facebook rss twitter

ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 graphics card reviewed and rated

by Tarinder Sandhu on 24 March 2011, 13:00 3.0


Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa5a4

Add to My Vault: x

Table of Doom

But this wouldn't be a HEXUS review without a huge table to be confused by.

GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 3,072MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1,536MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1,280MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 1,536MB Radeon HD 6990 OC 4,096MB Radeon HD 6990 4,096MB Radeon HD 6970 2,048MB Radeon HD 6950 2,048MB Radeon HD 5970 2,048MB
Transistors 6.0bn 3.0bn 3.0bn 3.0bn 5.28bn 5.28bn 2.64bn 2.64bn 4.3bn
Die size 2 x 520mm² 520mm² 520mm² 529mm² 2 x 389mm² 2 x 389mm² 389mm² 389mm² 2 x 334mm²
GPU Fermi v2 Fermi v2 Fermi v2 Fermi Cayman Cayman Cayman Cayman Cypress
General clock 607MHz 772MHz 732MHz 700MHz 880MHz 830MHz 880MHz 800MHz 725MHz
Shader clock 1,214MHz 1,544MHz 1,464MHz 1,401MHz 880MHz 830MHz 880MHz 800MHz 725MHz
Memory clock  3,414MHz 4,008MHz 3,800MHz 3,696MHz 5,000MHz 5,000MHz 5,500MHz 5,000MHz 4,000MHz
Memory interface  384-bit x 2 3,072MB GDDR5 384-bit, 1,536MB GDDR5 320-bit, 1,280MB GDDR5 384-bit, 1,536MB GDDR5 256-bit x2, 4,096MB GDDR5 256-bit x2, 4,096MB GDDR5 256-bit, 2,048MB GDDR5 256-bit, 2,048MB GDDR5 256-bit x2, 2,048MB GDDR5
Memory bandwidth 163.9GB/s x 2 192.4GB/s 152GB/s 177.4GB/s 2 x 160GB/s 2 x 160GB/s 176GB/s 160GB/s 2 x 128GB/s


8 4 4 4 2 2 2 2 1

DP speed

1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/5
Shaders 1,024 512 480 480 3,072 3,072 1,536 1,408 3,200
GFLOPS 2,486 1,581 1,405 1,345 5,407 5,099 2,703 2,253 4,640
Texturing 128ppc bilinear
128ppc FP16
64ppc bilinear
64ppc FP16
60ppc bilinear
60ppc FP16
60ppc bilinear
30ppc FP16
192ppc bilinear
96ppc FP16
192ppc bilinear
96ppc FP16
96ppc bilinear
48ppc FP16
88ppc bilinear
44ppc FP16
160ppc bilinear
80ppc FP16
ROPs 96 48 40 48 64 64 32 32 64
ROP rate 58.3 37.1 29.3 33.6 56.4 53.1 28.2 25.6 37.1
GTexel/s INT8 77.7 49.4 35.1 42 168.96 159.36 84.48 70.4 116
FP16 rate 77.7 49.4 35.1 21 84.48 79.68 42.24 35.2 58
Board power (TDP) 365W 244W 219W 250W 450W 375W 250W 200W 244W
HDMI 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.4a 1.3a
Retail price  £569 £385 £270 £200 £530 £530 £285 £205 £500

Who is the real competitor?

Right-o, the numbers are suitably large from this very select band of cards. The lower-than-GTX 580 clocks of the 590 card play out in commensurately lower FLOPS, texturing and ROP rates. We clearly know that it won't best two GTX 580s in SLI, but another intriguing question is whether it can topple two GTX 570s tied together? You see, while the GTX 570 has an inferior architecture - fewer shaders and a narrower memory-bus width, for starters - higher clockspeeds help offset this disadvantage. What's more, the combined price of two second-rung Fermi cards is lower than a single GTX 590. Interesting, indeed.

The spec. table always paints AMD Radeon cards in a better light, for the HD 6990, the obvious cross-company competitor, spanks the GTX 590 on the shading and texturing fronts. But specs do not a card make, as AMD knows all too well from recent history.

Unlike the board-mounted switch of awesomeness on the Radeon HD 6990 card, there's no obvious hardware-based method of increasing the performance farther, unless, of course, you fiddle with overclocking programs and eke out extra speed. Practically all cards will be reference in design, towing the 607MHz/3,414MHz clocks of NVIDIA's card, and it will be a while before we see full-custom jobs on the GTX 590, if at all.