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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Inno3D GTX 580 OC


1. About Nvidia's GTX 580 GPU

Nvidia has finally released the highly anticipated GeForce GTX 580 graphics card. As card based on a new GPU, the GF110, the GTX 580 comes to replace the GTX 480 and also perform better, as the GF110 is more complete and most importantly, it comes with all its features enabled. Remember that the GTX 480 and GF100 were not exactly the the products that NVIDIA first envisioned. Generally, the GF100 shipped through many Nvidia cards had not all of their SMs enabled.

The new GF110-powered GeForce GTX 580 is using around 3 billion transistors, which is the same as the GF100 featured. However, the GF100 comes with all the available L2 cache, ROPs and all the SMs enabled. These are translated in a 6.6% more shading, texturing, and geometric performance for the GTX 580 compared to the GTX 480 at the same clockspeeds.

With GTX 580 taking the $500 spot , Nvidia's GTX 480 will retail at around $400-$420, and the GTX 470 is available at $239-$259, still competing with the AMD Radeon HD 6870. Speaking about AMD, the company does not have a direct competitor for the GTX 580 at the moment, besides the Radeon HD 5970. This is expected to change soon as AMD will release its Cayman GPUs by the end of the year.

The GF110 features 512 CUDA Cores divided up among 4 GPCs, and in turn each GPC contains 1 raster engine and 4 SMs. At the SM level each SM contains 32 CUDA cores, 16 load/store units, 4 special function units, 4 texture units, 2 warp schedulers with 1 dispatch unit each, 1 Polymorph unit (containing NVIDIA’s tessellator) and then the 48KB+16KB L1 cache and registers. This architecture is not very different than what we saw with the previous GF100 GPU, at least for the computing side.

The real change comes on the graphics side. GF104’s texture units improved this to 4 samples/clock for 32bit and 64bit, and it’s these texture units that have been brought over for GF110. GF110 can now do 64bit/FP16 filtering at full speed versus half-speed on GF100. In addition, the GF104 doubled up on texture units while only increasing the shader count by 50%.

The card also features a new high-speed 32x anti-aliasing for keeping the rough edges smooth as well as a new tesselation approach.

The result is what Nvidia call's "the world's fastest DirectX 11 GPU."

Beyond the specific architectural improvements for GF110, NVIDIA has also been tinkering with their designs at a lower level to see what they could do to improve their performance. The company looked at GF110 at a transistor level, and determine what they could do to cut power consumption. So the GF110 includes a new type of transistor, which has better characteristics than those used for the GF100. The result was a lower power consumption without sacrificing performance.

Attached to GTX 580 are also a series of power monitoring chips, which monitor the amount of power the card is drawing from the PCIe slot and PCIe power plugs. By collecting this information NVIDIA’s drivers can determine if the card is drawing too much power, and slow the card down to keep it within spec.

Nvidia's new offering also runs quieter with its vapor chamber thermal design. The combination of the new vapor chamber thermal solution and new architectural enhancements make the GTX 580 the fastest and quietest GPU in its class, delivering an increase of up to 35 percent in performance per watt, and performance that is up to 30 percent faster than the original GeForce GTX 480.

 

It's time now to see the specifications of the GTX 580. Nvidia released the product with 512 CUDA cores, with a Graphics clock / Processor clock of 772 / 1544 MHz, 1.5GB / 384-bit GDDR5 onboard and a memory speed of 4.0 Gbps:

Here is a comparison among the basic specifications of the latest Nvidia graphics cards:

  GTX 580 GTX 480 GTX 460 1GB GTX 285
Stream Processors 512 480 336 240
Texture Address / Filtering 64/64 60/60 56/56 80 / 80
ROPs 48 48 32 32
Core Clock 772MHz 700MHz 675MHz 648MHz
Shader Clock 1544MHz 1401MHz 1350MHz 1476MHz
Memory Clock 1002MHz (4008MHz data rate) GDDR5 924MHz (3696MHz data rate) GDDR5 900Mhz (3.6GHz data rate) GDDR5 1242MHz (2484MHz data rate) GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 512-bit
Frame Buffer 1.5GB 1.5GB 1GB 1GB
Transistor Count 3B 3B 1.95B 1.4B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $499 ~$420 ~$190  

Features:

Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution 2560x1600
Maximum VGA Resolution 2048x1536
Standard Display Connectors Mini HDMI
Two Dual Link DVI
Multi Monitor Yes
HDCP Yes
HDMI4 1.4a
Audio Input for HDMI Internal

 

Standard Graphics Card Dimensions:
Height 4.376 inches (111 mm)
Length 10.5 inches (267 mm)
Width Dual-Slot

 

Thermal and Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) 97 C
Graphics Card Power (W) 244 W
Minimum Recommended System Power (W) 600 W
Supplementary Power Connectors One 6-pin and One 8-pin

Microsoft DirectX 11 Support
DirectX 11 GPU with Shader Model 5.0 support designed for ultra high performance in the new API's key graphics feature, GPU-accelerated tessellation.

NIVIDIA PhysX technology
GeForce GPU support for NVI DIA PhysX technology, enabling a totally new class of physical gaming interaction for a more dynamic and realistic experience with GeForce.

NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready
GeForce GPU support for NVIDIA 3D Vision, bringing a stereoscopic 3D experience to the PC. A combination of high-tech wireless glasses and advanced software, 3D Vision transforms hundreds of PC games into full stereoscopic 3D. In addi tion, you can watch 3D movies and 3D digital photographs in crystal-clear quality.

NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround Ready
Expand your games across three displays in full stereoscopic 3D for the ultimate "inside the game" with the power of NVIDIA 3D Vision and SLI technologies. NVIDIA Surround also supports triple screen gaming with non-stereo displays.

NIVIDIA CUDA Technology
CUDA technology unlocks the power of the GPU's processor cores to accelerate the most demanding systems tasks – such as video transcoding – delivering incredible performance improvements over traditional CPU's.

NVIDIA SLI Technology
Industry leading NVIDIA SLI technology offers amazing performance scaling for the world's premier gaming solution.

32x Anti-aliasing Technology
Lightening fast, high-quality anti-aliasing at up to 32x sample rates obliterates jagged edges.

NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology
The combination of high definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate colour, and precise image scaling for movies and video.

PCI Express 2.0 Support
Designed for the new PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI press motherboards for the broadest support.

Dual-link DVI Support
Able to drive industry's largest and highest resolutionflat-panel displays up to 2560x1600 and with support for High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

HDMI 1.4a Support
Support for HDMI 1.4a including GPU accelerated Blu-ray 3D support, x.v.Color, HDMI Deep Color, and 7.1 digital surround sound.

Meet the Inno 3D GTX 580 OC

We have in our labs Inno3D's implementation of the GTX 580, the Inno3D GTX 580 OC . As you realize, the card is an overclocked version of Nvidia's design. The card's graphics clock and processor clock is boosted to 820 MHz/ 1640 MHz from the native 772 / 1544 MHz, while the memory runs at 1050 MHz

Here is some more information about the Inno3D GTX 580 OC, as the GPU-Z utility reports:


2. Meet the Inno3D GT 580 OC

Let's have a look at the packaging of the Inno3D GT 580 OC first. It's size is normal and close to the size of a GTX 480 package. The GTX 580 not any bigger than the GTX 480 after all. Inno3D has included the "overclock" logo on the package to make sure you understand that it has added some engineering to Nvidia's reference design:

The contents are well-packaged into separate carbon boxes for the card and the bundled accessories:

These are a installation manual, an application disc, a a Starcraft promotion card, an iChiLL gaming mouse pad, a power cable and a DVI adapter:

Some stickers on the ant-static packaging are provided to warn users of the high temperature of the card during operation. In addition, Nvidia informs users that its RMA policy does not cover any overheating issues caused by power virus applications:

 

Let's have a closer look to the Inno3D GTX 580 OC card. Inno3D has followed the GTX 580 reference design. This means that the Inno3D GTX 580 OC follows Nvidia's designs using the reference PCB and cooler.

The PCB includes 12 GDDR5 chips composing the card’s 384bit memory bus. At the center of the card is the GF110 GPU encased in a metal heatspreader, a common sight for NVIDIA’s high-end GPUs.

The card has the same length with a GTX 480 at 10.5". Power connectivity is the same as the GTX 480, with 6pin and 8pin PCIe sockets being located at the top of the card, providing easy access to the sockets.  

The IO bracket of the GTX 580 is also the same we saw on the GTX 480. There are 2 DVI ports and a mini-HDMI port. Although HDMI 1.4a is supported, full audio bit streaming is not. This means that is outputs 8 channel LPCM and lossy audio formats like DD+ and DTS. The card is also supporting 2 displays on one card, so you need to run in SLI if you intend to take advantage of 3DVision/NVIDIA surround across 3 monitors.


3. How we test
- Setup

Here is our test PC setup:

Many games and applications were used in order to measure the performance (FPS) of each card.

DirectX 9

DirectX10

DirectX11

- Testbed DirectX9

For all the tests we used the default settings for 3DMark05 as you see below:

Again we left all the settings to default:

- Testbed DirectX10

We used the three built- in benchmarks to test the performance of each graphics card. We measured the performances at various resolutions using the "Performance" and up to the "Extreme" settings.

We used the built in benchmark with all the details maxed out.

We used the FRAMEBuffer benchmark tool for the resolutions of 1280x1024, 1680x1050 and finally 1920x1200. We used all the possible quality levels to get an idea what the graphic card can do at each corresponding resolution.

 

We used the built-in benchmarking utility and maxed out all visual details, under both DX9/DX10 and settings up to 16x AA/16x AF.


4. Futuremark Hall Of Fame
We start with the results coming out from Futuremark's benchmarks. These include the results of the 3DMark 05, 3DMark 06 and the 3DMark Vantage software tests.

Starting with the 3D Mark 05 benchmark, the Inno3D GTX 580 OC got a high score of 16952 points and it is well positioned among the high performers at the list of the graphics cards we have tested at CDRInfo.com. Surprisingly, the Club3D HD5770 and the Inno3D 465 GOOD scored higher in the specific benchmark:

At the 3DMark 06 benchmark the Inno3D GTX 580 OC reached the second place with 13918 points:

The 3DMark Vantage benchmark suite has been designed to test the DirectX10 performance of a graphics card. The software performs benchmarks in different resolutions.

Besides the Inno3D GTX 580 OC card, we charted the GTX 470 Hawk, the GTX 460 768MB and GTX 460 1MB, the Radeon HD5770, the GTS 450 and the Gainward Rampage 700 2GB cards. Unfortunately we have not tested any other powerful cards here so some other strong competitors such as AMD's Radeon HD 6800 and HD 5800 series are missing.

The Inno3D GTX 580 OC gave some great scores for all the resolutions we tested. The card's performance is most probably higher even from a GTX 480 or the Radeon HD5870 / HD6870 graphics cards. The powerful Radeon HD5970 2GB could be the only competitor here.


5. Crysis Warhead, S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark
- Crysis Warhead (DirectX9, DirectX10)

We proceed to the "Crysis Warhead" game, which supports both DirectX9 and DirectX10 rendering modes. The popular game is still the toughest game in our benchmark suite. Below are the test results from all the possible resolutions the anti-aliasing (AA) disabled.

The Inno3D GTX 580 OC performed pretty well considering the high demands of the Crysis Warhead benchmark. The "Performance" and "Mainstream" quality levels are playable in all the resolutions we tested and up to 1920 x 1200. The "Gamer"and "Enthusiast" modes are still payable, although the reported minimum frame rates would make things a little slow in specific complex scenes of the game:

But how the GTX 580 OC stands to the competition? As you can see in the comparison charts below, the card is doing very well and shows its strength in the "Enthusiast" level and at high resolutions.

Compared to a GTX 480, the GTX 580 OC is also faster by almost 15% in the specific game, meaning that Nvidia did some work with its architectural improvements of the GTX 580. Of course, the GTX 580's higher clock and shader also played its role here.

The GTX 580 OC could be only challenged by double-GPU configurations in Crysis, such as AMD's5 970 and 6870CF - which would cost the same or even less to buy :)

- S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark

The ' S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark' provides detailed information about a system's performance on various graphical modes. This benchmark is based on one of the in-game locations – Pripyat . The testing process includes four stages, those utilizing various weather and time of the day settings (day, night, rain, bright sun). In order to test the system thoroughly the benchmark is provided with a number of presets and options including different versions of DirectX (9.0 10.0, 11), screen resolutions, anti-aliasing etc.This makes it another one of the highly demanding games in our benchmark suite.

For our tests we set the visual details to the highest level and tested the Inno3D GT 580 OC graphics card under DX10 and DX11 at the resolution of 1920x1200:

- DX9

- DX10

- DX11

STALKER ends up being a mixed bag for NVIDIA, depending on the competition. It’s worth noting that among single-GPU cards, the 580 does become the first and only card to crack 60fps at 1920.

The GTX 580 OC can easily support the specific game for the resolution of 1920 x 1200 and with the quality set to "Extreme." The performance is high for all the rendering modes and especially under DX11. The GTX 580 remains faster than a the GTX 480 here and seems to be more efficient than an AMD HD 5970 at resolutions higher than 2560.


6. Company of Heroes

The "Company Of Heroes" is a popular action/strategy game with many funs around the world. The game was the first ever to utilize DirectX10 and features great in-game physics. For this test, we used the maximum quality settings and measured the performance (FPS) of each card.

The Inno3D GTX 580 ranked first in the test among the cards we have tested so far, no matter the resolution we chose:


7. Far Cry 2, Left4Dead, StreetFighter IV, Unigine benchmark

- Far Cry 2 (DirectX 9/10)

Far Cry 2 supports both DirectX 9 and DirectX10 and its graphics engine is much lighter than the one the Crysis title is based on.

The very same settings, DX10, very high image quality and eight AA samples. With the Q3 driver release, NVIDIA opened up a can of extra performance in Far Cry 2.

It looks like the Inno3D GTX 580 OC is the fastest single-GPU card in the test, leaving the GTX 480 and the HD 6870 behind.

 

- Left4Dead (DirectX 9)

Introduced in 2004, Valve’s Source engine continues to live on in new Valve games. Although this game is not very GPU limited to a significant degree we are using it in our testbed.

We used a custom time demo and measured the performance of the graphics card for the resolutions of 1280x1024, 1650x1080 and 1920x1200, with 16xAF enabled and all visual settings maxed out.

Once again the GTX 580 performed great and took the first position among the rest single-GPU cards.

- StreetFighter IV (DirectX 9)

Here are two more benchmarks from the Streetfighter IV and the Unigine Benchmark Engine (DX10) demonstrating the graphic performance of the Inno3D GTX 580 OC graphics card.

Unigine is a proprietary cross-platform middleware, developed by Unigine Corp. It is used as either a game engine or as an engine for VR systems. Unigine currently has support for OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 11 It supports hardware tessellation and Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0.

Surprisingly, at the StreetFighter IV game, the Inno3D GTX 580 gave less FPS than the GTX 465 GOOD and the GTX 470 graphics cards.

On the other hand, the Unigine benchmark was easier for the GTX 580 OC and the card preformed pretty well. The card remains faster than the GTX 480 and the HD 5870, 5970.


8. Dirt 2, Alien vs Predator Benchmark, Lost Planet 2 Benchmark, overclocking

- Dirt 2 (DirectX 11)

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (known as Dirt 2 outside Europe and stylized, DiRT) is a racing game released in September 2009, and is the sequel to Colin McRae: Dirt. The game runs on an updated version of the EGO engine, which powered Codemasters' Race Driver: Grid as well. The engine features an updated physics engine and makes pretty through use of the DX11’s tessellation abilities.

 

We used the latest Dirt 2 game patch and used the built-in benchmark for the resolution of 1920x1200, various quality levels and with AA enabled.

First of all, the game is completely playable in all the resolutions and quality settings. The GTX 580 OC was the best performer under "ultra" and +16xAA. However, a GTX 460 1GB OC followed closely, offering a comparable performance. The GTX 580 was also faster than the GTX 480 and also 5970.

- Alien vs Predator Benchmark v1.03 (DirectX 11)

Rebellion has released a standalone DirectX 11 PC benchmark test based upon its shooter Aliens vs. Predator. The benchmark test requires a graphics support supporting DirectX 11, which are used to produce such fancy features as tessellation, advanced shadow sampling and DX11 anti-aliasing.

We used the default settings of the benchmark (resolution: 1920 x 1200, Texture Quality: 2, Shadow Quality: 3, Anisotropic Filtering: 16, SSAO: ON, Vertical Sync: OFF, DX11 Tessellation: ON, DX11 Advanced Shadows: ON, DX11 MSAA Samples: 1.

The Inno3D GTX 580 OC gave an average of 67.10 frames per second, which is very high for a single-GPU card. The card remains faster than a GTX 480 and only multi-GPU setups could offer higher performances.

 

- Lost Planet 2 Benchmark (DX9/DX11)

The Lost Planet 2 benchmark allows you to measure the performance of your graphics card using a a pre-configured route within the game. The benchmark can be run under both DX9 and DX11:

- Overclocking

We are ready to test the overclocking abilities of the already-overclocked Inno3D GTX 580 OC graphics card.

For our overclocking tests we used the latest MSI AfterBurner utility which also allows you to unlock the card's voltages allowing further tweaking. We enabled the 'Core Voltage' slider (though the 'settings' tab). The Core Voltage slider can go very high to further increase the overclocking margins although we feel that you won't need to go very high here. The 'Core' and 'Shader' sliders are synched and move as one, allowing you to play with the 'Memory' slider as well. The package also includes the 'MSI Kombustor' application that stresses your graphics card and test its stability.

We managed to get the Inno3D GTX 580 OC 430 core run at 840MHz, the memory clock reached the 2212MHz and the shaders topped at 1680MHz. We remind you that the specific card comes factory-overclocked at 820 MHz/ 1640 MHz / 1050 MHz.

Under these circumstances, the reported temperature for the core was 72 degrees C:


9. Final words

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 graphics card is the fastest single-GPU graphics card we have ever tested. Nvidia's response to rival AMD at the high-end DirectX 11 graphics card market came a little bit late, but we feel that the GTX 580 finally allows Nvidia to look AMD into the eyes. Compared to the previous GTX 480, the GTX 580 is based on the GF110 GPU, it has a more-complete architecture allied to higher clocks, making it plain faster in games by almost 15%. And this performance comes at a similar power-draw due to the better cooler that is also quieter. Available for $499 +VAT, (€479 Euro, £399), the GTX 580 is available at a matching price point compared to the GTX 480. With all these in mind, we think that the GTX 580 could be a winning product for Nvidia if it had been released half a year earlier.

This does not mean that the GTX 580 is not a great card. Actually, it is possibly the highest performing single-GPU card available today - at least before AMD come out with its Cayman GPUs (HD 6970 ). For now, the GTX 580 is almost as fast as the latest dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 while it leaves the single-GPU Radeon HD 5870 to the dust. The question is whether getting the GTX 580 is a better option than choosing a - possibly cheaper - multi-GPU setup. Well, it's up to you... if you you have a board capable of supporting a pair of 6870s and don’t mind the extra power it’s hard to go wrong, but only if you’re willing to put up with the limitations of a multi-GPU setup.

Today we tested the Inno3D GTX 580 OC graphics card. Smartly enough, Inno3D overclocked the card offering a small performance advantage compared to stock implementations, and also a performance boost that was enough to position the GTX 580 OC closer to multi-GPU cards in terms of performance under specific game titles. On the other hand, the factory overclocked Inno3D GTX 580 OC did not leave us many options for further overclocking. We managed to push the card's core to 840MHz, the memory clock to 2212MHz and the shaders to 1680MHz. That could be considered as a decent overclock for a range-topping model but overclockers could find it more enjoyable to play with stock clocks.

On the weak side, we could only mention the lack of audio bit streaming though the card's mini-HDMI port as well as the fact that you will still need two cards in order to enjoy the Nvidia's 3D Vision Surround.

At $500 the GTX 580 is pricey but that's always the case for the high-end market. We appreciate Nvidia's efforts and technology put into the GTX 580, while we welcome Inno3D's decision to factory-overclocked Inno3D GTX 580 OC to the market. With the GTX 580, Nvidia made a step forward offering a great replacement for its GTX 480 and a product that raises the bar when it comes to single GPU performance.



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