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NVIDIA GTX 590 Review

ccokeman    -   March 24, 2011


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Testing:

Testing of the NVIDIA GTX 590 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 they fall 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 other than applying the AA and AF settings manually in the control panel. I will test the cards at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see the effects of any increases in clock speed. The cards are placed in order from highest to lowest performing in the graphs to show where the cards fall by comparison. In addition to the stock testing I will include performance testing in both Surround (NVIDIA) and Eyefinity (AMD) with the appropriate cards. For this review a few new games have replaced some of the aging titles

 

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

  • ASUS GTX 590

Overclocking is a way to increase the performance of the video card in lieu of making a new purchase. The headroom on the GTX 590 is at this point limited to about a 10 to 15% margin over the as-delivered clock speeds, even though the card supports voltage tuning. The overriding theme of this card is cooler and quieter than the competition. I did not have an overclocking utility to push the clock speeds above the 10 to 15% margins until late last night. At this point, the overclocked testing had been completed but ASUS came through with their latest version of their Smart Doctor utility to help us out. With the stock voltages, the maximum speed I was able to pull from this pair of GF 110 GPUs was 673MHz, right on that 10% margin. The memory was equally stingy at 1868MHz (or 934MHz). At these speeds, there was a definite performance increase that was noticed so overclocking is worth the effort and time to find the maximum clock speeds. The fact that the card is built with a 12 layer PCB using dual 2oz copper layers for the signaling and ground layers as well as a ten phase power circuit means the ability to stably deliver current to the GPUs is there. Cooling then becomes the ultimate determining factor in how high you can go on the clock speeds. The results shown in the graphs on the following pages are run at the maximum speeds I could reach without voltage tuning. However, with ASUS Smart Doctor software and voltage guidance limits in hand I set out to see just where I could go with the stock cooling. Disclaimer here...NVIDIA recommends a liquid or better cooling solution if you plan on using Voltage Tuning. That being said if you cook it...well you were warned.

 

 

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.

   

 

  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Crysis Warhead
  4. HAWX 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.5
  7. Mafia II
  8. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  9. Lost Planet 2
  10. 3DMark 11
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Video Card
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Aliens vs Predator
  6. Testing: Metro 2033
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Tom CLancy's HAWX 2
  9. Testing: Lost Planet 2
  10. Testing: Unigine 2.5
  11. Testing: Just Cause 2
  12. Testing: Mafia II
  13. Testing: Battlefield Bad Company 2
  14. Testing: 3DMark 11
  15. Testing: Temperatures
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion
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