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Graphics Technology

NVIDIA's New Flagship GeForce GTX 580 Tested 149

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the waiting-for-4d dept.
MojoKid writes "Even before NVIDIA's GF100 GPU-based GeForce GTX 480 officially arrived, there were a myriad of reports claiming the cards would be hot, loud, and consume a lot of power. Of course, NVIDIA knew that well before the first card ever hit store shelves, so the company got to work on a revision of the GPU and card itself that would attempt to address these concerns. Today the company has launched the GeForce GTX 580 and as its name suggests, it's a next-gen product, but the GF110 GPU powering the card is largely unchanged from the GF100 in terms of its features. However, refinements have been made to the design and manufacturing of the chip, along with its cooling solution and PCB. In short, the GeForce GTX 580 turned out to be the fastest, single-GPU on the market currently. It can put up in-game benchmark scores between 30% and 50% faster than AMD's current flagship single-GPU, the Radeon HD 5870. Take synthetic tests like Unigine into account and the GTX 580 can be up to twice as fast."
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NVIDIA's New Flagship GeForce GTX 580 Tested

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    • by Pojut (1027544)

      Always been a big fan of [H]ard|OCP...they definitely have some of the best forums in the enthusiast scene.

    • by MojoKid (1002251) *
      Agreed!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Moryath (553296)

      The problem is, how much does it cost? Radeon 5770s can be had for $120 at Newegg after rebate, so why the hell would I need to waste $500 on this card? I could hook up a pair of 5770's for much less and get similar performance.

      And what the hell games on the PC is it actually supposed to be required to play?

      The AMD cards do just fine from the last gen, when they were beating NVidia cards. And I'm willing to bet that the "next gen" AMD card will see similar performance increases as well when it hits by next

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by afidel (530433)
        The 5770 will also cost you significantly less in electricity and cooling during the warm months =)
        • .... although during the cold winter months, there's nothing better than roasting marshmallows on a quadro!
        • by tyrione (134248)

          The 5770 will also cost you significantly less in electricity and cooling during the warm months =)

          Yeah, I'm sure it's really competing against that 95% efficient multi-stage Gas Furnace you should have in your house, but don't for energy costs or the still electric base board running in your house, not to mention the electric range, on and on.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by afidel (530433)
            According to this [overclockersclub.com] graph the difference at idle is almost 90W, or a difference of $180 over 2 years if you leave your PC on 24x7. And I was talking about during the summer, where the added BTU's are paid for in power draw and then again in AC draw.

            P.S. My furnace is 93%/16 SEER and my house is only 1200sq ft so in percentage terms it can be a large cost.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by vistapwns (1103935)
        Depends on if you want 30 fps or 60 fps, and if you want high levels of AA and AF or none, and if you want high resolution or medium resolution. I'm getting a gtx 580 to replace my gtx 480, which I play to sell, because of lower noise and improved performance. I find 30 fps to be choppy, in fast paced FPS games, so I tend to go for 60, along with all the options cranked up.
      • by Vigile (99919) *

        "just fine" differs from person to person. No, GTX 580s aren't required to play PC games and most of the time the lower cost GTX 460/HD 6850s are fine. But sometimes more power is just better.

      • For one, there are a lot of motherboards that don't support it. Even new, reasonably high end boards. I have an Intel P35 board with a Core 2 Quad at home, but it has only 1 16x slot. At work, a Dell Precision T1500 with an i7, again only 1 16x slot. Crossfire/SLI cannot be done in these cases. You have to buy a single, heavier hitting, card if you want performance.

        Also you need to do a bit more research if you think multi-card solutions work well all the time. They can, but they also can have some serious

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Slime-dogg (120473)

          If you have a 30" monitor and want to drive it at its native, beyond HD rez (2560x1600) you need some heavy hitting hardware to take care of that, particularly if you'd like the game to run nice and smooth, more around 60fps than around 30. You then need still more if you'd like to crank up anti-aliasing and so on.

          Isn't the point of AA to make things look better at lower resolutions? Running at resolutions beyond the HD rez, even on large screens, eliminate any sort of need for FSAA. At that point, you just don't get jaggies that need to be smoothed.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Guppy (12314)

            Running at resolutions beyond the HD rez, even on large screens, eliminate any sort of need for FSAA. At that point, you just don't get jaggies that need to be smoothed.

            You still get pixel-shimmer though, which FSAA greatly reduces.

            • by Barny (103770)

              As someone who has gamed at 1920x1200 for many years, I can say that FSAA is not really needed at that end of the market.

          • by kalirion (728907)

            Running at resolutions beyond the HD rez, even on large screens, eliminate any sort of need for FSAA. At that point, you just don't get jaggies that need to be smoothed.

            You most definitely have jaggies without AA, even at high resolutions. It's especially noticeable on "thin" objects like grass/foliage, power lines, etc. The more fine detail in the scene, the more jaggies.

          • On a 30" monitor you have ~100 pixels per inch. At normal viewing distance that means they are a bit smaller than an most monitors, but still plenty visible. They are not as small as on many laptops, and not down to the level you need for them to completely vanish. That is probably in the realm of 300PPI or so. You might be able to get away with 200PPI, but then just leaning in might be enough that they aren't truly blended anymore.

            So until the display is that high rez, AA is useful. We've got a long way to

        • by cynyr (703126)

          You missed tessalation that both OpenGL and DX11 offer... Go run the newest Ungine benchmark and watch your card cry....

      • Why get two 5770's when Newegg has the 5870 for just under $270 right now?
        • by Moryath (553296)

          I can buy two 5770's, AND have $50 in my pocket, for the price of one 5870...

          • ..... although that $50 will leave your pocket instantly when you nee to buy a new SLI capable PSU.
            • So you can't plan ahead when you buy your mobo and PSU to get something that supports SLI ??

              I bought a 5770 this year, and will pick up another 5770 either in Dec, or next year.

              It isn't rocket science to predict what parts you are going to upgrade over the 2-5 year life cycle of your rig man.

      • by makomk (752139)

        Alternatively, you could get two Radeon 6870s for slightly less - that's got some really nice Crossfire scaling results in reviews. Sadly this review doesn't include them, but they seem to pull ahead a fair amount. Also, ATI's new top end GPU is due out in a couple of weeks (which is probably why no-one's offering any kind of 6870x2 card).

  • by QuantumBeep (748940) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @11:57AM (#34174552)

    I am very glad to see the performance crown handed back and forth.

    Now if only this was happening in the CPU market...

    • by ultranova (717540)

      Now if only this was happening in the CPU market...

      It is, the period of oscillation is simply a lot longer.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:01PM (#34174604) Journal
    This GTX580 is a 3 billion transistor chip(not counting the RAM on the same card, just the GPU die itself). Does anybody know what year the number of transistors on the entire planet reached the number on this die?
  • ...ought to be enough for anybody.
  • Next gen? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Issarlk (1429361)
    So, this card is about as fast, and consumes about the same power as a 480, but it's "next gen" anyway ?

    That looks like a 480 with the 4 replaced by a 5. Hardly a revolution.
    Just watercool the 480, it's how it's supposed to be used.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Issarlk (1429361)
      To those rating me as troll:

      From TFA:
      Unigine Heaven Benchmark v2.0: 18% better
      580: 879
      480: 742

      Quake war: 14% better
      580: 176 FPS
      480: 154 FPS

      Farcry2: 14% better
      580: 109 FPS
      480: 95 FPS

      Alien vs Predator: 16% better
      580: 43 FPS
      480: 37 FPS

      ...

      Power consumption: 96% of that of the 480
      580: 377
      480: 392

      Woot, 15% increase in performance for same consumption ! Clearly the 580 is "as its name suggests, it's a next-gen product".
      If you mean same-gen as the 480, right. If you mean next-gen compared
      • by Smauler (915644)

        Mods.... wtf? This is a valid point - this card is _not_ next generation, all it does is _exactly_ the same as the 480, only a little bit faster. It is in essence an overclocked 480 with better cooling and power characteristics. It's basically what the 480 should have been.

        Parent is not a troll, as GP is not - replying to yourself always works wonders though.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Not to mention this looks like the "fun" we had with Nvidia awhile back with different names for the same chip [dailytech.com] which made it SO much fun to figure out which were the better cards. Between that BS and bumpgate on the NV side, and the Intel OEM bribery and compiler rigging on the Intel side, this lifelong Intel+Nvidia man went AMD. The bang for the buck on both the CPU and GPU side is just crazy, and it is a hell of a lot easier to tell the mainstream from the low end from the high performance with AMD. The x

          • by cynyr (703126)

            All go 100% AMD when they get the newest GPU working same day, with drivers that play nice with WINE on linux, and never look back. Until then I'm "stuck" with nvidia. Which is a same because for the same size and power draw the 5770 is better than the gts450. When doing SFF computers physical dimensions are an issue.

  • by Fibe-Piper (1879824) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:34PM (#34174966) Journal

    Does anyone assume that the synthetic benchmarks achieved by either AMD or NVIDIA are representative of anything more than these companies' efforts to tweak their driver sets against the pre-existing criteria for getting a "good score"?

    Both companies I believe have been accused over the years of doing just that and pointing the finger at the other as taking part in shennaniganism"

    • HardOCP is famous for their real gameplay ratings. They go and actually play through the game while testing performance. They then find the highest settings that the reviewer finds playable. Now while there is some subjectivity to it they do back it up with FPS numbers, and it is the same reviewer trying everything out. So it gives real, in game, actually playing, results. I find it maps nicely to what actually happens when I get a card and play games.

      http://hardocp.com/article/2010/11/09/nvidia_geforce_gtx [hardocp.com]

    • by Bios_Hakr (68586)

      >>Does anyone assume that the synthetic benchmarks achieved by either AMD or NVIDIA are representative of anything more than these companies' efforts to tweak their driver sets against the pre-existing criteria for getting a "good score"?

      In short, no.

      However, we have sites like HardOCP and AnandTech that run the cards through a variety of games and give the results. You can look at the results and decide if your current card is better or worse than the new card.

      If you are trying to decide between a b

    • by ifrag (984323)

      I thought this was why software like 3DMark Vantage have simulations which are basically equivalent to the rendering performed in actual games. There's 2 full runs of very detailed 3D scenes which actually must be done by the card, there's no way to sneak around actually rendering them. User is presented with the rendering on screen in real-time while doing the benchmark.

      Also, the large gauntlet of actual game benchmarks helps give weight to any synthetics actually meaning something. I haven't seen a vid

  • I hope someone can figure out how to bypass the anti-overclocking tech. Otherwise, AMD is going to have an easier ride this round. Why are all manufacturers so damn evil? What's wrong with a little overclocking to boost speeds? When I'm spending this much money on a video card the least they could do is allow me to boost my speeds a little. They've also made water cooling the card pointless with their new current limiter. It's so easy to hate Nvidia. I'll buy from whichever company has the fastest card (wit

  • Is it powerful enough to run Civilization V?

  • Terrible Summary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Godai (104143) * on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:14PM (#34175490)

    The /. summary ends with:

    It can put up in-game benchmark scores between 30% and 50% faster than AMD's current flagship single-GPU, the Radeon HD 5870.

    But if you read the original article, the one flaw in the (otherwise good) nVidia card is that is still loses to the 5970 which is -- according to the article -- 'about a year old'. So why is that other article mentioned in the summary talking about the 5870 as if its the flagship? Clearly the 5970 is. Or am I missing something?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It can put up in-game benchmark scores between 30% and 50% faster than AMD's current flagship single-GPU, the Radeon HD 5870.

      The 5970 is a dual GPU solution. TBH, it's no surprise that it's faster than a single GPU solution that is a year newer. I would expect the last gen card in a dual GPU setup (this, or SLI/Crossfire) to outperform the latest next gen card, especially when the new card is really just an iteration of the architecture used in the last gen. Nothing really surprising about it at all. And I bet you if you get two of the GTX 580's in SLI, they'll stomp the 5970. That's a bit more of an apples to apples compari

      • by makomk (752139)

        I would expect the last gen card in a dual GPU setup (this, or SLI/Crossfire) to outperform the latest next gen card, especially when the new card is really just an iteration of the architecture used in the last gen.

        Why? Bear in mind that it's not like there's any new features in the "next gen" 580 over the previous generation - the only improvement is peformance. Having about the same performance as a card that's been in the market for a year at a similar power consumption and price tag isn't exactly great progress.

        And I bet you if you get two of the GTX 580's in SLI, they'll stomp the 5970.

        I'd hope so, given that each of those two cards individually costs the same price as the 5970 and uses nearly as much power. For a dual-580 setup, we're talking $1,000 just for the cards alone, not includin

      • Is that multi-GPU solutions are NOT the same as single GPU solutions just faster. In some cases, multi-GPU works great, you get nearly a doubling in speed. In other cases, it works ok you get more speed than single, though not double. In still other cases, it doesn't work at all, only one GPU is used. In yet other cases, shit goes really wrong and games won't work right unless you shut down a GPU. It depends on the game in question, the drivers you are using, and which company's GPUs you have. nVidia tends

    • by Godai (104143) *

      Thanks all, I get it now. I didn't see mention of the distinction between the 5970 & the 5870 (which is fair, its a 580 review, not an ATI review). Though I was skimming, so its possible they point that out early & I just missed it.

      Though why is the dual-CPU chip using less power than the single GPU nVidia card? Is there some subtle interplay between dual GPU processors I'm not aware of that makes them use less power, or is the nVidia 580 just a hog?

  • by xiando (770382) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:22PM (#34175576) Homepage Journal
    ..never as long as Nvidia refuses to release even a hint of documentation and insists that GNU/Linux users accept their Binary Blob World Order. I don't really care if this new card is faster than the fastest AMD card, atleast I can (ab)use those for something. I still have a Nvidia PCI (not PCIe) card on some shelf which does NOT work with the Binary Blob under GNU/Linux, nor does it work with nouveau joke of a free driver.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      So how good is the AMD open source driver? How much luck have you had running 3d games under Wine with it?

      • by xiando (770382)

        So how good is the AMD open source driver? How much luck have you had running 3d games under Wine with it?

        Both the AMD r600c and the new r600g free software drivers are slow and phoronix benchmark story is that their evil binary blob is faster than both of those. Still, there is a very big difference between AMD and Nvidia; AMD worker-drones regularly work on the driver and the OpenGL support through MESA and they are making documentation available as fast as they can write it. As for Wine: I do not have the license for any 3d games or other Windows software for that matter, so I haven't tried running anything

        • Is you think nVidia's driver team should have to write good open source drivers all by themselves, since clearly the OSS community isn't nearly as good at graphics drivers as they pretended. I mean I remember the rhetoric: Just release the documentation, we've got legions of people who will crank out a driver that is better than any of the closed ones in a hurry. Ya well we see how that went. Here it is over a year later and you say it still can't stand up to ATi's closed driver, which is not nearly as good

          • by Kjella (173770)

            1) The OSS heads didn't appreciate how damn complex a graphics driver is. You have people who'd written SCSI drivers or something and said "Well that isn't that hard." They forget that a binary SCSI driver is around 20k or something, you are dealing with a simple device. The main ATi Windows driver is 7.6MB and that is just the central driver, never mind all the support files it needs to work right. It is a major job, and the hardware changes fast.

            The biggest and foremost reason Linux support has been slow is that the graphics stack was very poor. Before AMDs announcement the only open source player was Intel who honestly nobody used for more than getting a picture. Since neither nVidia or AMD gave out any detail on their hardware and instead rolled their own closed source drivers, the open mesa stack basically still worked on a model from the 90s. If it had only been to drop AMD support into a modern 3D stack, we'd be much further than we are. Prett

    • by Shark (78448)

      I think what scares them most is that an open source driver would not intentionally cripple OpenGL rendering. The three to four times markup on Quadro cards is nasty business if you ask me. I'm fine with a card being more expensive because it offers you testing and support on professional apps, but comparing a Quadro 3700 with a 8800GT does not shine a very good light on nVidia.

      Mind you, I suspect AMD is equally bad, I just never looked at that market in detail.

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      Heck, I just loaded Ubuntu for the first time on my gaming computer after a hard drive crash. (I've been threatening to do this for a long time.) While my experience has been mostly positive, Canonical has done a very good job of making the install process of software and drivers easy, I'm still mystified why I can't turn on all the nice graphics features of my OpenGL games... yes, they're running through Wine. Perhaps, I haven't hit the correct sites that contain the info I need. At this point, I'm not
      • by fritsd (924429)
        The Linux graphics drivers are in a state of extremely heavy development at the moment, you can follow the fun here [x.org], here [x.org] and here [phoronix.com]. The main Phoronix [phoronix.com] website also has a lot of articles.
  • The fastest single GPU consumer card available. TDP 244W! You can safely scrap your room heater now!

  • Looks like HardOCP hasn't been testing AMD's most recent flagship product, the Radeon HD 6xxx series, which a single card alone eats a 480GTX for breakfast.

  • I am not in the market for a room heater! The HD68x0 ATIs take pretty much half that, at half the performance and a quarter of the price.

    Again a showy card from Nvidia that basically only supports the ego of their lying boss and is otherwise a waste of money.

    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      Agreed, and it's a bad sign for NVidia's design that though they tried to conserve power, two of the top AMD GPUs use less power than a single one of these chips. Somehow, I feel like there's a lot of headroom left for AMD to crank up the clock on the 6xxx design they have now. They have a huge performance per watt lead, as well as a performance per dollar lead. That's in GPUs, at least.
  • So its been released now? Why then can I not purchase one?

    Stupid distortion of the English Language :/

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