Gainward GTX 580 1536MB GDDR5 Golden Sample card comes with reference dual slot cooling which is improved in comparison to the cooler on GTX 480 cards. With help from the vapor chamber technology the cooler is not too loud, but we’d still rather see Gainward make their own GOOD (Gainward Optimized Own Edition) solution for the GTX 580.
Thanks to Vapor chamber technology tech, Nvidia can get rid of its heatpipe solutions such as the one on GTX 480 (picture below). You can also see that the difference between reference and Ultra Charged’s cooler is only in the sticker.
Unlike the long heatpipes which transfer heat from the copper base to aluminum fins in charge of dissipation, Vapor-X chamber is a component that brings both copper-base and heatpipe functions together.
The advantage is in direct contact with the GPU and a large surface of only a few millimeters thick Vapor-X chamber, which comes in place of a copper base. It then directly receives and transfers heat to the aluminum fins, so except for improved performance, you won’t notice much visual difference between Vapor-X chamber cooling and standard cooling solutions with a copper base. As a result, the card’s temperature dropped from an average 94°C on the GTX 480 to 85°C on GTX 580 cards.
GTX 580’s PCB design hasn’t changed much from the GTX 480, but there have been improvements in power regulation circuitry. Nvidia added Advanced Power Management, a feature which monitors consumption and performs power capping – all to protect the graphics cards from excessive power draw.
The GTX 480 has a hole in the PCB below the fan, but the GTX 580 has no holes in the PCB or the cooler’s metal block.
GTX 580 is the same size as Geforce GTX 480, measuring 10.5 inches or 26.67 centimeters in length. It has one 6-pin and 8-pin power connector and maximum graphics card power 244W.
Video engine didn’t change; it is the same as on GF100, Fermi chips. You still have a maximum of two display supported. GTX 580 Golden Sample comes with two DVI ports and a mini HDMI where you could use a mini-HDMI dongle to get a proper HDMI port. We think that consumers deserve to get HDMI and DisplayPort on any high-end card and we're not thrilled by the lack of the latter.
The card comes with two SLI connectors so 2 or 3-way SLI setups are possible. Note that GeForce GTX 580’s GPU must be paired with another GeForce GTX 580 GPU (graphics card manufacturer can be different).
We found a nice little gift in the box – a 1.5m long mini-HDMI-to-HDMI adapter cable.