Nvidia's Fermi started out as a power hungry untamed beast. It completely destroyed the competition and claimed the title of the fastest single GPU graphics card in the market, but at what cost? To run this behemoth meant you needed a power plant inside your cabinet just to keep the card happy when playing games. While the card was very powerful, many gamers were reluctant to shove this in their gaming rigs for this very reason.
If Nvidia was to release a mid-range derivative of Fermi these problems had to be fixed if they had any chance against the competition. The GF104 put Nvidia back in the game when they launched the Geforce GTX 460. In the meantime Nvidia were busy working on a redesign for the original Fermi core that ultimately gave us the GF110, which was a leaner and meaner Fermi all set for ATI's Cayman series.
After the GTX 580 successfully replaced the GTX 480, next on the cards was a replacement for the GTX 470, which while being a strong performer, suffered the same flaws of the old Fermi design. A few days back Nvidia officially unveiled the GTX 570, a successor to the GTX 470. As you might have figured out, the GTX 570 is fabricated on the 40nm process and uses the same GF110 core, but is slightly stripped down to make it cheaper to produce.
The new GTX 570 can be thought of as a hybrid between the GTX 470 and the GTX 480 and here's why. When compared to the GTX 470, it shares the same number of ROPs, amount of memory and the 320-bit memory bandwidth. On the other hand, it packs in the same number of shaders as the GTX 480, thereby giving it more leg room in games that are shader intensive. By doing this the pixel and texture fill rate is now more than the GTX 470, so we can straightaway expect a performance boost just by looking at the numbers. Finally thanks to the tweaked architecture and lesser transistors, Nvidia has managed to bump up the clock speeds.
ZOTAC was the first to send in their card for review and from the looks of it, it's very similar to their GTX580 offering. The package bares the typical artwork used on many of the past graphics cards and this time we get a free copy of Prince of Persia as well. The card bares the same clock speeds as the reference card and comes with a bunch of demo CUDA apps as well as their Firestorm O.C software.
The ZOTAC GTX570 comes with the following accessories;