Around this time last month, Nvidia launched the mighty GeForce GTX 580 and again secured the right to claim ownership of the world's fastest GPU. The flagship card performed incredibly fast in the 13 games we tested, as it was on average 22% faster than the GTX 480 and as much as 46% faster than the Radeon HD 5870.
When it came to breaking down the GeForce GTX 580 in terms of cost and performance, the card still made sense, despite the $ 500 high price tag. Given the performance ranges just mentioned, it was easy to justify the 11% premium compared to the GeForce GTX 480. On the other hand, the card was significantly 47% more expensive than the Radeon HD 5870, but the performance gain was similarly high.
While Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 may be the current king of the hill, that could change before the end of the year when AMD launches its new Radeon HD 6900 series. AMD was originally expected to ship its Cayman XT and Pro-based Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 graphics cards sometime in November, but they have postponed their arrival until mid-December for reasons unknown. If you don't mind waiting a few short weeks, the wait may be worth some savings or possibly more performance for the same dollars, depending on what AMD has reserved for us.
With the real high-end battle still to come, Nvidia isn't waiting for AMD to strike back. Instead, they are preparing to release their second GF110-based product. The GeForce GTX 570 should hit shelves soon, with specs similar to the GTX 480, but with a lower price tag of around $ 350.
Since the GeForce GTX 470 was part of the GTX 480, the GTX 570 is a slimmed-down version of the recently released GTX 580. Thermal and operational efficiency remain largely the same, as do the functions. What has changed is the core configuration, operating frequencies, and memory bus width, all of which have been reduced slightly.
The GeForce GTX 570 is likely targeting the not-yet-released AMD Radeon HD 6950 – which we know little about yet. The Radeon HD 6870, which is a bit slower than the older 5870 in most games, costs just $ 250, so it's in a completely different price range. The latter will likely take on the GeForce GTX 560 when Nvidia releases this card early next year. First, let's take a closer look at the GeForce GTX 570 in our hands and see how well it works.