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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Video Card Performance E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 09 November 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Video Card Performance
GeForce GTX 580 Closer Look
GeForce GTX 580 Detailed
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Tom Clancy's HAWX2
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
Overclocking and Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
NVIDIA APEX PhysX Enhancements
NVIDIA 3D-Vision Effects
Editor's Opinion: NVIDIA Fermi
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Conclusion

DX11: Tom Clancy's HAWX2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2 has been optimized for DX11 enabled GPUs and has a number of enhancements to not only improve performance with DX11 enabled GPUs, but also greatly improve the visual experience while taking to the skies. The game uses a hardware terrain tessellation method that allows a high number of detailed triangles to be rendered entirely on the GPU when near the terrain in question. This allows for a very low memory footprint and relies on the GPU power alone to expand the low resolution data to highly realistic detail.

The Tom Clancy's HAWX2 benchmark uses normal game content in the same conditions a player will find in the game, and allows users to evaluate the enhanced visuals that DirectX-11 tessellation adds into the game. The Tom Clancy's HAWX2 benchmark is built from exactly the same source code that's included with the retail version of the game. HAWX2's tessellation scheme uses a metric based on the length in pixels of the triangle edges. This value is currently set to 6 pixels per triangle edge, which provides an average triangle size of 18 pixels.

The end result is perhaps the best tessellation implementation seen in a game yet, providing a dramatic improvement in image quality over the non-tessellated case, and running at playable frame rates across a wide range of graphics hardware.

  • Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Benchmark 1.0.4
    • Extreme Settings: (Maximum Quality, 8x AA, 16x AF, DX11 Terrain Tessellation)


Tom Clancy's HAWX2 Extreme Quality Settings

Cost Analysis: Tom Clancy's HAWX2 (1920x1200)

  • $242 Radeon HD 6870 1GB costs $3.56 per FPS
  • $255 GeForce GTX 470 1GB costs $2.63 per FPS
  • $324 Radeon HD 5870 1GB costs $5.40 per FPS
  • $437 GeForce GTX 480 1536MB costs $3.55 per FPS
  • $500 Radeon HD 5970 2GB costs $5.75 per FPS
  • $500 GeForce GTX 580 1536MB costs $3.68 per FPS
  • $484 Radeon HD 6870 CrossFireX costs $4.48 per FPS

Test Summary: This is a controversial game, at least in the sense that AMD has asked us not to use it for testing (which is why it wasn't included in the AMD Radeon 6850 and 6870 reviews) but NVIDIA endorses it. Our thinking is that HAWX 2 is a full retail product that will be purchased and played by consumers, regardless of how well Radeon products handle its tessellation. Tom Clancy's HAWX2 works incredibly well with the tessellation-optimized Fermi architecture, finally making NVIDIA's effort more transparent. Despite this benefit to GF100-series products, the game is primarily comprised of clear blue skies that require very little processing power. As a result, even a single AMD Radeon HD 6870 produces 68 FPS at 1920x1200.

When HAWX2 is turned up to use the highest possible quality settings with terrain tessellation enabled, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 video card easily surpasses every product tested against it. Oddly enough, the newer but less-powerful AMD Radeon HD 6870 performs better than the older and more expensive ATI Radeon HD 5870: 10-FPS at 1680x1050 and 8-FPS at 1920x1200. This proves that AMD gave tessellation a little more emphasis on the Barts GPU (Cypress refresh), but doesn't give it enough power for two Radeon HD 6870's in CrossFire to do more than match performance with the GeForce GTX 470. Another twist is demonstrated by over-emphasized tessellation power of GF100 in NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 480, which gives it the strength to compete with the new GTX 580.

Graphics Card EVGA GTX 460 FTW Radeon HD6870 GeForce GTX470 Radeon HD5870 GeForce GTX480 Radeon HD5970 GeForce GTX580
GPU Cores 336 1120 448 1600 480 3200 (1600 per GPU) 512
Core Clock (MHz) 850 900 608 850 700 725 772
Shader Clock (MHz) 1700 N/A 1215 N/A 1401 N/A 1544
Memory Clock (MHz) 1000 1050 837 1200 924 1000 1002
Memory Amount 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1280MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1536MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5 1536MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 320-bit 256-bit 384-bit 512-bit (256-bit per GPU) 384-bit


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