|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Video Card Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 09 November 2010|
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DX10: 3DMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX10 graphics card performance. FutureMark 3DMark Vantage is the latest addition the 3DMark benchmark series built by FutureMark corporation. Although 3DMark Vantage requires NVIDIA PhysX to be installed for program operation, only the CPU/Physics test relies on this technology.
3DMark Vantage offers benchmark tests focusing on GPU, CPU, and Physics performance. Benchmark Reviews uses the two GPU-specific tests for grading video card performance: Jane Nash and New Calico. These tests isolate graphical performance, and remove processor dependence from the benchmark results.
3DMark Vantage GPU Test: Jane Nash
Of the two GPU tests 3DMark Vantage offers, the Jane Nash performance benchmark is slightly less demanding. In a short video scene the special agent escapes a secret lair by water, nearly losing her shirt in the process. Benchmark Reviews tests this DirectX-10 scene at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions, and uses Extreme quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is utilized, and is the highest this test allows. By maximizing the processing levels of this test, the scene creates the highest level of graphical demand possible and sorts the strong from the weak.
Jane Nash Extreme Quality Settings
Cost Analysis: Jane Nash (1920x1200)
3DMark Vantage GPU Test: New Calico
New Calico is the second GPU test in the 3DMark Vantage test suite. Of the two GPU tests, New Calico is the most demanding. In a short video scene featuring a galactic battleground, there is a massive display of busy objects across the screen. Benchmark Reviews tests this DirectX-10 scene at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions, and uses Extreme quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is utilized, and is the highest this test allows. Using the highest graphics processing level available allows our test products to separate themselves and stand out (if possible).
New Calico Extreme Quality Settings
Cost Analysis: New Calico (1920x1200)
Test Summary: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 competes on two levels: price point and GPU segment. At the $500 price point, it competes directly against ATI's dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 and a pair of AMD Radeon HD 6870 video cards combined into CrossFireX. In regard to single-GPU competition, the closest video cards would be ATI's Radeon HD 5870 or NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 480.
3dMark Vantage usually sets the pace for coming events, and through the analysis of these two tests spread over two different resolutions we gain a clear insight into who ranks where. In the Jane Nash tests, the dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 and CrossFireX Radeon HD 6870's outscore the GeForce GTX 580, but then in the New Calico tests the GTX 580 comes back to outperform or match these same video cards. Comparing the GeForce GTX 580 to the older GTX 480 creates a tremendous performance margin of 31/34%, even more so with the GTX 580 and ATI Radeon HD 5870 (+32/55%). Our cost analysis indicates a trend among the premium top-end graphics products: better frame rate, and less value.