NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 570: Filling In The Gapsby Ryan Smith on December 7, 2010 9:00 AM EST
Meet the GTX 570
As we quickly touched upon in our introduction, the GTX 570 is a complete reuse of the GTX 580 design. NVIDIA used the same PCB, cooler, power throttling chips, and shroud as the GTX 580; our reference card is even clad nearly identical livery as the GTX 580. Indeed the only hardware difference between the two cards from the outside is that the GTX 580 uses 6+8pin PCIe power sockets, while the GTX 570 uses 6+6pin PCI power sockets.
By using the same design as the GTX 580 this no doubt has let NVIDIA bring the GTX 570 to the market quickly and cheaply, but it also means that the GTX 570 inherits the same design improvements that we saw on the GTX 580. This means the cooling for the GTX 570 is provided by a vapor chamber-based aluminum heatsink, backed by NVIDIA’s reinforced blower. For SLI users this also means that it’s using NVIDIA’s angled shroud that is supposed to allow for better cooling in tight spaces. As we’ve already seen on the GTX 580 this design can give the GTX 470 a run for its money, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when we say that the GTX 570 is similarly capable. Overall the only notable downside to this design is that because NVIDIA is using the GTX 580 design it’s also inheriting the GTX 580’s 10.5” length, making the GTX 570 an inch longer than the GTX 470.
As with the GTX 580 the situation with custom GTX 570s will be nebulous. NVIDIA is taking tighter control of the GTX 500 series and will only be approving designs that are equal or superior to the reference design. This isn’t a bad thing, but it means there’s less latitude for custom designs, particularly if someone wants to try lobbing an inch off of the card to make it the same length as the GTX 470. Interestingly, triple-slot coolers are also out – we found out last week that NVIDIA is vetoing them on the GTX 580 (and no doubt the GTX 570) as they aren’t suitable for use in SLI mode with most motherboards, so any custom designs that do appear will definitely be more conservative than what we’ve seen with the GTX 400 series.
Since NVIDIA is reusing the GTX 580 PCB, I/O is identical to the GTX 580. Here it’s covered by the usual NVIDIA configuration of 2x DVI ports and 1x mini-HDMI port, with the second slot occupied by the card’s exhaust. This also means the card can only drive 2 of the 3 ports at once, meaning you’ll need an SLI configuration to take advantage of NVIDIA/3DVision Surround. Meanwhile HDMI 1.4a for 3D video purposes is supported by the card’s mini-HDMI port, but audio bitstreaming is not supported, limiting audio output to LPCM and DD+/DTS.