This card is packed into Gigabyte’s traditional glossy box. Despite the gloss, the box design is demure and restrained.
It is as informative as the box of the ASUS card, so you can learn the card’s GPU frequency and that it belongs to the famous Ultra Durable series, for example.
The packaging offers as much protection to the product as the ASUS’s. The accessories are almost the same, too.
- DVI-I → D-Sub adapter;
- 2x4-pin PATA → 1x6-pin PCIe adapter;
- 2x4-pin PATA → 1x8-pin PCIe adapter;
- Mini-HDMI → HDMI cable;
- Installation manual in several languages;
- CD disk with drivers, utilities and documents.
We’ve got a minimum of accessories here, in fact. There is no SLI bridge in the box but you can use a standard rigid one that is included with many SLI-compatible cards since the Gigabyte GV-N570OC-13I has standard PCB dimensions.
The graphics card itself has an original appearance thanks to the eye-catching cooling system with as many as three fans:
Gigabyte’s gigantomania is different from ASUS’s. Instead of adding a second tier to the cooler, the manufacturer has stretched it out horizontally and added a third fan. We’ll discuss the WindForce 3X cooler in detail shortly. Right now we are taking it off by unfastening the four spring-loaded screws around the GPU and four more screws that hold the small heatsink on the voltage regulator. Here is what we see after that:
The PCB is obviously a variation of Nvidia’s reference design developed for GeForce GTX 580/570. However, it is not a copy since the “2oz Copper PCB” technology means thicker metallization layers for better cooling. Like the original PCB, this one can be used for GeForce GTX 580 as well: a 384-bit memory bus is wired on it.
The power circuit is the same as on the reference card and consists of a 4-phase GPU voltage regulator and a 2-phase memory voltage regulator.
As for graphics memory, we see the same K4G10325FE-HC04 chips from Samsung Semiconductor with a capacity of 1 gigabit and rated frequency of 1250 (5000) MHz. The graphics card has a total of 1280 megabytes of onboard memory and clocks it at 950 (3800) MHz in 3D mode, which is the memory frequency of the reference sample as well. Coupled with the 320-bit memory bus, this ensures a peak bandwidth of 152 GBps.
The graphics core manufactured on the 50th week of the last year is pre-overclocked by the manufacturer to 780/1560 MHz. That’s good compared to the ASUS card but not good enough to make us benchmark the Gigabyte at its default frequencies. The GPU configuration is standard with 480 unified shader processors, 60 texture-mapping units, and 40 RBEs. The GPU normally works at 0.95 volts, but we achieved our best overclocking results with this card at a GPU voltage of 1 volt, which is somewhat higher than the GPU voltage of the ENGTX570 DCII.
Considering the reference PCB design, it is no wonder that the Gigabyte card has a standard configuration of interfaces: two DVI-I connectors and a mini-HDMI. There is no DisplayPort connector. The vent slits in the mounting bracket do not do any good because the heatsink fins are perpendicular to them and the hot air is not exhausted outside.
The WindForce cooling system is the key feature of the GV-N570OC-13I card and even has a dedicated page on the manufacturer’s website. Three fans are already quite impressive. What’s good, the cooler takes up only two slots.
Of course, it is desirable not to install a large expansion card into the neighboring slot, too, but the most important thing is that the GV-N570OC-13I features an evaporation chamber, like Nvidia’s reference cooler. We already made sure of the high efficiency of that solution in our tests of GeForce GTX 580 and 570. Here, the evaporation chamber is complemented with a heat pipe which is connected to the additional heatsink section. You’ll see shortly how this cooler performs in practice.