The revised Fermi architecture was just what the doctor ordered and it has been doing wonders for Nvidia right from the GTX 460, till today. It has been a tough struggle for AMD since then because unlike the previous generations like the 5000 and 4000 series where the red team ruthlessly dominated the market, their 6000 series GPUs received mixed reviews. The GTX 580 is still the fastest single GPU solution available in the market. Now imagine adding two of those GPUs on a single PCB and you have a recipe for pure awesomeness. The GTX 590 we’ll be reviewing today consists of two full grown Fermi cores slapped onto a single board running in SLI. This particular graphics card is from ZOTAC, so let’s take a closer look at what you get.
Design and Features
A well designed card
This a really long card measuring 11-inches in length, so make sure your cabinet is up to the task before you buy it. Both the cores run at 607MHz and a total of 3GB GDDR5 memory running on a 768-bit memory bus. The card supports quad SLI by connecting another GTX 590.
Plenty of connectivity options
For connectivity, we have three dual-link DVI-I connectors and a DisplayPort connector as well. Since there are two GTX 580 GPUs, the ZOTAC GTX 590 supports Nvidia’s 3DVision Surround out of the box. The card is powered by two 8-pin connectors with a rated power draw of 365W. Nvidia recommends you use at least a 700W PSU from a reputed brand which means an 80+ certification is the bare minimum.
Test Rig Specifications
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40 GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE P67A-UD3R
Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 6 GB DDR3 (3 x 2 GB)
Hard drive: WD Velociraptor 300 GB
GPU: ZOTAC GTX 590
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 1000W
Driver Version : 275.33
Leaves the GTX 580 in the dust
The ZOTAC GTX 590 blitzed through all the tests we threw at it without a hiccup. On an average, you can expect at least a 40-45 per cent performance jump compared to a stock GTX 580 and in some games even more. Gone are the days when SLI or CrossFire used to give you just a 1.2-1.3 per cent jump. This can be attributed to better SLI drivers, as well as more and more games being coded to take advantage of multi-GPUs. We also ran the Crysis 2 benchmark, but didn’t include it in the score sheet, since we couldn’t compare it to the ASUS GTX 580.
Crysis 2 (1920x1080, 2x AA, Extreme graphics mode) – 100fps
Remember, Crysis 2 is still using DX 9 as the DX 11 patch is not out yet. Overall, we were impressed with the performance of the ZOTAC GTX 590, the card ran smoothly through all our benchmarks and didn’t give any problems.
Temperature and Noise
For gauging the temperature of the graphics card, we used FurMark 1.8.2 to stress the card. This gives a unified playing field allowing us to easily compare the results of subsequent GTX 590s, as well. These are the readings we got:
IDLE : 46C
We got some really good temperature readings given this is a dual GPU card. All credit goes to the vapor chamber in the cooler, though. It does a fantastic job of cooling the card and due to that, the fan doesn’t have to spin very fast, either. In fact, even on maximum load you can barely hear it spinning on an open test bench. So once inside your cabinet, you’ll never hear it.
The ZOTAC GTX 590
ZOTAC has priced the GTX 590 at an MRP of Rs.44,250 with a 2-year warranty than can be extended once you register your product online. The actual street price is closer to Rs.38,000, and varies from city to city. While this seems exorbitantly priced at first for just a single component, it’s actually not when you look at the bigger picture. A stock GTX 580 retails for about 27K. Now for just 10K more, (roughly 38 per cent) you are getting a much more powerful graphics card with a performance jump of at least 45 per cent which in most cases is more than that. So, instead of sticking in two GTX 580s in SLI which will not only be expensive (not to mention moronic), but will draw a lot more power as well and will make you invest in a high end motherboard and a large cabinet to keep things in check, go for the GTX 590 that solves all these problems by letting you use a standard motherboard and has a lower power draw and better overall system temperatures while not compromising on performance.
ZOTAC has done a good job once again offering a well packaged graphics card that wouldn’t disappoint you. Other than the fact that it’s an expensive investment for just a single component, we didn’t have any real complaints with the card. It's targeted purely at enthusiasts so unless you plan on doing a multi-monitor setup or need a 60+ frame rate in every game at high resolutions, this card is not meant for you.
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