The card and cooler
|GeForce GTX 580||772||512||64||48||4.0 Gbps||384||244W||$499.99|
Amazingly, I've put enough information in the tables, pictures, and captions on this page that I barely have to write anything. Crafty, no? We've already given you some of the GTX 580's vitals on the previous page, but the table above fills out the rest, including the $500 price tag. Nvidia expects GTX 580 cards to be selling at online retailers for that price starting today.
Although we didn't find it to be especially loud in a single-card config, the GeForce GTX 480 took some criticisms for the noise and heat it produced. The noise was especially a problem in SLI, when the heat from two cards together had to be dissipated. Nvidia has responded to that criticism by changing its approach on several fronts with the GTX 580. For one, the end of the cooling shroud, pictured above, is angled more steeply in order to allow air into the blower.
Rather than using quad heatpipes, the GTX 580's heatsink has a vapor chamber in its copper base that is purported to distribute heat more evenly to its aluminum fins. Meanwhile, the blades on the blower have been reinforced with a plastic ring around the outside. Nvidia claims this modification prevents the blades from flexing and causing turbulence that could translate into a rougher sound. The GTX 580 also includes a new adaptive fan speed control algorithm that should reduce its acoustic footprint.
The newest GeForce packs an additional power safeguard, as well. Most GeForces already have temperature-based safeguards that will cause the GPU to slow down if it becames too hot. The GTX 580 adds a power monitoring capability. If the video card is drawing too much current through the 12V rails, the GPU will slow down to keep itself within the limits of the PCIe spec. Amusingly, this mechanism seems to be a response to the problems caused almost solely by the FurMark utility. According to Nvidia, outside of a few apps like that one, the GTX 580 should find no reason to throttle itself based on power delivery.
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