Zotac GeForce GTX 580 AMP! Edition

The GeForce GTX 580 GPU is the successor to the GTX 480 and so runs faster and cooler

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Zotac GeForce GTX 580 AMP! Edition Zotac's AMP! Edition GTX 580 sports pre-overclocked components and is quite a rocket
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  February 9, 2011

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Key Specs

API supported: DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1
Connections: 2x DVI, 1x HDMI
GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 580
GPU frequency: 815MHz
Interface type: PCI-E

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The GeForce GTX 580 is the latest high-end GPU from nVidia and being a key nVidia partner, Zotac is among the first companies to have SKUs on the market.

To date Zotac has released two different cards based on the GTX 580. The card on test here, like Zotac's other AMP! Edition cards, ships factory overclocked. The GPU runs at a clock frequency of 815MHz whereas the standard GeForce GTX 580 GPU ticks along at 772MHz.

The GPU's core isn't the only component that received Zotac's overclocking treatment, the core's shaders and the card's memory have also been tweaked. So whereas the standard shader clock and memory frequency is set at 1,544MHz and 4,008MHz respectively, the AMP runs at 1,630MHz and 4,100MHz.

Comparing the GTX 580 to its predecessor the GTX 480, both GPUs are quite similar and this isn't surprising given both GPUs are part of nVidia's 'Fermi' family. That said a closer look at both GPUs reveals a number of differences; the GTX 580 packs 512 stream processors to the GTX 480 GPU's 480. And whereas the texture address/filtering units on the GTX 580 stand at 64/64 respectively, its predecessor offers 60/60. The new GeForce also includes support for OpenGL 4.1 while the older GPU is limited to OpenGL 3.2.

In terms of similarities, both GPUs rely on a 384-bit memory bus, ship with 1.5GB of graphics memory, are comprised of three billion transistors and are manufactured using a TSMC 40nm process. The GTX 580 also supports nVidia SLI support.
One of the biggest problems we had with the GTX 480 when it was first launched and indeed even up to when nVidia launched the GTX 580, was that it ran extremely hot while offering only a marginal improvement in performance over its predecessor.

Thankfully, the GeForce GTX 580 doesn't suffer from the same difficulties. Running our benchmarks on the card starting with Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X the card managed framerate results of 195fps, 152fps and 133fps at 1024 x 768, 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 pixels. The GTX 480 on the other hand managed figures of 167fps, 119fps and 100fps. Firing up World in Conflict the Zotac spat out figures of 98fps, 84fps and 79fps to the 480's 79fps, 76fps and 69fps. Moving to the DirectX 11 Heaven v2.0 benchmark the card managed figures of 94.2fps, 66.6fps and 62.6fps to the GTX 480's 87.5fps, 58.9fps and 62.6fps. Impressive.

Throughout testing the GTX 580 maintained its composure in terms of both heat and noise. While the new GeForce GPU still consumes over 350-watts of power running at full tilt and thus runs quite warm to the touch, the card is nowhere near as noisy.

For: Incredible DirectX 11 performance, cooler and quieter than its predecessor, five-year warranty.
Against: An expensive proposition.
Verdict: The GeForce GTX 580 GPU is a marked improvement over its predecessor and should really have been nVidia's first, high-end 'Fermi', rather than the GTX 480.

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