Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 (Reference Card) review

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 - the 1024 Core Riposte

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Overall rating 7.5/10
Blazing performance, though not as fast as its rival
3D Vision Surround on a single card
Effective cooler, pretty quiet
Cooler vents hot air back to casing
Troublesome to SLI

Test Setup

Test Setup

We’ll be evaluating the new GeForce GTX 590 with our X58 testbed which has the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard
  • 3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 G.Skill memory in triple channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Obviously, the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 will be pitted against the AMD Radeon HD 6990. Bearing in mind the substantial downclocks of the GeForce GTX 590, it will be interesting to see how it will fare against the Radeon HD 6990. We have also included results of other high-end graphics cards such as the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570, as well as the Radeon HD 6970 and HD 5970.

NVIDIA also insisted that we tested the GeForce GTX 590 using a 64-bit OS, claiming that its maximum potential can only be achieved with more than 4GB of RAM. Although there many articles (such as this) which suggest that there's not much difference going from a 32-bit to 64-bit version of Windows 7, we duly obliged and upgraded our system to 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate.

The list of card tested and driver versions used:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 3GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 267.71)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 2-way SLI (ForceWare 263.09)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1560MB GDDR5 (ForceWare 266.58)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB GDDR5 (ForceWare 263.09)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB GDDR5 (AMD Catalyst 11.4 Preview)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 11.2)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 2-way CrossFireX (Catalyst 10.11)
  • AMD Radeon HD 5970 2GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 11.2)

The list of benchmarks used:

  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  • Futuremark 3DMark 11
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Far Cry 2
  • Warhammer: Dawn of War 2
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • “Heaven" from Unigine v2.1
  •  S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat