ASUS GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB Review 25

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB Review

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Introduction

ASUS Logo


Last week NVIDIA released their latest high-end graphics card, the GeForce GTX 580. It delivers substantially improved performance over the GTX 480 and also reduces power consumption and acoustic footprint compared to previous generation. ASUS has sent us their GTX 580 which is basically the NVIDIA reference design card with a sticker slapped on it. ASUS did not change the PCB or cooling design at all, but still added a slight clock improvement of 10 MHz over the reference design which is about 1.3% so the difference in performance should be negligible. Considering the card comes at no price increase compared to other reference cards this is still a good thing, because free things are always nice to get.

GeForce
GTX 460
GeForce
GTX 460
Radeon
HD 6850
Radeon
HD 5850
GeForce
GTX 470
Radeon
HD 6870
Radeon
HD 5870
GeForce
GTX 480
GeForce
GTX 580
ASUS
ENGTX580
Radeon
HD 5970
Shader units 3363369601440448112016004805125122x 1600
ROPs243232324032324848482x 32
GPUGF104GF104BartsCypressGF100BartsCypressGF100GF110GF1102x Cypress
Transistors1950M1950M1700M2154M3200M1700M2154M3200M3000M3000M2x 2154M
Memory Size768 MB1024 MB1024 MB1024 MB1280 MB1024 MB1024 MB1536 MB1536 MB1536 MB2x 1024 MB
Memory Bus Width 192 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 320 bit 256 bit 256 bit 384 bit 384 bit 384 bit 2x 256 bit
Core Clock675 MHz 675 MHz 775 MHz 725 MHz 607 MHz 900 MHz 850 MHz 700 MHz 772 MHz 782 MHz 725 MHz
Memory Clock900 MHz 900 MHz 1000 MHz 1000 MHz 837 MHz 1050 MHz 1200 MHz 924 MHz 1002 MHz 1002 MHz 1000 MHz
Price$160$200$180$260$260$240$360$450$500$500$580

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

The ASUS ENGTX580 looks just like the NVIDIA reference design card, the only exception being the sticker centered right on the card. This is certainly a welcome change from the colorful anime style stickers of other vendors, even though a carbon-fibre look like on the ASUS HD 5870 for example would have added to the visual experience.

Graphics Card Height

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 580 requires two slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

The card has two DVI ports and one one mini-HDMI port. According to NVIDIA the card also supports DisplayPort if board partners want to use it. Unlike AMD's latest GPUs, the output logic design is not as flexible. On AMD cards vendors are free to combine six TMDS links into any output configuration they want (dual-link DVI consuming two links), on NVIDIA, you are fixed to two DVI outputs and one HDMI/DP in addition to that. NVIDIA confirmed that you can use only two displays at the same time, so for a three monitor setup you would need two cards.

NVIDIA has included an HDMI sound device inside their GPU which does away with the requirement of connecting an external audio source to the card for HDMI audio. The HDMI interface is HDMI 1.3a compatible which includes Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, AC-3, DTS and up to 7.1 channel audio with 192 kHz / 24-bit. NVIDIA also claims full support for the 3D portion of the HDMI 1.4 specification which will become important later this year when we will see first Blu-Ray titles shipping with support for 3D output.


You may combine up to four GeForce GTX 580 cards in SLI for increased performance or improved image quality settings.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Here are the front and the back of the card, high-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc, please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.

A Closer Look

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

The GeForce GTX 580 is one of the few graphics cards that uses a vapor-chamber technology heatplate to maximize heat transfer between the GPU and the rest of the heatsink. You can also see above that the heatsink cools secondary components like voltage regulation circuitry and memory chips. Overall this seems to be a very capable thermal solution but that also increases its price.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

NVIDIA's 6+8 power input configuration is sufficient for the GTX 580 design and provides up to 300 W.

Graphics Card Memory Chips

The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Samsung, and carry the model number K4G10325FE-HC04. They are specified to run at 1250 MHz (5000 MHz GDDR5 effective).


Just like on the GeForce GTX 480, NVIDIA uses a CHiL CHL 8266 voltage regulator on their card. This controller offers extensive monitoring and voltage control options via I2C, so it's a great choice for overclockers.

Graphics Chip GPU

NVIDIA's GeForce 110 graphics processor is made on a 40 nm process at TSMC Taiwan. It uses approximately 3.0 billion transistors which is 200 million less than the GF100. Please note that the silvery metal surface you see is the heatspreader of the GPU. The actual GPU die is sitting under the heatspreader, its dimensions are not known. According to NVIDIA, the die size of the GF110 graphics processor is 520 mm².

Test System

Test System - VGA Rev. 11
CPU:Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8 GHz
(Bloomfield, 8192 KB Cache)
Motherboard:Gigabyte X58 Extreme
Intel X58 & ICH10R
Memory:3x 2048 MB Mushkin Redline XP3-12800 DDR3
@ 1520 MHz 8-7-7-16
Harddisk:WD Caviar Black 6401AALS 640 GB
Power Supply:akasa 1200W
Software:Windows 7 64-bit
Drivers:GTX 580: 262.99
old NVIDIA cards: 258.96
HD 6800: Catalyst 10.10
HD 5970: Catalyst 10.10c
old ATI cards: Catalyst 10.7
Display: LG Flatron W3000H 30" 2560x1600
Benchmark scores in other reviews are only comparable when this exact same configuration is used.
  • All video card results were obtained on this exact system with the exact same configuration.
  • All games were set to their highest quality setting
Each benchmark was tested at the following settings and resolution:
  • 1024 x 768, No Anti-aliasing. This is a standard resolution without demanding display settings.
  • 1280 x 1024, 2x Anti-aliasing. Common resolution for most smaller flatscreens today (17" - 19"). A bit of eye candy turned on in the drivers.
  • 1680 x 1050, 4x Anti-aliasing. Most common widescreen resolution on larger displays (19" - 22"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
  • 1920 x 1200, 4x Anti-aliasing. Typical widescreen resolution for large displays (22" - 26"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
  • 2560 x 1600, 4x Anti-aliasing. Highest possible resolution for commonly available displays (30"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
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Jun 26th, 2022 01:24 EDT change timezone

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