Asus GeForce GTX580 REVIEW

Price: 675 USD ~ Rs 30,500


Asus breaks out the factory overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX580, in a bid to retain the performance crown. The new top-end graphics card is certainly an upgrade and is priced sweet for those building a new high-performance PC. The question is, how much of an improvement is the new Fermi over the graphics cards already present in the market?


* Improved specifications
* Top of the line performance
* Runs relatively cooler
* Draws less power than GTX480
* Overclocker friendly


* No DisplayPort

Full Review

After AMD fired a salvo with its Radeon 6850/6870 graphics cards for the mainstream, Nvidia jumped into the war with its GeForce GTX580 for the high-end segment. The GTX580 was codenamed the GF110, as against the GTX480 which was codenamed GF100. This core is still based on the Fermi architecture, and does not add any particularly new features that would catch the consumer’s attention. What it does bring to the table, is a tangible amount of increased performance, lower power consumption and lower temperatures.

So it is a minor improvement for sure, but remember that is an improvement over what is already the best single-GPU graphics solution in the consumer market. It manages to lead the list, even improving upon the performance turned in by overclocked GeForce GTX480 graphics cards. The GTX580 still does not particularly favour DisplayPort, and its DirectX 11 performance has improved a bit with the 32 extra CUDA cores (512 now, as against 480 cores in the GTX480). Clock and memory speeds have also been increased.

Asus lost no time in bringing a version of the GeForce GTX580 to market which is not only factory-overclocked, but also offers plenty of voltage tweaking headroom. Enthusiasts can further overclock using Nvidia’s own System Tools and the Asus software provided – SmartDoctor and GamerOSD. This graphics card has 1.5 GB of GDDR5 video memory clocked at 1002 MHz and a GPU core clocked at 782 MHz (10 MHz higher than the stock speed). It has a 384-bit memory interface and 512 cores that support OpenGL 4.1 and DirectX 11.

The table below shows how the specifications of the stock GeForce GTX580 differs from the older GTX480, and competing cards, the Radeon 5870 (single-GPU) and Radeon 5970 (dual-GPU).

The GPU comparison table above pits specifications of the GTX580 against its peers.

The Asus GeForce GTX580 (ENGTX580/2DI/1536MD5) is largely a reference designed graphics card by Nvidia, through and through. The dual-slot cooler is hidden behind a black covering, with only the fan being visible. The fan clearly kept the card well-cooled, as the GPU temperature was very decent for a high-end card. The fan never did get noisy unlike the reference GTX480. Though long, the card does not quite look threatening, commendable for a top-end product.

The cooling system is closed for the most part, and the grilled heat vents at the rear throw heat out. It is targeted at high-end desktop computers (gaming / rendering professionals). So the type of PC cabinet and power supply required should have already been taken care of, so not much to think about on that front. Power input connectors on the card, ask for one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCI-E power input.

To prevent bottle-necks as much as possible, the test-bed consisted of an Intel Core i7 965 processor, Intel DX58SO motherboard, Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, 3GB of Kingston DDR3-2000MHz HyperX RAM, Tagan BZ-1300W PSU and Windows 7 Ultimate. We used the latest driver available at the time of testing, for the GeForce GTX580 – Nvidia ForceWare v263.09 WHQL.

The graphs here show only performance numbers as seen at the default speeds set by Asus, and selected from a wider set of tests conducted. To put the results in context and help you compare, we juxtapose its benchmark scores with two other top-end graphics cards. These are the previous generation card, MSI GeForce GTX480 Lightning, and the dual-GPU Radeon 5970 from the opposing camp.

Below is a graph of how the Asus ENGTX580 card fared in synthetic benchmarks:

Bottom Line

A single-GPU GTX580 is able to challenge the dual-GPU and performs better too, when all things are considered including power drawn. It is already priced very competitively, at Rs. 30,500 and is the obvious choice for those building a new gaming machine. Being friendly to overclockers, doing some OC on the card can improve scores even further.

The picture becomes a bit murkier for those who already have a high-end gaming machine, with a graphics card of the class of a GeForce GTX480 or dual Radeon 5870 in CrossFire. In such cases, an upgrade may not be warranted, at least not without waiting to see what the Radeon 6970 has to offer.

Thanks to PCW

  1. Nice post you got here, i will post it in my website

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