Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (Reference Card) review

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 - The Real Fermi Deal

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Overall rating 8.5/10
Untouchable single-GPU performance
Cooler and less power hungry than GTX 480
Excellent Tessellation performance
DX10 performance could be better
No triple display support on 1 card

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

As is the case with high-end cards, the GeForce GTX 580 is not what you’d call compact. Measuring at a considerable 10.5 inches and weighing a hefty 884 grams, the GeForce GTX 580 is a massive card, but surprisingly, as the pictures below can attest, it looks slightly more compact than the GeForce GTX 480.

This is due mostly to the new cooler that NVIDIA employs on the GeForce GTX 580. Apart from increasing performance and improving power efficiency, NVIDIA was also concerned about the new card’s acoustic and thermal characteristics. The GeForce GTX 480 was notorious for running really hot and it was also very noisy to boot, as the fan will emit a noticeable whine whenever the card is heavily taxed.

To rectify this, the GeForce GTX 580 has a completely redesigned cooling solution which uses a vapor chamber cooling design at the heart of the heatsink solution. Vapor chamber technology promises faster heat transfer by means of liquid vaporization and condensation and has often been employed by Sapphire on their high-end cards such as this. Apart from that, NVIDIA has also made tweaks to the fan so that it produces a lower pitch and is less intrusive; and also the cooler cover, which is slightly tapered so that it can better route air towards the rear bracket when configured for SLI.