A closer look at GTX 580 Ultra Charged
The 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 quiet, at least for a high-end card. Vapor chamber technology has been around for a couple of years, but it was usually reserved for non-reference boards so this is the first time we see it as part of the reference design.
Thanks to this 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.
The vapor chamber method is simple - a chamber filled with of a water-like liquid evaporates and transfers the temperature from the GPU. Once the gas cools down, it “rains” back down and the process starts all over again. 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. 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.
Nvidia added Advanced Power Management, a feature which monitors consumption and performs power capping – all to protect the graphics cards from excessive power draw.
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 a 244W TDP.
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 Ultra Charged 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.