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GTX 280 SLI vs GTX 570 performance comparison

Discussion in 'NVIDIA' started by neatfeatguy, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. neatfeatguy

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    I was wondering how viable my current setup still is with the BFG GTX 280s I have compared to a single, high-end current gen GPU. So the info listed here isn't anything groundbreaking, but I wanted to share for anyone that's interested.

    I picked up a Zotac GTX 570 (model ZT-50203-10M) for a few reasons: a) I haven't heard anything bad about their products and they provide a decent warranty b) I like the way it looks and c) I’ve used Zotac in the past and have never had any problems with their GPUs – as far as I know there is a Zotac 7600GT still going strong in a PC I built for general everyday use for someone, from old parts I had, 2 years ago.

    I haven’t tested things out in DX11 with the GTX 570 yet, that is mainly due to just wanting to strictly compare games on the same playing field that the GTX 280s can do. I did not compare power consumption nor heat (techpowerup reviews cover these things well enough already), though I did notice that the GTX 570 runs just about as hot as the GTX 280s in the more demanding games, but overall does keep cooler for the most part.

    Setup
    • Phenom II x4 940 @ 3.712GHz (225x16.5)
    • ASRock K10N780SLIX3-WiFi motherboard
    • 4GB Corsair XMS DDR2 800 @ 900 5-5-5-18
    • WD Caviar Black 500GB
    • CoolerMaster 1000W power supply
    • Samsung 226CW monitor @ 1680x1050

    GPUs
    • Dual GTX 280 in SLI (650/1404/1163) w/ driver 260.99 (most stable current driver for my setup)
    • GTX 570 (732/1464/1900) w/ driver 275.33
    o GTX 570 OC’ed – 1.075V @ 900/1800/2060

    [​IMG]
    Versus 2x GTX 280 in SLI
    [​IMG]



    Games:

    1. FarCry 2
    2. STALKER: Call of Pripyat
    3. Crysis
    4. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
    5. Just Cause 2
    6. Metro 2033

    All games were tested with their provided benchmarks except for Battlefield: BC2 and STALKER: CoP, Fraps was used. I ran all benchmarks 7 times, removed the lowest and highest scores to reach my results.



    FarCry2 settings: Ranch Small, DX10, Ultra High AA 4x, Bloom
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, FryCry2 runs great on either setup. The limiting factor here appears to be the CPU due to no noticeable difference from stock settings on the GTX 570 to the overclocked settings. So far, the GTX 280s only fall behind here by about 11% overall and show they’re still a force to be reckoned with.

    STALKER – CoP: DX10, Quality Preset = Maxium
    [​IMG]

    While the GTX 280s show they can handle this game on default max settings without a problem, the GTX 570 flexes its muscles and takes a decent lead. Overall, about a 32% difference in performance for average FPS when compared to a stock GTX 570. The difference on the overclocked settings compared to stock is nothing worth writing home about, so there’s no need to worry about overclocking to get anymore noticeable performance here on the GTX 570.

    Crysis: DX10, Ultra High Settings, AA 4x
    [​IMG]

    The stock GTX 570 and dual GTX 280s tend to trade blows for the most part. It’s not until you get a nice overclock on the GTX 570 do you really notice any difference, even though there are parts that still tend to choke both setups. If you don’t mind a little hiccup in smooth performance here and there, both setups should work just fine for you. Crysis still tends to hinder even the more recent hardware out there, making it a nuisance for most gamers looking to try and max the game out on high end resolutions. So dropping down the AA may be a reasonable choice to better smooth things out.

    Battlefield – BC2: High, AA 4x, AF 16x
    [​IMG]

    Here’s another game that trades blows on the GTX 280s vs a stock GTX 570, though in the end, the GTX 280s do tend to give slightly better performance. Overclocking the GTX 570 allows it to pull out ahead of the 280s in overall performance by roughly 7-8%. There’s really no reason to worry about upgrading if you run a similar setup with the GTX 2xx series for Bad Company 2.

    Just Cause 2: Concrete Jungle, High, AA 4x, AF 16x
    [​IMG]

    The Concrete Jungle seemed to give the most trouble for the GTX 280s and even caused the GTX 570 to work hard. The other benchmarks provided in the game, both ran very well so this seemed to be the best one to compare results with.

    While the GTX 280s can hold their own, for the most part, it is easy to tell they struggle to give a smooth performance. The GTX 570 also seemed to have a bit of a problem in a few parts of the benchmark, but overall the performance it provided at stock and overclocked settings gives a decent, playable result. The GTX 570 gives you about a 18% boost in overall performance. While the GTX 280s can run Just Cause 2 just fine, you may find certain parts where you need to tone down the eye candy to give you a constant solid performance.

    Metro 2033: DX10, Very High, AA 4x, AF 16x, PhysX on
    [​IMG]

    Metro 2033 is one of the more current, most graphically demanding game out on the market; noticeably so. While the GTX 570 clearly pulls ahead, especially when overclocked, the GTX 280s do a decent job of holding their own. However, at these settings the game may or may not play out smooth enough for most people, so having to turn down the eye candy might be in order. There does tend to be a bit of noticeable micro-stutter with the GTX 280 SLI setup; while not bad, it can be noticed. Lacking a picture to show how the benchmark displays the graph, the FPS spike high (as seen in the Max FPS on the above bar graph) and low – over and over and over…. You see a much more smooth transition throughout the benchmark graph for a single card setup.

    Conclusion:

    Any one with a setup that is running dual GTX 260/275/280/285 or a GTX 295, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about needing to upgrade. While the GTX 570 does provide a nice boost in performance in some games, it’s not worth the upgrade unless you want to run a setup that uses less power and generates less heat. Stick with what you have until the next gen of GPUs come out.
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  2. BraveSoul

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    nice benchmarks, and overclock,,, it now takes two old great performers to keep up with a single card, got to love technological advances,,, hey 768shaders in one gpu anytime soon? that would be an even more interesting comparison 3x280 vs 2x460 vs 1x670 :0) well something like that
    neatfeatguy says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. claylomax

    claylomax

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    Great comparison! I love these reviews. Thanks.
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  4. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

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    nice mini-review, though the results weren't unexpected.
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  5. Crap Daddy

    Crap Daddy

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    Nice review. Since I bet there are few of us still on the GTX2XX series it's good to know what to expect from an upgrade. I'm still using the EVGA GTX275 the FTW edition with 713 core clock 1512 shader and I've reused it in our new Sandy Bridge machine giving it a new life. There is no game that we play which can bring it to its knees at max or close to max settings on 16x10. But anyway I'm expecting a GTX570 the SC edition from EVGA and it's good to know what kind of performance we can expect.
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  6. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    think im gonna keep my cards for a while because of this post :)
    what voltage tweaking software do you use for your gtx280?
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  7. neatfeatguy

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    I never bothered with really OC'ing (or at least really tried to) on the GTX 280s. The cards are running on stock settings from an OC version from BFG.

    Best stable clock speeds I do recall pulling on my two cards is around 680/1180/1460 (give or take a few). Only way I can think of (didn't try the latest MSI Afterburner with them) to mod the voltage would be to actually adjust it in the BIOS and then flash them - which is too much of a hassle for me if you want the honest truth.

    The GTX 280s were never the greatest OC'ing card, but you may be able push them up 100MHz or so from true stock settings.
  8. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    my primary card is unstable 50MHZ over stock... so it is really a bad OCer
  9. neatfeatguy

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    I used to have 2 8800GTS 512 cards. One would OC well, the other wouldn't, so it does happen.
  10. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    Great mini review! I love seeing these inter-generation comparisons. I'd love to see single GTX280 added if you've got the time, but you've already done very well!

    :toast:
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  11. sy5tem

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    very nice original review i love this
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  12. BababooeyHTJ New Member

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    I have to admit that I'm pretty surprised by your results. Thanks for the comparison.

    Really? I could run my old GTX280 at 725mhz without touching the core voltage. I loved that card, the thing clocked like a beast.

    I had a GTX260 that was a really good clocker too.

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