Today we have a look at Palit's first non-reference design GeForce GTX 570, called the Sonic Platinum. Engineers at Palit have equipped it with a dual fan cooler finished in a distinctive metallic silver finish, they have improved on the factory shipped clock speeds, as well as revamping the standard array of display connectivity. Sounds good, but what does this card really offer in terms of performance, cooling efficiency and overclocking abilities? Let's put the Sonic Platinum to the test!
Palit's GeForce GTX 570 Sonic Platinum measures in at 267 millimetres in length (10.5 inches) just like a reference GTX 570, and requires a minimum of 550W or greater system power supply. Cooling is provided by a custom dual PWM fan design, this combined with a quad heat pipe and aluminium fin array allows for efficient heat transfer from the graphics processor core.
As with all high-end NVIDIA graphics cards it features support for NVIDIA's SLI multi-GPU technology, 3D Vision, 3D Vision Surround (two cards required), CUDA technology, PhysX acceleration and Microsoft DirectX 11 game support, as well as a variety of video enhancement technologies under the NVIDIA PureVideo HD umbrella. More information about these technologies can be found here.
Inside the box we find a quick install manual, graphics card software and driver DVD, a dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCI-Express power adapter and DVI to VGA converter. Just the bare essentials required to get you up and running, nothing unusual or over the top in the package.
Palit's GeForce GTX 570 Sonic Platinum has moved away from the reference design we've come to expect from a standard GTX 570. First to go was the mini-HDMI connector in favour of a full-sized HDMI, and also added is a full sized DisplayPort connection, moving the two DVI connections to the right-hand side. Bitstreaming support for both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio over HDMI is not present due to its architecture stemming from its big brother the GTX 580.
On the top of the card we find a set of SLI connectors, and unlike mainstream video cards like the GTX 460 and 450, the GTX 570 allows 3-way SLI and up to 4-way SLI with supporting motherboards, just like we find on NVIDIA's reference design.
At the end of the card there are a pair of PCI-Express power connectors, one 6-pin and 8-pin, which is a pretty standard offering for a GTX 570 video card.
Visually Palit's Sonic Platinum stands out from other companies products thanks to an attention-grabbing silver and black finish. At first it seems like a strange choice in colour, but in a system it blends well with a variety of component and colours schemes, without being too outlandishly colourful as some other cards. Cooling is provided by a set of two PWM controlled fans that keep the card cool and quiet. These fans push cool air through the aluminium fin array, as well as keeping circuitry on the base of the card cool. At idle they sit at a relaxed 990rpm and are rated at a maximum of 3900rpm.