Gainward GeForce GTX 570 1280MB Phantom Video Card Review

We check out the latest Phantom series from Gainward in the form of the high end NVIDIA GTX 570. What are our thoughts on the new series?

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Feb 16 2011 10:18 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Gainward

Introduction and Package


Introduction

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We haven't seen a lot of the GTX 570 since it was launched. Apart from the reference card we saw from MSI and the original overclocked one from Gainward, there hasn't been much else to look at.

Today, though, we're looking at another one, albeit from Gainward again. This one's a little more interesting, though, as it carries with it a new series name. We're not too sure what to expect from the new Phantom series, but this is our first take at it; although we've seen that Gainward have also launched a GTX 560 Ti under the same series.

So the question is, what does the "Phantom" series bring to the table and is it something we should be interested in? Are we going to want to look at more cards from the Phantom series or would we prefer to stick to our ole' faithful ones like the Goes Like Hell Editions which have been a bit of a personal favorite for a while now.

Well, before we get into the fun stuff like the performance, we'll first check out the package; from there we'll have a look at the card and the specifications of it. Then we'll get into the fun stuff and see what kind of performance the model is able to give us.


Package

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Looking at the package, there's not much that you wouldn't have seen before from a Gainward bundle. The normal paperwork and driver CD, DVI to VGA connector, dual 6-Pin PCI-E to 8-Pin PCI-E and a little discount voucher for some software we've never actually paid any real attention to.

Card and Specifications


The Card

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Looking at the card, you could easily be mistaken for thinking we're dealing with a completely passive cooled card due to the nature of the heatsink, but behind that huge array of fins sits three fans.

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Outside of the heatsink setup, we've got a single 6-Pin and 8-Pin PCI-E power connector setup towards the back of the card, and closer to the front we've got two SLI connectors which will let us run up to three of these cards together, although that might be a problem. We'll get to why in a second.

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Connectivity in typical Gainward style is a little better than most with two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort connection. Here, though, you can see why we might run into a problem with three cards.

The Gainward GTX 570 Phantom is actually a two and a half slot card, which means that running three is probably out of the equation. But on the right motherboard two shouldn't be a problem. For most, however, who opt for only one card, it won't be an issue; it's still something that you have to consider when purchasing, though.


Specifications

Out of the box the Phantom GTX 570 from Gainward does come overclocked, but not as aggressively as the Goes Like Hell Edition.

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The core comes in at 750MHz which brings the Shader clock to 1500MHz. This is up from the default 723MHz / 1464MHz setup. As for the 1280MB of GDDR5, that's been bumped to 3900MHz QDR which is only slightly up on the default 3800MHz QDR clock.

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're comparing the Phantom to a few cards here today. The main thing we want to see is how it compares to the reference GTX 570 when it comes to performance, but more importantly we want to know what's going on with the cooler and if it's actually something that manages to stand out from the pack.

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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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This is very impressive, coming in a whole 11c cooler than the reference card. No doubt the main plan behind the Phantom series is the cooling, hence that giant cooler setup; but we know that just because it's big doesn't mean it will work well. Fortunately, this one works very well as our graph suggests.

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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At idle the card is whisper quiet. At load it's a little louder, but continues to be quieter than the GLH edition we've looked at before.

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 a bit over 500 Watt, there's nothing we'd be worrying about when it comes to this card. If you've got the money to buy something like this, the chances are you've already got a capable PSU.

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 a little faster than the reference card, which is what we would expect since we've got a little overclock on offer.

Final Thoughts




On the performance side of things the Gainward GTX 570 1280MB Phantom doesn't really offer us anything new. The slight overclock when compared to a reference card gives us slightly more performance than a reference one.

Where the card really shines is in the cooling department, and to be honest that's a good thing since that's no doubt where the focus is for the new Phantom series. While noise levels weren't all that much lower than cards we've seen before, including the GLH version from Gainward, where the card does shine is in the heat department.

We saw it comes in 4c cooler than the Gainward GLH card which is louder, but the 11c drop compared to the reference cooler is indeed what manages to stand out on the model. Combine that with the little overclock on offer which helps boost performance a little and you've got a great card on hand.

The biggest down fall to the card is that it's a 2.5 slot card which essentially makes it three slots, as you can't do anything with half a slot. For most people, though, as we mentioned it's not going to be an issue, but it's indeed something that you need to note if you do have a lot of expansion cards or you're thinking about getting two and you don't have more than one slot between your PCI-E slots.

Apart from that small issue, though, that as we said won't affect a lot of people anyway, this is a really nice card. More importantly, though, it looks like it's going to be a really nice series and with Gainward already attacking the GTX 580 and GTX 560 Ti with it, they must think they're also on to something.

If you're looking for a GTX 570 that runs nice and cool and is whisper quiet when idling away in Windows, the new Phantom model from Gainward is going to be a good choice.

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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.

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