ATI has turned heads with the sheer value of its mid-range Radeon HD 6850, but for prestige in the graphics arena, the high end is where real scores are settled. ATI has let its rival nVidia snatch the best terrain with the sizzling GeForce GTX 580. Now comes this slightly pared down version, the Asus GeForce GTX 570.

The Asus GeForce GTX 570's memory complement may have been cut from 1536MB to 1280MB of GDDR5 RAM, but that's still more than almost any other card. The same goes for memory interface, where a 320bit bus is only a notch down from the 580's 384bit highway. For the GTX 580's core-clock of 782MHz, read 742MHz in the case of this GTX 570 - Asus has eked a tiny 10MHz over the default.

The Asus GeForce GTX 570's memory clock of 950MHz (3800MHz after the quadrupling effect of GDDR5 RAM) is only slightly down from the 580's figures of 1002MHz (4008MHz DDR effective). So the GTX 570 has an impressive memory bandwidth of 152GBps - considerably higher than the 134.4GBps of the ATI Radeon HD 6870.

The Asus GeForce GTX 570's fill rates aren't quite as stunning - 44.5GTps is below the 6870's 50.4GTps. And in typical nVidia style, stream processors number less than those of ATI cards - the top 6870 has 960 stream processors to the seemingly meagre 480 offered by the GTX 570. Nonetheless, previous nVidia cards have proven capable of overcoming such problems.

In games performance, the Asus GeForce GTX 570 is very close to the outgoing GeForce GTX 480, while the 580 finishes some way ahead of both.

In HAWX, the Asus GeForce GTX 570's figures of 184 and 147 frames per second (at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 respectively) put it 2fps and 1fps ahead of the GTX 480.

In Crysis, figures of 37.8 and 30.7fps are good enough for leads of 2.7 and 1.6fps over the 480, while in Stalker: Call of Pripyat, the Asus GeForce GTX 570 still wins by 1.2 and 2.7fps in the higher resolutions. The 580, meanwhile, is generally 12-15fps ahead of both.

This lengthy card is no heavyweight, but you'll need to make sure you've got room in your case. Neither Asus GeForce GTX 570 or 580 are as noisy or power-hungry as the GTX 480, though, and the two new chips have TDPs of 219W and 244W. This compares favourably with the GTX 480's hungry 250W.

Asus GeForce GTX 570: Gaming benchmark scores

HAWX (1,280x800/1,680x1,050/1,920x1,200):  215/184/147

Heaven DX11 (1,280x800/1,680x1,050/1,920x1,200): 55.7 / 40.9 / 31.3

Crysis (1,280x720/1,680x1,050/1,900x1,200): 52.1/37.8/30.7

Battleforge (1,280x800/1,680x1,050/1,920x1,200): 70.4/60.1/53.9

Stalker: Call of Pripyat (1,680x1,050/1,920x1,200): 52.2/46.0

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Group test: what's the best budget graphics card?

Group test: what's the best graphics card?

Video/graphics card reviews

Asus GeForce GTX 580 review

nVidia GeForce GTX 480 review

Crysis first-person shooter PC game review

Asus GeForce GTX 570: Specs

  • nVidia GeForce GTX 570
  • 1280MB GDDR5
  • 742MHz core clock
  • 950MHz memory clock (3800MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 320-bit memory interface
  • 480 stream processors
  • 60 texture units
  • 40 ROP units
  • PCI-E interface
  • 2 x 6-pin power connectors
  • DirectX 11.0
  • 2 x DVI, Mini-HDMI
  • 3-year warranty
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 570
  • 1280MB GDDR5
  • 742MHz core clock
  • 950MHz memory clock (3800MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 320-bit memory interface
  • 480 stream processors
  • 60 texture units
  • 40 ROP units
  • PCI-E interface
  • 2 x 6-pin power connectors
  • DirectX 11.0
  • 2 x DVI, Mini-HDMI
  • 3-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The GTX 570 isn’t cheap but as a replacement for the 480 it works extremely well, providing a little more performance for a lower price. The GTX 580 remains the card for speed freaks. Will the GTX 570 will remain on top when new high-end Radeons are released? Watch this space.

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