NVIDIA can be a very predictable company at times. It’s almost unheard of for them to release only a single product based on a high-end GPU, so when they released the excellent GeForce GTX 580 last month we knew it was only a matter of time until additional GTX 500 series cards would join their product lineup.

Now less than a month after the launch of the GTX 580 that time has come. Today NVIDIA is launching the GeForce GTX 570, the second card to utilize their new GF110 GPU. As the spiritual successor to the GTX 470 and very much the literal successor to the GTX 480, the GTX 570 brings the GTX 580’s improvements to a lower priced, lower performing card. Furthermore at $350 it serves to fill in the sizable gap between NVIDIA’s existing GTX 580 and GTX 470 cards.

So how does NVIDIA’s latest and second greatest stack up, and is it a worthy sibling to the GTX 580? Let’s find out.

  GTX 580 GTX 570 GTX 480 GTX 470
Stream Processors 512 480 480 448
Texture Address / Filtering 64/64 60/60 60/60 56/56
ROPs 48 40 48 40
Core Clock 772MHz 732MHz 700MHz 607MHz
Shader Clock 1544MHz 1464MHz 1401MHz 1215MHz
Memory Clock 1002MHz (4008MHz data rate) GDDR5 950MHz (3800MHz data rate) GDDR5 924MHz (3696MHz data rate) GDDR5 837MHz (3348MHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 320-bit 384-bit 320-bit
Frame Buffer 1.5GB 1.25GB 1.5GB 1.25GB
FP64 1/8 FP32 1/8 FP32 1/8 FP32 1/8 FP32
Transistor Count 3B 3B 3B 3B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $499 $349 ~$400 ~$240

The GTX 570 is likely the closest thing we’ll see to a GF110 version of GTX 480 – or any other GF100 card for that matter. With the higher yields afforded by the GF110 design and TSMC’s process improvements, we’ve already seen NVIDIA go for a fully operational GF110 design in the GTX 580, so the GTX 570 works from there. The end result is a melding of the GTX 480’s shader count with the GTX 470’s ROP count and memory bus, and with a clockspeed a bit over GTX 480 and well over GTX 470, performance is much closer to the GTX 480 than the GTX 470.

With 15 of 16 SMs enabled, the GTX 570 matches the GTX 480 at a total of 480 active CUDA Cores and 60 texture units. The core clock is 732MHz, 32MHz (4.5%) over the GTX 480 in order to make up for the reduced ROP/memory blocks and to take advantage of GF110’s lower leakage at higher clocks (as a minor aside, why the strange clocks lately? Look to the PLL). Meanwhile the memory system uses the same 320bit (64bit x 5) memory bus & 10 memory chip configuration we saw on the GTX 470, however this time the memory clock is up to 950MHz (3.8GHz data rate), 113MHz (13.5%) over the GTX 470. Memory clocks are also marginally faster than the GTX 480 by 26MHz, but this isn’t nearly enough to make up for the narrower memory bus. Finally we have the ROPs, which share an existence with both the core and memory subsystems and split the difference – it’s the same 60 ROPs and 640KB of L2 cache as the GTX 470, but because the ROPs run on the core clock they’re running 125MHz (20.5%) faster than the GTX 470.

Since it’s based on GF110, GTX 570 also shares the same architectural enhancements we first saw in the GTX 580. This means GTX 570 can retire twice as many FP16 texels per clock as GTX 480, and it also features NVIDIA’s improved Z-culling system. For the GTX 570 this helps to further close the potential performance gap between the GTX 570 and GTX 480 that results from the lower ROP count and narrower memory bus. Do note however that compared to the GTX 470 the overall improvements are asymmetric: we’re looking at around a 30% theoretical improvement in shading/compute/texture performance, but only a 13.5% improvement in memory bandwidth, so unlike the GTX 580 and its balanced approach, the difference on the GTX 570 is going to be greater on shader-bound games and applications, and lesser when we’re memory bandwidth limited.

As the GTX 470’s successor, the GTX 570 generally fits in the same power and noise profile as the GTX 470. NVIDIA puts the TDP at 219W – a mere 4W over GTX 470 – highlighting the fact that NVIDIA has gone for maximizing performance within their selected power profile for the GTX 570, versus increasing performance but also decreasing power consumption to the GTX 580. The card is otherwise identical to the GTX 580 – the GTX 570 uses the same PCB, the same vapor chamber cooler, and the same shroud as the GTX 580.

NVIDIA is putting the MSRP for the card at $349, a price that in recent weeks has been vacant as neither NVIDIA or AMD had a product to put between the 480/470 and 5970/5870 respectively. Coming from the top-end of the market this is more or less a nice price drop for GTX 480-like performance, but it also means the Radeon 5870 and GTX 470 are the GTX 570’s value threats – the 570’s a good bit faster, but they’re nearly $100 cheaper. The only other competition for the GTX 570 for now will be the GTX 460 1GB SLI and the Radeon HD 6850 CF.

Today’s launch should be a hard launch. Going in to the GTX 580 launch we had our doubts that NVIDIA could have so many GF110 products ready on such short notice, but they were able to prove us wrong there and we’re willing to take them at face value on this. Based on their own estimates and the lower price of the GTX 570 we’d expect some cards to sell out, but availability shouldn’t be an issue.

Finally, with the launch of the GTX 570, NVIDIA’s lineup will be shifting. GF110 is a very effective replacement for GF100 and NVIDIA will be looking to phase out GF100 cards as quickly as they reasonably can. The GTX 470 will still be around for quite some time (all indications are that NVIDIA still has a lot of GF100 chips left) but GTX 480’s days are numbered.

Winter 2010 Video Card MSRPs
NVIDIA Price AMD
$500  
  $470 Radeon HD 5970
$410  
$350  
 
$250 Radeon HD 5870
$240 Radeon HD 6870
$180-$190 Radeon HD 6850
Meet the GTX 570
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  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    Does Nvidia not want people to use Unigine since it showed the 480 beating the pants off the 580 in minimum frame rate at 1920x1200 and lower resolutions?

    I've noticed a definite lack of Unigine on review sites for the 570.
    Reply
  • stangflyer - Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - link

    Any idea why the 580 sli takes such a huge dump going from 1920 res to the 2560 res. It loses half its framerate! I has 1.5 gigs of memory vs the 5870 1 gig and the 5870 crossfire goes from 50 fps at 1920 and 37 at 2560. The 580 sli goes from 72 fps at 1920 to 36 at 2560.

    Any ideas??
    Reply
  • SmCaudata - Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - link

    It seems that AMD is finally getting cross-fire scaling well. The new 68xx cars are better than the old, but the 5870 is scaling as well as the Nvidia cards in a lot of cases. My guess is that with cross-fire or SLI the memory bandwidth is less of an issue. You don't fully double your framerate afterall. It is likely more dependant on the GPU clock speed..which is an advantage for AMD.

    I am really just taking a guess here. The other option is that it is simply an immature driver and will be fixed later.
    Reply
  • nitrousoxide - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    Only when you used a dual-AMD-card configuration you will realize how much you will suffer from its poor drivers. It's fast but buggy and I've been waiting too long for AMD to finally come up with a Catalyst that at least runs as stable as the nVidia driver. So please AMD, give us a nice driver! Reply
  • Anchen - Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - link

    Hey,
    Good review overall for an apples to apples comparison. I would have liked to see what it did overclocked as some have mentioned. On the Metro 2033 page the article says the following:

    "While Metro was an outstanding game for the GTX 580 to show off its performance advantage, the situation is quite different for the GTX 470. Here it once again fulfills its role as a GTX 480 replacement, but it’s far more mortal when it comes to being compared to other cards. "

    In the first sentence shouldn't it be "...the situation is quite different for the GTX570." and not the 470?
    Reply
  • sanityvoid - Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - link

    Much as I love this site, the color schemes for the charts is really getting old. Why can't all the colors be the same EXCEPT for the one being reviewed. We're mostly all adults and can read so the other GPU's in the charts could be left all one color.

    Some other sites do this and it is much easier to read what is actually being reviewed, even if the review color is always the same on each chart. It still adds to the clutter of the charts. The human eye/brain gets distracted easy.

    Other than that, another good job on the article.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the feedback.

    The colors are still a work in progress. We had some requests for additional colors in GPU articles to highlight the products we're immediately comparing the reviewed product to, which is what I did for this article. Certainly if you guys this this is too much, we can go back to fewer colors.
    Reply
  • ATimson - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    Personally, my problem isn't so much that there are other colors, as that there's no good way to tell what they mean.

    Maybe one color for "other cards with benchmarks", one color for "immediate competition" (instead of each their own color), and a third for the product proper?
    Reply
  • sanityvoid - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    I really like this idea. All one color for 'set' of reviews (if multiple), and one color for primary.

    BTW, I didn't know others were asking for more colors. I guess do what others want. For me, personally, I like the one color for primary and one color for all others. It is just the easiest for 'first glance' to be easily distinguishable.

    Peace.
    Reply
  • kirankowshik - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    I dont know why I should go for the Nvidia GTX 580 / 570 series when I am getting the same (almost or more than) performance with ATI Radeon cards for a lower price. ATI HD 5970 is almost 30$ cheaper than GTX 580 but outperforms it in every single test. 5870 is not very close but atleast some what close and the performance of GTX 570 over 5870 does not justify a $100 gap between these two. Anyways, I think NVIDIA is just producing cards for name sake..with HD6900 series coming up, I will not be surprised if they offer huge performance leap over the GTX 580/570 for the same price...Again it will be what NVIDIA was when ATI released their batch of first DX11 cards and NVIDIA was struggling hard to get an answer to those... Reply

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