Zotac GTX 590 Review

By on March 24, 2011
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Powerful enough to threaten the HD 6990?

Good: Extremely fast, Very quiet, Slightly larger than GTX 580
Bad: Doesn't scale as well as two GTX 570s in SLI
Price: AED 2,600
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

As a consumer, I love this back and forth between major corporations as they come up with better products every year, and with competitive pricing, trying to win our money. Two weeks ago AMD launched their fastest graphics card yet, the HD 6990. Today I’ll be looking at what Nvidia has brought to the battlefield, the GTX 590.

The principle behind these ultra-high-end cards is simple: a single card isn’t powerful enough, so shove in two GPUs on one PCB. And then people can go further down the rabbit hole if they put it in SLI configuration. But that’s an observation for some other time. Right now let’s see what two GF 110 GPUs look like on one PCB.

Surprisingly the GTX 590 is hardly longer than the GTX 580, and ever so slightly slimmer than the latter too. The cooling fan, as you can see, sits smack in the middle of the two GPUs, both of which are being cooled by a copper based vapor chamber. And then there’s a 10-phase power controller which distributes power to the two GPUs and another two phase controllers distributing power to the 3GB of DDR5 memory modules. The build quality of the GTX 590 seems to be top notch, continuing with the 12-layer PCB with 2oz of copper; something I have seen in very high-end motherboards and exceptionally customized graphics cards.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

  • Naved

    wow T-Break that was a quick review was hoping that it would take another few weeks for the GTX590 to arrive in UAE.BTW Taimoor IF** noise is not an issue will you prefer to go for HD6990 over GTX590?

    • Taimoor Hafeez

      I’d go with the GTX 590. The performance is up there with the HD 6990, although the latter may have an advantage in some cases. But personally I love how Nvidia managed to slap together two GF 110 GPUs on a board that’s hardly longer than the GTX 580, while still keeping it quiet. And trust me, once you hear the HD 6990, you’ll really appreciate the architecture of the GTX 590.

      • Mr. Awesome

        Once you hear the 6990? How about once you hear the GTX 590 go boom!

      • Mr. Awesome

        Once you hear the 6990? How about once you hear the GTX 590 go boom!

      • Myself

        Coming from a 4870×2 saying the 6990 is loud is crazy. It’s not loud at all. AMD has a better product overall. Coming from the previous owner of an MSI Geforce 570OC.

      • The_reaper_420

        I think the deciding factor here would be the extra feature nvidia packs.. for gamers Physx…for professionals cuda for premiere pro cs5s mercury playback engine…the extra Vram would really come close to a quadro card so it is the best bang for your buck if gaming is not the only thing you do with that really capable box in your living room…

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  • Hell69_

    So you fried the card because you didn’t check the driver version? Wow…

    • Taimoor Hafeez

      Life teaches you lessons, sometimes the hard way.

      • Naved

        well it’s not only happened to u only…tech power up and sweclockers also blew up their’s and its getting worse

      • Naved

        well it’s not only happened to u only…tech power up and sweclockers also blew up their’s and its getting worse


    Glad to see I didn’t jump the gun by hopping onboard team 6990 before the 590 was released. Thought I might have made a mistake…. but it appears otherwise. Go team red! :)

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  • Taimoor Hafeez

    From Nvidia customer support:

    “In the web release driver of GeForce GTX 590, we have added some important enhancements to our overcurrent protection for overclocking. We recommend anyone doing overclocking or running stress apps to always use the latest web driver to get the fullest protection for your hardware. Please note that overcurrent protection does not eliminate the risks of overclocking, and hardware damage is possible, particularly when overvoltaging. We recommend anyone using the GTX 590 board with the reference aircooler stick with the default voltage while overclocking, and avoid working around overcurrent protection mechanisms for stress applications. This will help maintain GTX 590′s great combination of acoustics, performance, and reliability. NVIDIA has worked with several watercooling companies to develop waterblocks for GTX 590, and these solutions will help provide additional margin for overclocking, but even in this case we recommend enthusiasts stay within 12.5-25mV of the default voltage in order to minimize risk.”

    They suggest 12.5 to 25mV…I bumped it up to 125mV. Yeah…

    Apparently TechPowerUp used 267.71 and their card still blew up.

  • Pingback: 3/24/2011 Daily Hardware Reviews — GeForce GTX 590 Edition | Oo! News

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  • Octavian Adam

    Really .. the numbers in this release are screwed up .. i checked other reviews on the web … and they are way diffident

  • Octavian Adam

    Really .. the numbers in this release are screwed up .. i checked other reviews on the web … and they are way diffident

  • Luay

    One thing’s for sure, the GTX 590 will offer you the “best BANG for your buck” :P

    • Anonymous

      Unlike two GTX 580s in SLI :)

  • Pingback: Nvidia responde al tema de las Geforce GTX 590 quemadas « Temiga – virussx

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  • Naser

    It would be nice to know what res. Ur running the games no!?

    • Taimoor Hafeez

      Woops! Added the resolution on the Benchmarks page.

      “Apart from 3DMark, all benchmarks were run at a resolution of 1920×1200.”

  • Naser

    And Metro is well coded for Nvidia, so that’s not a very fare comparison.

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