GeForce GTX 580 already up for pre-order

Starts at $499.99

NVIDIA HAS AS yet to get official on its new GeForce GTX 580 graphics card, but several online retailers already have the card up for pre-order with a starting price from $499.99, although many retailers are charging a fair bit more than that depending on the brand of the card. Nvidia also showed off a preview of the GTX 580 at PDXLAN 16.5 and kindly posted a video on YouTube detailing much of what was shown.

The GeForce GTX 580 is expected to launch this week, but it’s definitely going to be a card only for those with deep pockets. As mentioned, in the US pricing starts at $499.99 and seems to at least for now stretch to about $555, while in Europe we’ve seen cards listed for €499.99 ($699) and £399.98 ($646) in the UK. It’s too early to say if this is a competitive price or not, as AMD has yet to launch their new high-end cards.

Price aside, Nvidia seems to have tweaked more than its GPU on the new cards, as the company revealed that they’ve gone with a vapour chamber cooling solution at PDXLAN 16.5 this weekend. As you can see in the video, this new cooling solution makes it “almost nearly silent” whatever that means. The technical explanation from Tom Petersen who’s the Technical Marketing director at Nvidia is a bit lacking though, but we presume that this is because he’s explaining the technology to a crowd that’s more interested in gaming that the technical aspects of the card. 

The GTX 580 is also meant to have a “new adaptive GPU fan control” and it seems to have a slightly different fan from the GTX 400 series cards. We’re not sure what an “SLI-optimized cover design” is supposed to be, but maybe Nvidia means to say that its new cards will be cooled better in SLI mode with the new plastic shroud design without a metal heat spreader on the outside. As with previous cards, it vents the hot air out of the case at the rear of the system.

It seems a little bit strange that Nvidia is so late to the game with vapour chamber cooling, as AMD (then ATI) has been using vapour chamber cooling since the Radeon HD 2900 series. Legit Reviews has a short statement about it from AMD’s North American PR where they’re questioning what’s new in Nvidia’s cooling design for the GTX 580. Still, we’re not going to complain about a lack of noise from a graphics card ever, no matter how it’s been done as long as the card doesn’t overheat.

One thing the pre-order pages have given us is a verification of the specifications of the GTX 580. We’re looking at a 772MHz core speed with the shaders clocked at 1544MHz, while the 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory operates at a speed of 1002MHz (or 4008MHz effectively). The new cooling solution is most likely needed though, as the GTX 580 has a rated power draw of 244W. As with the GTX 480, the GTX 580 sports two DVI ports and one mini HDMI port. Interestingly one UK retailer already claims to have cards in stock for next day delivery, or you can pick it up in their store, while all US online retailers are only offering pre-orders so far.S|A

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