Final Thoughts

If we took the conclusion from our GeForce GTX 580 article and replaced 580, 480, and 6870CF with 570, 470, and 6850CF respectively, our final thoughts would be almost identical. But then the GTX 580 and GTX 570 are almost identical too.

Whereas the GTX 580 took a two-tiered approach on raising the bar on GPU performance while simultaneously reducing power consumption, the GeForce GTX 570 takes a much more single-tracked approach. It is for all intents and purposes the new GTX 480, offering gaming performance virtually identical to the GTX 480 at a lower price, and with less power consumption along with lower temperatures and less noise. As a lower tier GF110 card the GTX 570 won’t wow the world with its performance, but like the GTX 580 it’s a solid step forward. In this case it’s a solid step towards bringing yesterday’s performance to the market at a lower price and with power/thermal/noise characteristics better suited for more systems. If nothing else, NVIDIA has translated the GTX 580’s excellent balance of performance and noise to a lower priced, lower performing tier.

Furthermore at $350 NVIDIA is the only game in town for single-GPU cards for the time being. Until an AMD competitor comes along NVIDIA has done a good job of filling the gap between the GTX 580 and GTX 470, an action very reminiscent of the GTX 470 and how it filled the gap between the Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 earlier this year. With no single card alternative on the market right now the only competition is the GeForce GTX 460 1GB SLI and the Radeon HD 6850 CF. The Radeon in particular should not be underestimated – it can trounce the GTX 570 almost at will – however it’s dogged by the fact that 6850 prices are running high right now, putting it at a $30+ price premium over the GTX 570. And of course both multi-GPU solutions face the usual caveats of uneven performance scaling, more noise, and a reliance on driver updates to unlock the 2nd GPU on new games. As with the GTX 580 we’d pick the simplicity of a single-GPU setup over the potential performance advantages of a multi-GPU setup, but this is as always a personal decision.

As a gap-filler the GTX 570 is largely what we expected the moment we saw the GTX 580 and we have no serious qualms with it. The one thing that does disappoint us is that NVIDIA is being conservative with the pricing: $350 is not aggressive pricing. The GTX 570 is fast enough to justify its position and the high-end card price premium, but at $100 over the GTX 470 and Radeon HD 5870 you’re paying a lot for that additional 20-25% in performance. Certainly we’re going to be happy campers if AMD’s next series of cards can put some pressure on NVIDIA here.

And finally, that brings us to AMD. AMD’s schedule calls for the Radeon HD 6900 series to be launched by the end of the year, and the year is quickly running out. There’s still too much uncertainty to advise holding off on any GTX 500 series purchases (particularly if you expect to have a card for Christmas), but if you’re not in a rush for a card it could be worth waiting a couple more weeks to see what AMD has up their sleeves. A holiday slugfest between AMD and NVIDIA and the resulting price drops are certainly at the top of our wish lists.

Power, Temperature, & Noise
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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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