It's a little hard to know exactly how the GTX 570 sits when the first one we look at carries with it such an impressive overclock, but the general thought process seems to be that it's slightly faster than the stock GTX 480, yet carries with it all the benefits that the GTX 580 does like quieter cooling, better power draw and less heat.
The temperature we're getting on our GTX 570 here is good, but we're not sure if it's good because the cooler is doing all the hard work, the core just runs cooler, or a combination of both. Either way, the most important thing is that the card does indeed run cooler.
The fan that Gainward uses seems to be helping, though, and while it's a little louder when up and running, it's whisper quiet at idle and when we see louder at load it's not at the level the original GTX 400 series were at, which is exactly what we want to see out of the model.
The important thing for the GTX 570 is going to be price and availability. The reference card is going to set you back $349 USD which is a lot more attractive than the GTX 580. The version we've looked at today, Gainward said should be around the $369 USD mark which is even more impressive considering the performance boost we have over the GTX 480 and considering how it compares to the GTX 580 in some tests.
Stock has shipped to companies, and that's coming from a few partners, so it seems that if you want a more budget friendly video card for the holidays you shouldn't run into too much trouble. We won't really be 100% sure, though, on how stock is for another week or two, and by that time we'll be almost on top of Christmas.
In the time AMD has announced the HD 6900 series till today, NVIDIA has managed to update its flagship line-up. While not everyone might agree with the way they've done it and the way they've chosen to jump to the 500 series name, in the end it doesn't really matter for the simple reason being that it's happened. With the tight allocation on the GTX 580 and Christmas coming at us hard and fast, there's a good chance people are going to begin not to risk missing out on a card for their time off and could end up picking up an NVIDIA offering; be it the GTX 580 or the more wallet friendly GTX 570.
Of course, if you want to venture a little past that $349 USD mark, get some more connectivity, a dual fan cooling solution and a really impressive overclock, the Gainward GLH Edition is one that should grab your attention.
The big question is, though, do we see what AMD has to offer? One side of your brain says yes because it's only a week away; the other side says that in a weeks' time we're going to be a week closer to Christmas, making getting a card even harder, so you should get something now. At least now you can see what the GTX 570 has to offer; and if it offers you the performance you want or need at the money you're willing to spend, then the chances are it's going to be a good pick up.
It'll be indeed very interesting to see what NVIDIA offer us in the new year. It's really been a good 18 months plus since we've had a video card war like the one we're seeing transition right in front of us.