minute test and use the peak load of the system as my result for the maximum load. The idle results will be measured after 15 minutes of inactivity on the system. For load testing the GTX 500 series, I will once again use Crysis Warhead run at 2560 x 1600 using the Gamer setting with 8xAA looping the Avalanche benchmark scenario.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

Lower = Better

 

The ASUS GTX 570 showed similar results both at stock settings and overclocked. It performed on the lower end of our chart while idle and at the higher end of the spectrum while under load. When you put the higher power consumption when overclocked into perspective and realize that it takes additional voltage to run the numbers, you can expect to see higher than "normal" power consumption. If power consumption is the highest priority on your list and you plan on running the ASUS GTX 570 in stock trim than you can see it is more efficient running at higher than the reference clock speeds by 20 watts. If you plan on overclocking and over volting this card, then there is a price to pay with higher power consumption. But, the ASUS GTX 570 pays you back in kind with a really nice performance boost.

Conclusion:

With so many choices it can be extremely hard to choose a video card. Both ATI and NVIDIA want you to use one of their chips in your rig, but how do you choose? Both companies have offerings for the higher-end users and both have benefits over the other. The NVIDIA GTX 570 is a great card for both the high-end and mid-range user.

ASUS's factory overclocked edition of the card is definitely a great choice if you do decide to go with a GF110 card. It offered great performance in every benchmark and usually performed on the higher end of our benchmarks. And with a price tag of only $349.99, you really can't go wrong!

The card overclocks very well, especially when compared to NVIDIA's reference card. Once overclocked, we saw a very large performance increase, which is always fun to see. Not only that, but the temperatures weren't all that crazy. The card did heat up quite a bit once at load while being overclocked, but nothing to crazy since the reference Vapor Chamber heat sink is well equipped to manage the heat.

In the end, I'd recommend this card to any high-end or mid-range user. That being said, the price tag can be considered slightly steep for the mid-range, so it may be higher-end users purchasing this card. Either way, I'm sure whoever purchases it will be very pleased.

Editors note, there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason to be purchasing a GTX 480 at the current prices.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: