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EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3GB Review

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Over the last few weeks we have seen some very interesting graphics cards making their way towards the retail channels. Both MSI and Gigabyte have introduced their overclocked and custom cooled GTX 580s while MSI recently put even more onto the table by releasing a 3GB version of their Lightning series. Dubbed the Lightning Xtreme Edition, it has the potential to offer extended performance in bandwidth limited situations but also comes with a steep price of over $600.


Unbeknownst to many, EVGA has also entered the heightened bandwidth market with their own GTX 580 3GB. This new GTX 580 forgoes the custom cooling and component choices of some competitors and instead focuses upon a better buying experience through the inclusion of a lifetime warranty and EVGA’s always excellent customer support. Its accessory package also continues down the no frills route with the usual power and video adaptors though a mini HDMI to HDMI dongle is included.


From the outside, there really isn’t much to distinguish this GTX 580 from any other reference-based example on the market. It still uses a 6+8 pin power connector setup despite the additional memory along with slick looking blue highlights on the graphics. We would have loved to see this card come with EVGA’s new “DS” heatsink but it seems that wasn’t meant to be.


EVGA has however included their custom backplate which is designed to maximize airflow and supposedly increase cooling performance. It does this through the use of larger than reference openings up top and some additional slats near the two DVI connectors and single mini HDMI output.


You may have noticed this card’s name doesn’t include EVGA’s usual catch phrases like “Superclocked”, “SSC” and “FTW”. That’s because their 3GB GTX 580 retains reference speeds instead of being overclocked like much of the competition it its price range.

Speaking of price, the GTX 580 3GB somehow hits the $590 mark even without features like higher clock speeds and a custom heatsink. This actually puts EVGA’s card in a tough position: it is only $15 less than MSI’s Lightning Xtreme Edition 3GB, $55 more than Gigabyte’s Super Overclock and $65 more than MSI’s standard Lightning card. Perhaps the most eye opening aspect of this card’s price is its $50 price premium over Zotac’s nearly identical GTX 580 3GB. Is EVGA’s customer service excellence lifetime warranty really worth such a steep cost? Let’s find out.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Test System & Setup

Test System & Setup

Processor: Intel Core i7 920(ES) @ 4.0Ghz (Turbo Mode Enabled)
Memory: Corsair 3x2GB Dominator DDR3 1600Mhz
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58-UD5
Cooling: CoolIT Boreas mTEC + Scythe Fan Controller (Off for Power Consumption tests)
Disk Drive: Pioneer DVD Writer
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB
Power Supply: Corsair HX1000W
Monitor: Samsung 305T 30” widescreen LCD / / 3x Acer GD235HZ 23.5" 1080P LCDs
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate N x64 SP1


Acoustical Testing Platform:

Processor: Intel Core i5 750(ES)
Memory: OCZ Platinum 2x2GB PC3-12800
Motherboard: Intel DP55WG (Warrensburg)
Cooling: Thermalright TRUE w/Noctua NF-P12
Disk Drive: Pioneer DVD Writer
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200



Graphics Cards:

EVGA GTX 580 3GB
MSI GTX 580 Lightning X 3GB
Gigabyte GTX 580 Super Overclock
MSI GTX 580 Lightning
NVIDIA GTX 590 3GB (Ref.)
NVIDIA GTX 580 (Ref)

AMD HD 6970 2GB(Ref)

Drivers:

NVIDIA 270.61 WHQL
ATI 11.4 + CAP 11.2 R4

Note: Even though AMD claims the “AMD Optimized Tessellation” feature in the 11.1a drivers has not yet been implemented, we have changed the setting to “Off” in order to ensure additional, untested optimizations are not enabled.

Applications Used:

3DMark 11
Aliens Versus Predator
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DiRT 2
F1 2010
Just Cause 2
Lost Planet
Metro 2033
Unigine: Heaven


*Notes:

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR BENCHMARKING PROCESS PLEASE SEE THIS ARTICLE

- All games tested have been patched to their latest version

- The OS has had all the latest hotfixes and updates installed

- All scores you see are the averages after 3 benchmark runs

All game-specific methodologies are explained above the graphs for each game

All IQ settings were adjusted in-game
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Joined
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Messages
12,857
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3DMark 11 (DX11)

3DMark 11 (DX11)


3DMark 11 is the latest in a long line of synthetic benchmarking programs from the Futuremark Corporation. This is their first foray into the DX11 rendering field and the result is a program that incorporates all of the latest techniques into a stunning display of imagery. Tessellation, depth of field, HDR, OpenCL physics and many others are on display here. In the benchmarks below we have included the results (at default settings) for both the Performance and Extreme presets.


Performance Preset



Extreme Preset

 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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12,857
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Aliens Versus Predator (DX11)

Aliens Versus Predator (DX11)


When benchmarking Aliens Versus Predator, we played through the whole game in order to find a section which represents a “worst case” scenario. We finally decided to include “The Refinery” level which includes a large open space and several visual features that really tax a GPU. For this run-through, we start from within the first tunnel, make our way over the bridge on the right (blowing up several propane tanks in the process), head back over the bridge and finally climb the tower until the first run-in with an Alien. In total, the time spent is about four minutes per run. Framerates are recorded with FRAPS.


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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BattleField: Bad Company 2 (DX11)

BattleField: Bad Company 2 (DX11)


To benchmark BF: BC2 we used a five minute stretch of gameplay starting from the second checkpoint (after the helicopter takes off) of the second single player mission up until your battle with the tank commences. Framerates are recorded with FRAPS.


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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DiRT 2 (DX11)

DiRT 2 (DX11)


Being one of the newest games on the market, DiRT 2 cuts an imposing figure in terms of image quality and effects fidelity. We find that to benchmark this game the in-game tool is by far the best option. However, due to small variances from one race to another, three benchmark runs are done instead of the normal two. It should also be mentioned that the demo version of the game was NOT used since after careful testing, the performance of the demo is not representative of the final product. DX11 was forced through the game’s config file. In addition, you will see that these scores do not line up with our older benchmarks at all. This is due to the fact that a patch was recently rolled out for the game which included performance optimizations in addition to new graphics options.


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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F1 2010 (DX11)

F1 2010 (DX11)



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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Just Cause 2 (DX10)

Just Cause 2 (DX10)


Just Cause 2 has quickly become known as one of the best-looking games on the market and while it doesn’t include DX11 support, it uses the full stable of DX10 features to deliver a truly awe-inspiring visual experience. For this benchmark we used the car chase scene directly following the Casino Assault level. This scene includes perfectly scripted events, some of the most GPU-strenuous effects and lasts a little less than four minutes. We chose to not use the in-game benchmarking tool due to its inaccuracy when it comes to depicting actual gameplay performance.


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
Lost Planet 2 (DX11)

Lost Planet 2 (DX11)


Lost Planet is a game that was originally released on consoles but in its port over to the PC, it gained some highly impressive DX11 features. For this benchmark, we forgo the two built-in tools and instead use a 2 minute gameplay sequence from the second level in the first chapter. The reason we use this level is because it makes use of three elements that are seen throughout the game world: jungles, water and open terrain.


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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12,857
Location
Montreal
Metro 2033 (DX11)

Metro 2033 (DX11)


There has been a lot of buzz about Metro 2033 which has mostly centered on its amazing graphics coupled with absolutely brutal framerates on even the best GPUs on the market. For this test we use a walkthrough and combat scene from The Bridge level which starts at the beginning of the level and lasts for about 3 minutes of walking, running and combat. Famerates are measured with FRAPS and Advanced PhysX is turned off.


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