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GTX 480 Lightning or GTX 570 Twin Frozr III?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 5, 2011 6:49:32 AM

Hey guys,

Putting together a new build (after 5 years) and am just stuck on which card to grab. I'll be doing some light overclocking and I'll likely be using a 23" LED Monitor @ 1920x1080 (but who knows, could always switch to a new monitor in a year or so).

I've read countless threads, benchmarks and opinions, but have not been able to come to a conclusion on which card will be 'more' *future proof*.

I'll be getting one of these cards to start and eventually SLI them (maybe in 1 yrs time). I'll probably be picking up a card in 3 weeks or so.

I can find both cards for the same price 329.99, so price is not a differentiating factor, unfortunately!

Here are the newegg links:

MSI GTX 480 Lightning: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I get that the increased vram is better at higher resolutions, I've also heard that the 480 has more power phases as another benefit? I know the reference 480s used to run insanely hot and were power hungry monsters (also quite loud) but had great performance. Anyone know how this lightning holds up against those cons? The 570 looks/sounds like a fantastic card but I don't want to be shafting myself since they are both at the same price point.

Thanks for your help!
a b Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 7:03:20 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums
I'd recommend GTX 570 because it offers less noise/power consumption/heat and the performance is pretty much on par with 480(even faster in some games)
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July 5, 2011 4:06:53 PM

i totally agree with maziar. go with the 570 twin frozr III
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July 5, 2011 4:59:39 PM

So, even this nice/upgraded version of the 480 is inferior to the upgraded 570?

Some people were talking about how the 480 is still faster (especially the lightning) because of the power phases?

Will I be less future proof if I get the 570 due to it having less vram than the 480?

Thanks!
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a b Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 6:36:23 PM

If you look at the benchies,you'll see the 570 is on par with 480(faster in some cases)
Also don't worry about the memory.Anything higher than 1GB is more than enough for resolutions like 1080p
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July 5, 2011 7:38:19 PM

Some folks started saying that games coming out next year will start 'requiring' more memory and 1.25GB will be pushing it close?

Is that true?

Everyone seems to be telling me to go with the 570 especially this model...just not sure considering others are also saying when overlocked the 480 outperforms due to power phases.

Sorry, also not exactly familar with the power phases jargon...so it's hard for me to parse.

But I have heard this Twin Frozr III has 6+1 phase as opposed to the 4+2 the reference models have....

Thanks for all the replies Maziar.
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a c 172 Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 7:53:18 PM

sahilio said:
Some folks started saying that games coming out next year will start 'requiring' more memory and 1.25GB will be pushing it close?

Is that true?

A couple of years ago some folk were saying that all future games were going to require a Quad core CPU and look at how that worked out.
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July 5, 2011 8:30:10 PM

Well...is vram even anything to worry about then? I guess a lot of people are still using 1GB cards and are doing fine.
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July 5, 2011 8:41:20 PM

1GB might become an issue only if you crossfire with really high resolutions and add AA and AF.
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July 5, 2011 8:58:51 PM

Ah okay. So if I do plan to SLI down the road, I should be fine to blast through all games even with 1.25GB of vRam, yeah?

And if that's correct, then it does sound like the 570 is the definite winner here....
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a b Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 9:06:07 PM

sahilio said:
Ah okay. So if I do plan to SLI down the road, I should be fine to blast through all games even with 1.25GB of vRam, yeah?

And if that's correct, then it does sound like the 570 is the definite winner here....

MM's example was absolutely correct.Don't believe everything you hear.1.2GB RAM will be enough.get the 570 and enjoy :) 
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a b Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 9:10:27 PM

Metro isn't very well optimized and it brings all cards to their knees unless you play it on DX9
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a c 172 Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 9:24:13 PM

I'm running a pair of 1GB cards @19 x 10 and whilst I haven't tried Metro yet, F.E.A.R 3 runs at 75fps+ with everything maxed but the framerates of Crysis2 have been halved to 60-65fps with the DX11 update and everything on 'Ultra'.
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July 5, 2011 9:30:05 PM

Zenthar, it would bring the 1.25GB card to it's knees...would the .25 increased vRam on the 480 be significant for that Metro analysis?

Also...Amd655, why do you say go for the 480 only if it is significantly cheaper? And what would you say is 'significantly' cheaper? :)  If they are at the same price though, you'd take that Frozr III 570 above that Lightning?

As mentioned, my goal is to run BF3/GW2 at max settings at 1920x1080.

btw - will be running i7-2600K, 700 or 750w psu, 8GB 1600 Cas 8 ram and just a decent p67 mobo.

Thanks guys!
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a c 416 Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 9:42:00 PM

Comparing the Guru3d review of the MSI GTX 480 Lightning to the reference GTX 570, the 480 Lightning wins hands down significantly in all benchmarks. It also manages to keep temps under control in the mid-70c's. For noise, it registers a mere 42 Dba at load (same as the MSI GTX 560 Ti Hawk with the Twin Frozr III cooler) vs. 50 Dba for the reference 480. They overclocked it to 850 mhz and said that 900 mhz should be attainable. If you are going to get a GTX 480, the MSI Lightning is the card to get.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-geforce-gtx-480-light...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-review/
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a c 416 Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 9:47:54 PM

Mousemonkey said:
I'm running a pair of 1GB cards @19 x 10 and whilst I haven't tried Metro yet, F.E.A.R 3 runs at 75fps+ with everything maxed but the framerates of Crysis2 have been halved to 60-65fps with the DX11 update and everything on 'Ultra'.

You can try the Metro 2033 demo here:
http://www.joystiq.com/game/metro-2033/download/metro-2...
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July 5, 2011 9:49:36 PM

17seconds said:
Comparing the Guru3d review of the MSI GTX 480 Lightning to the reference GTX 570, the 480 Lightning wins hands down significantly in all benchmarks. It also manages to keep temps under control in the mid-70c's. For noise, it registers a mere 42 Dba at load (same as the MSI GTX 560 Ti Hawk with the Twin Frozr III cooler) vs. 50 Dba for the reference 480. They overclocked it to 850 mhz and said that 900 mhz should be attainable. If you are going to get a GTX 480, the MSI Lightning is the card to get.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-geforce-gtx-480-light...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-review/


Yeah, I've heard really great things about the 480 Lightning compared to the reference 570 but I am trying to compare it to the non-reference GTX 570 Twin Frozr III. That's where I am getting a bit uncertain...because people have said great things about the non-reference OC'd GTX 570 as well.

Any idea what would be best to do in this case with these 2 non-reference cards Matto? Considering they are both exactly the same price as well....

thanks!
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a c 416 Î Nvidia
July 5, 2011 10:31:25 PM

It's hard to find many reviews of the MSI 570 Twin Frozr II or III cards. To gauge performance, I looked at the Palit GTX 570 Sonic Platinum which is clocked at 810 mhz and which Guru3d was able to overclock to 850 mhz. So with both the 480 Lightning and the Palit GTX 570 cards running at 850 mhz, in only two benchmarks, the Palit slightly beat out the 480 Lightning. At stock speed (810 mhz), the Palit 570 and 480 Lightning traded blows, with the 480 winning the brutal Metro 2033 battle.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/palit-geforce-gtx-570-son...

So it depends on how much you like to overclock. The MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III is not factory clocked as high as the Palit, so at stock speeds, the 480 Lightning will be faster. But when you begin to overclock, the MSI 570 will likely overclock more than the Palit did and will therefore outperform the 480 Lightning by a larger margin at the upper limits of overclocked performance.

Oh, and the Twin Frozr III has a dust-removal system. How cool is that? The fan spins in reverse for about 30 seconds at startup.
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July 5, 2011 10:40:57 PM

This GTX 480 and GTX 570 could be assumed to have equal performance IF you overclock. If you don't overclock and they're the same price, then get the one with faster performance--the GTX 480. Otherwise, go for the GTX 570 because it will be hard to find another GTX 480 Lightning if you decide to SLI and because it'll use less power (saves money on PSU).
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July 5, 2011 11:26:28 PM

About the memory, it was the point: by the time any single card needs more that 1GB, it will probably be crawling; it's like those entry-level cards with more than 512MB of VRAM. As I already said, the extra memory is only useful in SLI for higher resolutions since, in SLI, the memory don't add. So if you want to play Metro 2033 at 1920x1080 with full details, two 1GB cards will not be enough even if they are GTX 580 (not sure if they even make 1GB versions, but you get the point).
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July 6, 2011 12:03:48 AM

Ah okay. So if I oveclock both the 480 lightning and the 570 twin frozr III, the twin frozr will likely come out ahead due to it's capacity to overlock a bit more - correct?

At stock speeds (each are factory OC'd) the 480 will slightly outperform the 570 in some games - correct?

So, if I plan to overlock a bit (just want to OC on air) then I should go for the GTX 570 Twin Frozr III especially if I want to SLI due to 480 lightning production being limited.

Oh, and, don't worry about the .25gb more memory really.

Just looking to make sure I have all of this straight.

Thanks guys!
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July 6, 2011 12:11:05 AM

That sounds like a good summary--anyone disagree?
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a c 416 Î Nvidia
July 6, 2011 2:10:22 AM

You got it. This is the way the forums are supposed to work, a lot of opinions, some research, some personal experience, and good advice based on your individual situation.
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July 6, 2011 2:14:07 AM

Awesome - thanks guys. Looks like I'll be going with the 570 OC/PE Twin Frozr III.

As looooong as the vRam doesn't screw me for later games (mainly bf3), then it looks like I should be okay.

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a b Î Nvidia
July 6, 2011 9:15:19 AM

It will be OK don't worry :D 
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July 9, 2011 6:22:49 PM

What do you guys think about the HD 6970 compared to the 570? Anymore 'future proof' than the 570 due to 2g of VRAM?
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!