April 5, 2012


Released more than a year and a half ago, the GTX 580 was the first of Nvidia's GeForce 500 Series released.  Intended to be their flagship card, this chip was based on an improved Fermi architecture adopted from Nvidia's successful 400 series.  Manufactured on a 40 nm design and boasting 512 stream processors, this card supported  DirectX11, OpenGL 4.2, and OpenCL 1.1.  In comparison to the card it was intended to replace, the GTX 480, the 580 costs approximately 20% more at release, but only gave a 10% performance boost.  In some ways, it is often viewed as simply an overclocked gtx 480. 

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The EVGA's 580 is purchased at a core clock of 772 mhz, a shader clock of 1.544 GHz and a memory clock of 4.008 GHz, enabling it to run even the most demanding games at solid frame rates.   Despite the increase in performance, all of Nvidia's 500 series use less power than their 400 series counterparts.  Both the 580 and the 480 require one 6-pin and 8-pin pci express connector.

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Another feature the 580 introduced to the computer world was vapor chamber cooling. (More on that here: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1044181/how-heatpipes-vapor-chambers)  This allowed much better cooling for the very hot 580, while allowing it to run quieter than conventional heat sinks.

But will it blend?  Of course, that's what the fan blades are for.


The EVGA GTX 580 includes:
-Driver + EVGA software installation Disc
-DVI to VGA Adapter
-Mini-HDMI to HDMI Adapter
-2 x 6 pin to 8 pin PCIE
-2 x 4 pin peripheral to 6 pin Adapter
-SLI bridge
-A very cool looking "Powered by EVGA" metal case
-EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Video Card

EVGA GTX 580 SC 1536MB GDDR5 Review
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The Card

The EVGA 580 is nicely constructed with a shiny finish.  the card is made of a black PCB that solidly supported the weight.  The card measures 10.5 inches, or 26.9 cm in length, the same as the gtx 570.  There is a single fan which does not perform well under heavier loads, so an after-market cooler is recommended if you are planning to do some over clocking.  When gaming this averages at about 75 Celsius in my case.  This weighs substantially more than my previous card, a 5850, and although this one is a 2 slot gpu, it is not as flimsy when mounted in your mobo as you may expect.  Almost all of the exhaust is channelled out the back of the card instead of being dissipated inside your case, which may not be possible with a gpu which heats up to temperatures this high.  This card is compatible with 2-way, 3-way and even 4-way SLI (If you can afford it) using 2 SLI connectors.  On the butt of the card you will find a standard exhaust opening as well as a single Mini-HDMI and two DVI outputs.

The other end of this card was not very flat so this took forever to balance... 

Here is a handy size comparison of the 580, ATI's 5850 and an iphone 3G:

As you can see the 580 towers over graphics cards and phones alike. 


Graphics Engine                  NVIDIA EVGA GeForce GTX 580

Bus Standard                        PCI Express 2.0

Video Memory                     GDDR5 1280MB

Engine Clock                         772MHz

CUDA Core                            512

Memory Clock                     4.008GHz

Resolution                                D-Sub Max Resolution: 2048x1536
                                                    DVI Max Resolution: 2560x1600

Interface:                                 D-Sub Output : Yes x 1 (via DVI to D-Sub adaptor x 1)
                                                   DVI Output : Yes x 2 (DVI-I)
                                                   HDMI Output : Yes x 1
                                                   Display Port : Yes x 1 (Regular DP)
                                                   HDCP Support : Yes  

Length:                                   10.5"

Width:                                    4.38"

Height:                                   2 slots                                  

Software Features:           EVGA OC Scanner
                                                  EVGA Precision
Perks:                                     Lifetime Warranty from EVGA
                                                   EVGA 24/7 Support

For this card, overclocking is a simple process with the superb utilities EVGA have provided.  With these tools you can achieve an easy 8% overclock without any problems.  After this overclock, you can recieve about 3-4 more fps in games such as Battlefield 3, at the cost of about an additional 10 degrees of heat.   


Test Bench:
CPU: Intel Core i7 930 @ 4.2 GHz
RAM: 6GB G.Skill ddr3 1333MHz
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium
Power supply: Corsair TX850W
OS: Windows 7 Professional x64
Display: Acer G235HL
Driver: Nvidia 296.01

Battlefield 3 (Ultra preset)
Average fps: 54

Metro 2033 (Highest)
Average fps: 60
Wearing a gas mask really gives that underwater look.

Modern Warfare 3 (Highest Quality)
Average fps: 110
I'm on a boat!


Cost: $399 (After $30 MIR)

After using this card for about 2 weeks, I realized several things.  This graphics card is definitely capable of playing any recently released games at respectable framerates, making this a good choice for gamers who want no compromise.  The chassis of the GPU is well built, feels sturdy, and with the blue highlights looks great.  The overclocking ability gives significant improvement, and is easy to change with the included software.  The results speak for themselves, and I would definitely recommend this card to anyone seeking a slightly overpriced but outstanding graphics card.

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  • Looks fantastic
  • Can over-clock easily and very well
  • Uses less power than other cards that give lower performance
  • On sale (at least when I purchased it)
  • Nicely packaged, well protected in thick foam
  • recommended "safe temperature" range up to 97 C
  • Heats up very quickly and doesn't dissipate very well
  • Fan does not respond a lot to changes in stress
  • Barely fits in my case
  • Makes noticeable noise when under heavy load 
Overall Score: 9/10

*Some pictures property of Geeks3D because the ipad resolutions were horrible.