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When we tested the GeForce GTX 580 last month we were pleased with the level of performance the GF110 architecture offered, even at $500. Although we did acknowledge that the GTX 580 wasn't much of an upgrade for GTX 480 owners it did solve the high power consumption, extreme heat and loud operating volume problems that plagued the original Fermi flagship graphics card.
The GeForce GTX 580 remains for now the fastest single-GPU graphics card available today. In the 13 games we tested, the GeForce GTX 580 was on average a match to the Radeon HD 5970, 25% faster than the GeForce GTX 480 and 46% faster than the Radeon HD 5870.
So where does the new GeForce GTX 570 fit into the picture? With an estimated retail price of $350, the GTX 570 is 30% cheaper than the GTX 580 and roughly 10% more expensive than the Radeon HD 5870, though it will most likely end up competing with the Radeon HD 6950 which is set to be released later this month.
After pushing the GeForce GTX 570 through our battery of games we found that it was on average just 14% slower than the GTX 580. Furthermore, the GTX 570 was on average 28% faster than the Radeon HD 5870 and 34% faster than the GeForce GTX 470 in the 13 games that we tested. However most surprising of all was the 5% lead that the GTX 570 held over the once mighty GTX 480.
When you consider the fact that the GeForce GTX 570 consumed at least 8% less power than the GTX 480, it becomes clear that the GTX 570 is a well refined product. In terms of performance vs. price there is nothing that can compete with the GTX 570 in the ~$300-400 range right now. The only solutions that are going to give the GTX 570 a run for its money are Crossfire or SLI setups using Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 460 graphics card configurations.
Although the overclocking performance of the GeForce GTX 570 was nothing to write home about with a 100MHz core frequency boost, we did achieve a ~10% boost in performance on average. This allowed the GTX 570 to outperform a stock clocked GTX 580 at 1920x1200 when testing with Call of Duty: Black Ops, and put it within striking distance when testing with Crysis Warhead and Battlefield Bad Company 2.
As we found with the GeForce GTX 580, the GTX 570 is the king of its division but again this could all change within the coming weeks as AMD will launch their new Radeon HD 6900 series. If you don't mind holding off for a week, the wait could be worth some savings or potentially more performance for the same dollars depending on what AMD has reserved for us.