The GeForce GTX 570 is the latest high-end graphics chip from NVIDIA, and EVGA has released an overclocked model called “Superclocked” or simply “SC” that costs USD 20 more than the standard GeForce GTX 570. At USD 370, the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked competes directly with the new Radeon HD 6970, which comes with the same price tag. Which one of the two is the best? Let’s check it out.
EVGA has three lines of overclocked video cards, listed from the lower overclocking level to the highest: Superclocked (SC), Super Superclocked (SSC), and For The Win Edition (FTW). So far EVGA released only an SC model for the GeForce GTX 570, with an 8.9% overclocking on the graphics chip and a tiny 2.6% overclocking on the memory.
In the table below we compare the main specs of the video cards included in our review. They are all DirectX 11 parts.
|Video Card||Core Clock||Shader Clock||Memory Clock (Real)||Memory Clock (Effective)||Memory Interface||Memory Transfer Rate||Memory||Shaders||Price|
|GeForce GTX 570||732 MHz||1,464 MHz||1.9 GHz||3.8 GHz||320-bit||152 GB/s||1.28 GB GDDR5||480||USD 350|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||797 MHz||1,594 MHz||1.95 GHz||3.9 GHz||320-bit||156 GB/s||1.28 GB GDDR5||480||USD 370|
|Radeon HD 5870||850 MHz||850 MHz||2.4 GHz||4.8 GHz||256-bit||153.6 GB/s||1 GB GDDR5||1,600||USD 290|
|Radeon HD 6870||900 MHz||900 MHz||2.1 GHz||4.2 GHz||256-bit||134.4 GB/s||1 GB GDDR5||1,120||USD 240|
|Radeon HD 6950||800 MHz||800 MHz||2.5 GHz||5 GHz||256-bit||160 GB/s||2 GB GDDR5||1,408||USD 300|
|Radeon HD 6970||880 MHz||880 MHz||2.75 GHz||5.5 GHz||256-bit||176 GB/s||2 GB GDDR5||1,536||USD 370|
Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
Now let’s take an in-depth look at the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked.
[nextpage title=”The EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked”]
Below we have an overall look at the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked, which is basically the NVIDIA reference model with the BIOS programmed with the higher clock values. It requires two six-pin auxiliary power connectors.
This video card has one mini HDMI and two DVI-D connectors, and it comes with an adapter for you to convert the mini HDMI connector into a standard-sized one.
[nextpage title=”The EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked (Cont’d)”]
In Figure 4, you can see the video card with its cooler removed and, in Figure 5, a close-up of the voltage regulator circuit. The printed circuit board used with the GeForce GTX 570 is the same one used with the GeForce GTX 580, except that two phases of the GPU voltage regulator circuit were removed, so the GeForce GTX 570 has four phases for the GPU and two phases for the memory chips. Another difference is the number of memory chips: the GeForce GTX 580 comes with 12 1 Gbit chips, while the GeForce GTX 570 comes with 10.
The voltage regulator circuit uses high-end components: SMD capacitors (a.k.a. highly-conductive polymerized capacitors or simply hi-C capacitors), ferrite-core coils (which make the regulator to have higher efficiency because they have lower energy loss than iron-core coils), solid capacitors, and low RDS(on) MOSFET transistors (i.e., higher efficiency).
The GPU heatsink can be seen in Figures 6 and 7. It has a copper base using vapor chamber technology, which is the same technology behind heat-pipes, and aluminum fins. The cooler has a 70 mm radial fan.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked uses 10 1 Gbit GDDR5 chips, making its 1,280 MB video memory (1 Gbit x 10 = 128 MB x 10 = 1,280 MB). Each chip is connected to the GPU using a 32-bit data lane, making the video card’s 320-bit memory interface (32 bits x 10 = 320).
The chips used are K4G10325FE-HC05 parts from Samsung, which support up to 2 GHz (4 GHz DDR) and since on this video card memory is accessed at 1.95 GHz (3.9 GHz DDR), there is still a small margin for you to increase the memory clock rate while keeping the chips inside the maximum they support. Of course you can always try to overclock the memory chips above their specs.
In Figure 10, you can see all the accessories that come with the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked: mini HDMI-to-HDMI adapter, DVI-to-VGA adapter, two power adapter
s, manual, and installation CD.
Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked video card include:
- Graphics chip: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 running at 797 MHz
- Memory: 1.28 GB GDDR5 memory (320-bit interface) from Samsung (K4G10325FE-HC05), running at 1.95 GHz (3.9 GHz, DDR)
- Bus type: PCI Express x16 2.0
- Video Connectors: Two DVI-D and one mini HDMI
- Video Capture (VIVO): No
- Cables and adapters that come with this board: mini HDMI-to-HDMI, DVI-to-VGA, and two power adapter cables
- Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: One
- Games included: None
- Programs included: None
- More information: https://www.evga.com
- Average Price in the US*: USD 370.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.
- CPU: Core i7 Extreme 965 (3.2 GHz, 8 MB L2 memory cache)
- Motherboard: MSI Big Bang XPower (1.3 BIOS)
- Memories: 3x 2 GB G.Skill F3-10666CL7T-6GBPK (DDR3-1333/PC3-10666, CL7-7-7-18)
- Hard disk drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS (300 GB, SATA-300, 10,000 rpm, 16 MB cache)
- Video monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 305T (30” LCD, 2560×1600)
- Power Supply: SilverStone Element ST75EF
- CPU Cooler: Intel stock
- Optical Drive: LG GSA-H54N
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- Video resolution: 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz
- AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 10.12 beta
- NVIDIA video driver version: 263.09
- Intel Inf driver version: 22.214.171.1248
- 3DMark 11 Professional 1.0.0
- Aliens vs. Predator + Benchmark Tool
- Call of Duty 4 – Patch 1.7
- Crysis Warhead – Patch 1.1 + HOC Bench Crysis Warhead Benchmark Tool 1.1.1
- Far Cry 2 – Patch 1.03
- Lost Planet 2
We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.
[nextpage title=”Call of Duty 4″]
Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, exactly what will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.
To get accurate results, we had to disable the 80 FPS limit in the game. To do this, input the command, “/seta com_maxfps 1000” (minus the quotes) into the console (` key). It can be set to any number greater than 200.
We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was set to the maximum values in the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the internal game benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.”We are putting this demo here for downloading if you want to run your own benchmarks. We ran the demo five times, and the results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each video card.
|Call of Duty 4 – Maximum||1680×1050||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||177.4||1%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||175.1|
|GeForce GTX 570||169.0||-3%|
|Radeon HD 6950||155.6||-11%|
|Radeon HD 5870||150.3||-14%|
|Radeon HD 6870||142.4||-19%|
|Call of Duty 4 – Maximum||1920×1200||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||162.3||6%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||152.6|
|GeForce GTX 570||144.6||-5%|
|Radeon HD 5870||130.8||-14%|
|Radeon HD 6950||130.4||-15%|
|Radeon HD 6870||123.5||-19%|
|Call of Duty 4 – Maximum||2560×1600||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||108.4||5%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||103.4|
|GeForce GTX 570||100.4||-3%|
|Radeon HD 6950||92.2||-11%|
|Radeon HD 5870||91.8||-11%|
|Radeon HD 6870||87.3||-16%|
[nextpage title=”Crysis Warhead”]
Crysis Warhead is a DirectX 10 game based on the same engine as the original Crysis, but optimized (it runs under DirectX 9.0c when installed on Windows XP).
We used the HardwareOC Crysis Warhead Benchmark Tool to collect the data for this test.We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, all at very high image quality (but with no anti-aliasing and no anisotropic filtering) and using the Airfield demo. The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.
|Crysis Warhead – Very High||1680×1050||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||47|
|GeForce GTX 570||44||-6%|
|Radeon HD 6970||39||-17%|
|Radeon HD 6950||36||-23%|
|Radeon HD 5870||34||-28%|
|Radeon HD 6870||32||-32%|
|Crysis Warhead – Very High||1920×1200||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||40|
|GeForce GTX 570||38||-5%|
|Radeon HD 6970||34||-15%|
|Radeon HD 6950||31||-23%|
|Radeon HD 5870||30||-25%|
|Radeon HD 6870||27||-33%|
|Crysis Warhead – Very High||2560×1600||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||26|
|Radeon HD 6970||24||-8%|
|GeForce GTX 570||24||-8%|
|Radeon HD 6950||21||-19%|
|Radeon HD 5870||21||-19%|
|Radeon HD 6870||18||-31%|
[nextpage title=”Far Cry 2″]
Far Cry 2 is based on an entirely new game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10 when played under Windows Vista with a DirectX 10 compatible video card.
We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game, setting image quality to Ultra High (with x8 anti-aliasing) and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.
|FarCry 2 – Ultra High – AAx8||1680×1050||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||104.6|
|GeForce GTX 570||99.1||-5%|
|Radeon HD 6970||81.9||-22%|
|Radeon HD 6950||78.4||-25%|
|Radeon HD 5870||74.4||-29%|
|Radeon HD 6870||70.6||-32%|
|FarCry 2 – Ultra High – AAx8||1920×1200||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||90.4|
|GeForce GTX 570||84.7||-6%|
|Radeon HD 6970||74.3||-18%|
|Radeon HD 6950||70.7||-22%|
|Radeon HD 6870||70.6||-22%|
|Radeon HD 5870||65.6||-28%|
|FarCry 2 – Ultra High – AAx8||2560×1600||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||57.9|
|Radeon HD 6970||55.4||-4%|
|GeForce GTX 570||55.2||-5%|
|Radeon HD 6950||50.4||-13%|
|Radeon HD 5870||44.2||-24%|
|Radeon HD 6870||42.4||-27%|
[nextpage title=”Aliens vs. Predator”]
Aliens vs. Predator is a DirectX 11 game that makes full use of tessellation and advanced shadow rendering. We used the Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Tool developed by Rebellion. This program reads its configuration from a text file (our configuration files can be found here). We ran this program at 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600 resolutions, with very high settings, 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x anti-aliasing.
|Aliens vs. Predator – Very High – AAx4, AFx16||1680×1050||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||47.9||4%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||46.2|
|GeForce GTX 570||43.3||-6%|
|Radeon HD 6950||42.1||-9%|
|Radeon HD 5870||37.7||-18%|
|Radeon HD 6870||31.4||-32%|
|Aliens vs. Predator – Very High – AAx4, AFx16||1920×1200||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||39.6||5%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||37.6|
|GeForce GTX 570||35.2||-6%|
|Radeon HD 6950||35.1||-7%|
|Radeon HD 5870||30.8||-18%|
|Radeon HD 6870||25.6||-32%|
|Aliens vs. Predator – Very High – AAx4, AFx16||2560×1600||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||24.6||5%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||23.5|
|GeForce GTX 570||22.0||-6%|
|Radeon HD 6950||21.7||-8%|
|Radeon HD 5870||19||-19%|
|Radeon HD 6870||15.8||-33%|
[nextpage title=”Lost Planet 2″]
Lost Planet 2 is a game that uses a lot of DirectX 11 features, like tessellation (to round out the edges of polygonal models), displacement maps (added to the tessellated mesh to add fine grain details), DirectCompute soft body simulation (to introduce more realism in the “boss” monsters), and DirectCompute wave simulation (to introduce more realism in the physics calculations in water surfaces; when you move or when gunshots and explosions hit the water, it moves accordingly). We reviewed the video cards using Lost Planet 2 internal benchmarking features, choosing the “Benchmark A” (we know that “Benchmark B” is the one recommended for reviewing video cards, however, at least with us, results were inconsistent). We set graphics at “high,” anti-aliasing at “4x” and DX11 at “full.” The results below are the number of frames per second generated by each video card.
|Lost Planet 2 – High – AAx4||1680×1050||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||70.10|
|GeForce GTX 570||61.30||-13%|
|Radeon HD 6970||45.20||-36%|
|Radeon HD 6950||40.20||-43%|
|Radeon HD 6870||35.70||-49%|
|Radeon HD 5870||31.10||-56%|
|Lost Planet 2 – High – AAx4||1920×1200||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||57.10|
|GeForce GTX 570||54.20||-5%|
|Radeon HD 6970||41.70||-27%|
|Radeon HD 6950||33.60||-41%|
|Radeon HD 6870||30.60||-46%|
|Radeon HD 5870||27.80||-51%|
|Lost Planet 2 – High – AAx4||2560×1600||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||37.85||1%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||37.50|
|GeForce GTX 570||35.50||-5%|
|Radeon HD 6950||27.40||-27%|
|Radeon HD 6870||23.90||-36%|
|Radeon HD 5870||23.80||-37%|
[nextpage title=”3DMark 11 Professional”]
3DMark 11 Professional measures Shader 5.0 (i.e., DirectX 11) performance. We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, selecting the four graphics tests available and deselecting the other tests available. We used two image quality settings for each resolution, “Performance” and “Extreme,” both at their default settings. The results being compared are the “GPU Score” achieved by each video card.
|3DMark Vantage – Performance||1680×1050||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||3581|
|Radeon HD 6970||3424||-4%|
|GeForce GTX 570||3285||-8%|
|Radeon HD 6950||3023||-16%|
|Radeon HD 5870||2814||-21%|
|Radeon HD 6870||2745||-23%|
|3DMark Vantage – Performance||1920×1200||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||2679|
|Radeon HD 6970||2641||-1%|
|GeForce GTX 570||2466||-8%|
|Radeon HD 6950||2334||-13%|
|Radeon HD 5870||2208||-18%|
|Radeon HD 6870||2148||-20%|
|3DMark Vantage – Performance||2560×1600||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||1573||3%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||1533|
|GeForce GTX 570||1414||-8%|
|Radeon HD 6950||1383||-10%|
|Radeon HD 5870||1352||-12%|
|Radeon HD 6870||1287||-16%|
|3DMark Vantage – Extreme||1680×1050||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||2107|
|Radeon HD 6970||2071||-2%|
|GeForce GTX 570||1932||-8%|
|Radeon HD 6950||1765||-16%|
|Radeon HD 5870||1702||-19%|
|Radeon HD 6870||1668||-21%|
|3DMark Vantage – Extreme||1920×1200||Difference|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||1645|
|Radeon HD 6970||1611||-2%|
|GeForce GTX 570||1507||-8%|
|Radeon HD 6950||1415||-14%|
|Radeon HD 5870||1380||-16%|
|Radeon HD 6870||1314||-20%|
|3DMark Vantage – Extreme||2560×1600||Difference|
|Radeon HD 6970||1005||2%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC||986|
|GeForce GTX 570||910||-8%|
|Radeon HD 6950||882||-11%|
|Radeon HD 5870||875||-11%|
|Radeon HD 6870||824||-16%|
In our Radeon HD 6970 review, we saw a technical tie between the Radeon HD 6970 and the standard GeForce GTX 570: from the six programs we ran, one was faster on three of them and the other was faster on the other three. The overclocking present in the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked, although relatively small, helped to point the tip of the scale in favor of this model from EVGA.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 570 and the Radeon HD 6970 achieve similar performance on Call of Duty 4, Aliens vs. Predator and 3DMark 11 (sometimes one was a little bit faster, sometimes the other, but the difference was not significant). However, on the other three games, the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked presented a huge advantage: up to 21% faster on Crysis Warhead, up to 28% faster on Far Cry 2, and up to 55% faster on Lost Planet 2.
Costing exactly the same thing than the Radeon HD 6970, the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked is the video card you should buy if you have USD 370 to spend, being a better option than the standard GeForce GTX 570 (of course you can always buy the standard version and overclock it yourself and save USD 20).