Today is the launch day for NVIDIA’s latest and greatest, the GeForce GTX 580
. What NVIDIA has here is what they call the fastest DirectX 11 card out there right now. First up, the specs are:
512 CUDA cores
772MHz /1544MHz GFX/Processor clock speeds
1.5GB of GDDR5 memory
4.0Gbps mem oryspeed
6-pin + 8-pin power connector
244W Max power draw
3 way SLI compatiblity
10.5 inches in length
2 DL-DVI, mini-HDMI display connectors
The GeForce GTX 580
is based on the Fermi architecture but it’s gone through some architectural changes. Just those alone, if you put them in a GeForce GTX 480
card, would give you a 5-12% increase in performance. As you can see, there’s an increase of the amount of CUDA cores over the GeForce GTX 480
(480 vs 512) and an increase in clock speeds so combine all three together and you’ll get about a 20-30% increase on performance over a GeForce GTX 480
in the same computer configuration. In fact, the GeForce GTX 580 is the first Fermi card that comes with the 512 CUDA cores that were initially in the spec.
Not only are you getting a fast card but you’re also getting a quieter card. The GeForce GTX 580
will utilize a custom vapor chamber cooling solution. Siting between the GPU and the fin stack, this vapor chamber, it contains a liquid circulating around the edges. When the liquid comes in contact with the GPU, it absorbs the heat and vaporizes. Vapor spreads out across whole chamber and contacts the heat sink fins. Heat is transferred from vapor to the heat sink fins. turns it back into liquid where it returns to collecting the heat again. This process transfers heat more efficiently across the entire fin stack and you don’t need as much air through the fin stack to cool the fins. Thus, you can run the fan at a lower temperature, generating less noise. Whereas the GeForce GTX 480
ran in the mid 50s dBa, the GeForce GTX 580
will run around 45-50 dBa, which is less than a GeForce GTX 280
or a GeForce GTX 285
as well. There’s also new adaptive GPU fan control algorithms to help keep the fan quieter as well.
Cooling improvements also extend to the design of the case. The rear of the card’s shell is indented so that if you do have a few cards next to each other in SLI configuration, there’s more air flow going into the card. More air flow means better cooling and less noise produced from faster running fans.
The GeForce GTX 580
and higher end cards from here on out will also feature power monitoring circuitry as well as the temperature monitoring circuitry. Each of the 12V rails has a power and current rating. Should things start exceeding the rating, the card will throttle down the GPU to help protect it from damage. It’s another fail safe to help protect your investment.
, the GeForce GTX 580
will run at a MSRP of $499. Compared to the GeForce GTX 480
, which averages around $460, a $39 increase for a faster and quieter performing card seems like a good deal for the enthusiasts out there. Hopefully, we’ll have a card to test out in the near future to see how good the card really is.