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NVIDIA GTX 580 Review



Testing of NVIDIA's GF 110 based GTX 580 Fermi derivative will consist of running the card through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where the performance of these cards stand. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea on how the cards perform relative to each other. The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the card at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see how much additional performance is available and to determine if it can run with other single and mulit-GPU cards on the market. The drivers used in this test will be the 10.10 Catalyst drivers for the old ATI lineup, the latest launch driver for the HD 68XX series and 260.89 Forceware drivers from NVIDIA for the GTX 480, 470, 465 and GTX 460 and 450. The GTX 580 will use driver 262.99. Tests will be conducted at both stock and overclocked settings to gauge performance when an increase in clock speed is applied.

Comparison Video Cards:



  • NVIDIA GTX 580 827/1654/2110MHz

Overclocking the GTX 580 is pretty much the same as any of the Fermi derivatives with the fixed function units tied to the shader domain so that you cannot unlink the two clock speeds to gain more clock speed on the core. I was hoping that I would be able to increase the clock speeds for added performance up to the levels seen on the GTX 460 and even the GTS 450 cards but that really was a short lived dream. The base clock speeds on this card are 772/1544/1002Mhz. By using a few different utilities, I was able to ramp up the clock speeds to 827/1654/2110Mhz. Not much, but it is still something and is a bit better than what I was able to get out of the GTX 480. In a press briefing I was told that the voltage monitoring hardware mounted on board would not preclude the end user from using voltage adjustments to overclock the card. However, it will preclude you from using utilities such as Furmark or OCCT as a way to load the GPU. This was tested and proved true in my Kombustor testing. While the GPU would ramp up to 99% usage, the temperatures and power consumption numbers were much lower than they should have been. By running Unigine's Heaven benchmark or Crysis Warhead, the power consumption and temperatures returned to the expected levels. At this time (as is almost always the case with a new launch) there are no utilities out to allow for voltage adjustments to the core so that type of testing will need to come at a later date. When I push the clocks speeds, the first thing I do is turn up the fan speed to the maximum level possible through available utilities such as MSI's Afterburner. In this case, the maximum fan speed was listed as 85%. NVIDIA was specific in their briefing that the noise signature of the GTX 580 was examined as a user experience item. By experience I mean the gaming experience. You don't want the noise equivalent of a vacuum cleaner running within a few feet of your ears. The noise signature is still there but is nowhere near what it has been. The fan does not have the high pitched whine associated with most blower style fans and it sounds more like air rushing through the shroud. So at this point, the card has the ability to clock a little better than my reference GTX 480 and is quieter. Both are wins in my book.



Maximum Clock Speeds:

MSI's Kombuster utility was used to test stability and to put a constant load on the GPU for the purposes of testing maximum power draw and temperatures. The stability test was used to find a range of settings that are stable.  The stable condition was determined through a 15 minute run at 1920 x 1200 8xAA. The reported clock speeds are those that proved stable over a 15 minute test at 1920 x 1200, 8x AA and the run through the benchmarks suite.



  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Crysis Warhead
  4. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.0
  7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  8. Resident Evil 5
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption


The maximum clock speed graphs above show the overclocking potential of all the cards tested.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. Testing: Far Cry 2
  5. Testing: Metro 2033
  6. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  7. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  8. Testing: Just Cause 2
  9. Testing: Unigine 2.1
  10. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  11. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  12. Testing: 3DMark 06
  13. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  14. Testing: Temperatures
  15. Testing: Power Consumption
  16. Conclusion
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