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MSI GeForce GTX 570 1280MB Video Card

We get our hands on a reference GTX 570 from MSI and see how it compares to a bunch of other cards.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, Jan 24 2011 8:13 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Package


Introduction

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You might wonder why we'd bother looking at the reference GTX 570 when we've already had a look at an option from Gainward which carried with it both an overclock and a new cooler.

Well, the reason is simple - While the Gainward card is good, it doesn't offer the truest form of GTX 570, as it's got a bigger cooler, an overclock and a higher price tag. What it ends up doing is skewing everything for us and it makes it a little difficult to tell you exactly how one model compares directly against it.

So with the MSI reference design on offer, which is still the most popular design a month and a bit on since launch, we'll see how exactly the GTX 570 sits in our TPR and TVR graphs, while also seeing how it compares to other reference card offerings from AMD and NVIDIA.

Before we get stuck into the card itself, though, we'll check out the package that MSI has put together. Once that's done we'll get into the card, specifications and then of course the fun stuff; the benchmarking.


Package

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The package is very MSI with no real surprises going on. We've got the white box which looks nice and offers us the Afterburner name on the front, which of course coincides with MSIs own overclocking software.

Inside there's nothing too fancy going on with the normal paperwork and driver CD present. We've also got two Dual-Molex to 6-Pin PCI-E connectors along with a single DVI to VGA and Mini HDMI to HDMI convertors.

Card and Specifications


The Card

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The reference designed GTX 570 doesn't have a lot going on with a fairly common seen cooler being implemented. Of course, MSI has jazzed it up with its own sticker, but really, for the most part there's not much else going on here.

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Taking a quick spin around the card, we've got two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors at the back of the card, while closer to the front we've got two SLI connectors in the event you want to add a second or third to the system. On the connectivity front we've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors and a single Mini HDMI port. The second half of the bracket here is a vent that helps the hot air escape.


Specifications

On the specifications front we've got no surprises with the card being a reference one, which is exactly what we wanted.

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That means the core comes in at 732MHz, the Shader clock 1464MHz and the 1280MB of GDDR5 memory carrying a clock of 3800MHz QDR. Most of the other specifications we've covered like the 320-Bit memory bus and 480 Shaders, so we'll get stuck into the benchmarking side of things now.

Test System Setup and 3DMark 11


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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

We'll be pitting the MSI GTX 570 against a number of cards today which includes the GTX 580, ECS GTX 460 1GB Black, Sapphire HD 6970, HD 6950 and HD 6850 along with the reference AMD HD 6870.

Let's get started!


3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/
Buy It Here




3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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3DMark 11 performance is strong and out of the gate in the P preset you can see it sits between the two HD 6900 offerings.

3DMark Vantage




Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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Getting into Vantage, we can see the card performs strong thanks to that PhysX support in Vantage.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark




Version and / or Patch Used: 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//



New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Getting into Heaven and we can see unlike 3DMark 11 the GTX 570 manages to outperform both AMD HD 6900 offerings. While AMD have no doubt improved the tessellation performance, NVIDIA continue to be slightly stronger.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5


Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/




Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

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Getting into some games, we again see the very strong performance from the GTX 570 and while the gap does close against the HD 6970 at the highest resolution, it manages to still outperform the model across the board.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2


Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/




Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

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H.A.W.X. 2 is quite heavy on the tessellation and runs extremely well on NVIDIA cards. Here we see that the model continues to outrun the AMD offerings including the higher end HD 6970.

Benchmarks - Mafia II


Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/
Buy It Here




Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Under Mafia II we can see that the HD 6970 and GTX 570 really go back and forth. At the highest resolution the HD 6970 manages to win and more importantly it's over that 60 FPS average we like to see. Unfortunately the GTX 570 is just under it in this case.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2


Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/




Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Lost Planet 2 is again a very tessellation heavy game and we can see that the GTX 570 offers us strong performance. More importantly, though, the MSI GTX 570 manages to achieve an average of over 60 FPS at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050, while not a single AMD offering is able to reach 60 FPS at any resolution.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator


Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/
Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/




Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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Under Aliens vs. Predator we can see that the GTX 570 and HD 6970 perform almost identically. Both cards offer us a playable number at 1920 x 1200, while both offer us an unplayable one at 2560 x 1600.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV


Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.streetfighter.com/




While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane, with the camera having freedom to move in 3D at certain times during fights, for dramatic effect. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, opted for non-photorealistic rendering to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

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Big numbers across the board when looking at SF IV. We do see that the GTX 570 manages to edge out the HD 6970 again, though, at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Good numbers across the board and we can see that the HD 6970 manages to only win out at 2560 x 1600. Below that we see the GTX 570 has the edge. More importantly, though, across the board we've got playable numbers at all resolutions on the model.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum


Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/





Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

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Batman AA again offers strong performance like Far Cry 2, but manages to hold off the HD 6970 at all resolutions here. Again, though, the main thing we're looking at is the fact we've got playable numbers across the board.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.

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Cranking up the detail, we continue to see the GTX 570 and HD 6970 battle it out at their respected stock clocks. Sometimes we see the GTX 570 sneak ahead, while other times the HD 6970 nudges the win.

Benchmarks - PhysX Tests


PhysX Tests

Here we're able to find out when PhysX is turned on in games that support it what kind of frame rates we're able to get. We always set PhysX to the highest possible in game settings while also keeping detail at its highest.

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Under Mafia II we see all our cards struggle to get that 60 FPS average we want. Batman AA isn't nearly as bad with the minimum of 30 FPS being seen at almost all resolutions, with it only falling a single FPS behind at 2560 x 1600.

Temperature Test


Temperature Tests



The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Heat wise the GTX 570 isn't bad; it runs around a similar temperature to the HD 6970s.

Sound Test


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Noise levels are good with the card sitting in the bottom half of the pack.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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At under 400 Watts the card isn't super power hungry and any good 650 Watt+ power supply won't have an issue dealing with the card in most typical setups.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)


Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and AMD are on an even playing field.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark 11, Heaven Benchmark V2, Resident Evil 5, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2, Mafia 2 (PhysX Off), Lost Planet 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Street Fighter IV, Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off) and our four High Quality tests which include Mafia 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Street Fighter IV and Far Cry 2.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

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Overall the performance is very strong and the reference card manages to edge out the reference HD 6970 and pre-overclocked versions. The only time the HD 6970 is able to grab the win is when it's overclocked to almost 1GHz on the core.

Total Value Rating (TVR)


Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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Value sits in the middle of the table and is slightly better than the HD 6970 thanks to the aggressive price tag MSI is offering on the card at Newegg.

Final Thoughts




When we tested the GTX 570 GLH edition from Gainward we were impressed with what the model was able to offer us. Priced a bit higher than the HD 6970, though, and considering it was using its own design cooler and came with a really nice out of the box overclock, we expected it to beat a reference HD 6970.

Take back those fancy features and move to the reference design and you've still got a card that manages to outperform the HD 6970 most of the time, with it only falling a little behind, or its winning margin shrinking, when we move to 2560 x 1600.

The GTX 570 is the real competition to the HD 6970; the GTX 580 is not only a good chunk more expensive, but on a whole it's a fair bit faster. People continue to ask, though, should they get the GTX 580 or HD 6970? Well, that's easy, the GTX 580! Of course, it's going to cost more as we just mentioned.

FPS for FPS, the reference designed HD 6970 and GTX 570 are neck and neck with the latter having the slight edge. Strip back those fancy extras that we saw on the GLH version we looked at from launch and we still have a very strong model.

It'll be interesting to see if more companies choose to attack the GTX 570; at the moment we're about six weeks from launch and there are very few options outside of the reference design. Mind you, the same could be said for the higher end AMD offerings.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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