Palit’s high-end cards tend to be exercises in extravagance. That’s certainly true with its GTX 570 Sonic Platinum. At first, we thought Palit shipped the wrong card, given the 8-pin power connector nestled adjacent to the 6-pin connector, just like a GTX 580. However, it’s really a GTX 570—albeit with a core clock of 800MHz (versus the stock 742MHz) and the GDDR5 frame buffer clocking an even 1GHz (versus the reference 950MHz.)
Of course, pushing a GTX 570 that hard likely requires an extra current load, hence the 8-pin connector. In fact, our testing revealed that the Palit GTX 570 sucked a stunning 388W at full load, just shy of the EVGA GTX 580 SuperClock’s 395W. The Palit’s idle number is worse by comparison, though, at 161W—the worst of all the cards compared in our chart.
Palit pushes the GTX 570 to its limit, but it sucks almost as much power as a GTX 580.
But don’t assume that the Palit card is equivalent to a GTX 580 when it comes to performance. The Sonic Platinum fell short in the benchmarks compared to the GTX 580 SC. At $370, though, it’s also considerably less costly than a GTX 580. On the other hand, the Palit GTX 570 generally hammered the Radeon HD 6970 and generated frame rates about 5 percent higher than an Asus GTX 570 based on Nvidia’s reference design—about equivalent to the price margin.
Palit uses a two-fan design to keep the card running cool under load. There’s a perceptible fan spin-up under heavy load, and overall fan noise is pretty noticeable. It’s an attractive card, and looks killer if you like running a case with transparent side windows.
Palit also adds a DisplayPort connector to the card, enabling easy connection to monitors using DisplayPort. Note that a single card still only drives two displays; you’ll need to run SLI if you want three-panel surround gaming. Still, it’s good to see Palit move forward with a more modern display connector.
Should you get one? If you’ve got the power supply to handle it, you’ll certainly be pleased with the performance. After all, you’re getting 90 percent of a GTX 580 for about 70 percent of the price. On the other hand, that power draw does give us pause—pushing a GPU this hard beyond its rated limits makes us worry a bit about the card’s working life. Still, Palit has delivered one of the fastest GTX 570s around.
Huge power draw; requires 8-pin connector; a little on the noisy side.
Palit GTX 570 Sonic Platinum
Asus GTX 570
XFX Radeon HD 6970
EVGA GTX 580 SC
3DMark Vantage Perf
Unigine Heaven 2.1 (fps)
BattleForge DX11 (fps)
Far Cry 2/Long (fps)
HAWX 2 DX11 (fps)
STALKER: CoP DX11 (fps)
Just Cause 2 (fps)
Aliens vs. Predator (fps)
F1 2010 (fps)
Power @ idle (W)
Power @ full throttle (W)
Our test bed is a 3.33GHz Core i7-975 Extreme Edition in an Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard with 6GB of DDR3/1333 and an 850TX Corsair PSU. The OS is 64-bit Windows Ultimate. All games are run at 1920x1200 with 4x AA.