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MSI GeForce GTX 580 Lightning Xtreme Edition 3 GB

W1zzard

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#1
MSI has upgraded their GTX 580 Lightning and calls it "Xtreme Edition" now. The biggest change is certainly the inclusion of 3 GB of GDDR5 memory. Other new features are a dust removal system and a fan that indicates overheating by color change.

Show full review
 
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#2
Any chance an EK backplate would fit on this thing? Looks like some of the holes still line up.
 
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#3
Great review, as always.
For the color changing fans, I suggest a heat gun. Only enough to see the fans change the color...no need for them to melt, I think.
 
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#4
so whats the point of 3GB?

how can it be a pro and con lol

pro
•3 GB GDDR5 memory
con
•3 GB memory can not make a difference
 
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#5
so whats the point of 3GB?

how can it be a pro and con lol

pro
•3 GB GDDR5 memory
con
•3 GB memory can not make a difference
W1zz tests games, where 3 GB , even 2 GB are not necessary (yet) and make little or no difference (hence the con). But more GB does help in some other areas like CAD or GPGPU. As long as it does not cost much more than the 1.5 GB variant it could be a good investment for many people, especially if you are interested in CAD programs and GPGPU.
 
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#6
Too bad there's no block for this!
 
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#7
W1zz tests games, where 3 GB , even 2 GB are not necessary (yet) and make little or no difference (hence the con). But more GB does help in some other areas like CAD or GPGPU. As long as it does not cost much more than the 1.5 GB variant it could be a good investment for many people, especially if you are interested in CAD programs and GPGPU.
I just use gpus to game or bench so kind of worthless imo and its going to cost more then the 1.5 GB thats the way it is more GB higher price :shadedshu
 
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#8
I'm the kinda person that doesn't like being constricted on a $500 and up purchase. If gta, a game I enjoy, needs more than 1.5gbs to be on max then I don't like the idea that my insanely expensive card can't max it. Then there's mods. I mod every game I can graphically. I mean I feel like I don't have a choice in this age of console ports. It's just not acceptable. My texture mods alone on crysis bring my 470 down to 12-18 FPS. The vram requirements become massive. Unfortunately it's all a moot point. I could never justify buying a normal 580 let alone this. It's ridiculous the price hasn't dropped yet. The card has to be more than half way to EOL.
 
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#9
I just use gpus to game or bench so kind of worthless imo and its going to cost more then the 1.5 GB thats the way it is more GB higher price :shadedshu
I was just explaining why 3 GB is shown as a pro. 3 GB is certainly not for everyone, but $500 cards aren't either.

I don't think I'd care about a $50 difference if I was about to pay $500+ for a card, if it means I will get ANY advantage for any use I could give to the card. I would never pay $500 for a card anyway unless I had much more use for it than gaming and benching. A midrange card is enough for gaming and although I don't care about benching anymore, I'd be as happy trying to beat other gtx460's as I would breaking world records with 4 GTX580's HD6990's or whatever. It's pushing my hardware to its limits what was fun, not breaking any recoords.

And LAN is right about mods. I don't know what the difference would be between 1.5 GB and 3 GB but many modded games totally benefit from more than 1 GB on my GTX460. You can feel it's totally starving for vram even on games as old as Oblivion. I'd say that a card that is 2x as fast as mine could also benefit from twice as much vram.

Also multi-monitor, 3D... SLI'ed 580's would do much better with 3GB on that situation.
 
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#10
Was considering getting two lightning cards a while back but cannot afford them at this stage. I'm going to hold off for the 7000 radeon series which should start to arrive end of this year. Don't think there's a point buying two high end cards when we are only six-months away from a new series. My humble 6850 will have to hold-out.
 
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#11
so whats the point of 3GB?

how can it be a pro and con lol

pro
•3 GB GDDR5 memory
con
•3 GB memory can not make a difference
That's a good point. You'll never use 3GB on a resolution this card can handle like 1920x1080. Run it on a 2560x1440 res and the 3GB would be handy but you'll begin to suffer FPS lag. Don't really see the point of this card.
 

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#12
If ur looking at running surround on 3 1080P monitors or even 3D surround or even a 30" 2560x1600 monitor then ur gonna be hitting a memory wall with a 1.5Gb card, obviously running thoes resolutions will require a pair of em in sli tho.
Edit: The point of these and the Evga and other 3Gb cards is they are meant to be used in sli really, and btw if u think u can sli 2x 1.5Gb cards and get 3Gb of usable memory u are greatly mistaken as even with 4x 1.5Gb cards u only get a usable 1.5Gb in sli as all the cards have to store the same info.
 
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#13
Run it on a 2560x1440 res and the 3GB would be handy but you'll begin to suffer FPS lag. Don't really see the point of this card.
Common sense here folks. It's SLI or nothing with this card and 1200$ on graphics is LOL.
 
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#14
If ur looking at running surround on 3 1080P monitors or even 3D surround or even a 30" 2560x1600 monitor then ur gonna be hitting a memory wall with a 1.5Gb card, obviously running thoes resolutions will require a pair of em in sli tho.
Edit: The point of these and the Evga and other 3Gb cards is they are meant to be used in sli really, and btw if u think u can sli 2x 1.5Gb cards and get 3Gb of usable memory u are greatly mistaken as even with 4x 1.5Gb cards u only get a usable 1.5Gb in sli as all the cards have to store the same info.
There were some good articles on HardOCP a little while ago about this. Most people know that the memory is not accumulative; two 1.5GB SLI is still going to be 1.5GB. With present games there is not a big difference between running 1.5GB cards in SLI compared to 2GB radeons in Xfire, or even two 3GB gtx 580s! Unless your running at 8x AA in which you might see a small difference.

Point is, if these cards are intended to be run in SLI the people who buy them are getting suckered into some slick marketing. 3GB memory with the next generation of cards (and DX11 games) though would be welcomed.
 

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#16
One should say sorry to the 3GB vram if not benchmarking Metro 2033 with MSAA 4X and DOF, or Shogun 2 DX11 max and MSAA 8X :D

afaik only the review from hardwarecannucks did the job
 
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#17

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#18
3GB is crusial for nvidia surround setups on extreme high resolutions. So it makes sence!
 
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Krony

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#19
Yea running games like Metro 2033 maxed out at 5760x1080 requires alot of memory, i can hit over 1250Mb of memory use running Crysis maxed out on 1920x1200, these are enthusiast cards, and about getting suckered in lol, who says the ppl who buy these cards will not be keeping them for a couple of years and not upgrade every generation ? games do and will evolve.
For thoes that were asking Evga does a stock clocked 3Gb card with a refernce design so all aftermarket waterblocks do fit on this card.
 
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#20
so whats the point of 3GB?

how can it be a pro and con lol

pro
•3 GB GDDR5 memory
con
•3 GB memory can not make a difference
sli, tril sli, multi monitor gaming, cuda, etc.


take my 480's while the gpu power is plentiful in sli they can't use more than 1.5GB of memory. So there could be a cases of multi monitor gaming where more than that is required despite the plentiful gpu power, causing the whole rig to slow at a detail level they should be able to handle.


a 580 would be even more so in sli and especially tri sli, where you have 3 cards worth of gpu power all sharing the same 1.5Gb of memory. If you did 3 of these cards you'd be much better off for tri sli.

now now I know, "too much power to play console ports" but that's where multi monitor support comes in. Sure at 1080p a 6950 can handle any game out there, so everything over is a waste. But at 4800x2560 (3 30" monitors flipped vertically) that same console port can be suprisingly demanding. And really when we're talking tri sli with 500$ cards, someone might also spend 3 grand on a monitor solution.
 
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#21
This thick coat of paint adds weight to the fan and increases noise. In my totally unbased opinion. I would prefer a regular grey fan. Also bigger
 
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#22
This card looks like a monster for ultra high res, multi-monitor gaming.

My trusty Radeon 5850 is still good enough for me in all the games I play, but I don't do multi-gpu, multi-monitor.

It's crazy how fast the video card race is still going.
 

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#23
3GB RAM can help

To quote the review:
The only performance related difference is the inclusion of 3 GB of memory instead of 1.5 GB like on the successor. Unfortunately thoughout our testing this could not result in a significant performance increase. I could imagine there being some difference with super high AA settings and multi monitor gaming, but the raw GPU power will quickly be a limiting factor here.
Well, it looks like Fudzilla found a case where it can make a difference. The cool bit is that they used GPU-Z to prove it. Look at the Memory Used graph:

We played Aliens vs Predator game at resolution 2560x1600 using 32 CSAA and 16AF. From the picture below, you can see that the used memory exceeded 1.5GB, which is actually a limitation with standard GTX 580.

We will also try to find out how GTX 580 3GB UC copes with other games and downsampling (a technique used to fool the application to use a resolution higher than the screen resolution).


GTX 580 3GB Ultra Charged

The same game played with standard GTX 580 1.5GB card at the same resolution and settings will run into memory limitations, as you can see from the picture below.


GTX 580 1.5GB
Fudzilla
 

W1zzard

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#24
what was the fps at "2560x1600 using 32 CSAA and 16AF" using 3 GB card?
 

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#25
They didn't say as the full review is "coming soon".