Just bought my GTX 580, thought I would write a short review about it.
This thing is amazing, I upgraded from a GTX 460, and I'm amazed by how good it is, I play on a 23 inch 1080p screen and this thing can handle pretty much ANY game thrown at it.
We're talking 60 fps on Battlefield 3 on ultra settings, amazing, I coupled this with 8 Gigs of G.skill Ram and an i5 2500k processor - altogether I expect this thing to last me for many years to come, giving me great framerates and details all the way.
Obviously for the less techy members buying a graphics card can be a daunting task - so many variations on just one card, I settled for this one because it came at a good price - is a recognised brand, and had a good amount of VRAM, I believe this card also comes in a 3 Gig variety - however the performance gain from having that extra 1.5 gig of ram is negligeble.
All in all, a great card for anyone from the biggest gamers to those media center type pc's.
The Geforce GTX 580 is a truly magnificent video card. Currently it is the most powerful single-GPU card solution out today. If you want top performance from the latest video games out right now, this card is your solution. The card has been completely redesigned from Nvidia which now features a brand new GF110 GPU and a new vapor chamber cooler to better handle the intense heat output and temperature fluctuations. This is a huge advantage for gamers like myself because it means that the card will be more stable during intense graphic scenes and multiplayer gaming. I am running this card with a old quad core 9450 chip on a display of 1900 X 1200 and I am still able to max out framerates on all the latest games including Crysis, Mafia 2, (on high settings) and my favorite game Grand theft auto 4.
*Processor clock 1544 MHz
*Memory clock (Data rate) 4008 MHz
*Streaming Multiprocessors 16
*CUDA Cores 512
*Ram 1.5 GB
+Can handle almost all games and applications with ease
+Redesigned cooler allows more airflow which keeps card from overheating
+Nvidia drivers are the most stable drivers in the business
-Requires adequate power supply (2 power cables, an 8 pin and 6 pin)
-Will be replaced by a faster, cheaper card in 1 year (Moores Law)
-The card might not fit small cases
The GTX 580 is a beast, aside from its older brother the 590, it is the most powerful consumer graphics card on the planet.
I use it for video editing and playing games. Using an open-GL enabled editing software, this card can handle multiple streams of AVCHD, applying many complex colour grading and other effects all faster than realtime. The editing potential of this card is stunning, it is more cost effective than buying a Quadro.
The GTX 580 can run any game. Yes it can play Crysis. The card is capable of full settings on any game, as long as your CPU and other PC specifications are up to it. For instance, overclocking my i7 920 from base to 3.8GHz causes insane boosts in performance. If your game is not running, it is not the fault of the card.
I run two monitors, one full HD, and the other 1680x1050, both run smoothly. I have seen this card output to a 22" full HD monitor in 3D playing various top titles, and never dropping below 60 frames per second. This card truly is a beast.
For those enthusiasts with see through cases, rest assured this card looks awesome.
Heat and Power
I have never measured the temperature accurately, however it is useful to note that having used the machine for hours on end, playing games, editing films, and for casual use, I can open the chassis and remove the card with my bare hands and not get burnt.
I attended the release of this card hosted by Scan and Nvdia in Bolton in 2010, where three GTX 580's were linked in SLi mode in a chassis with one side removed in order to demonstrate the new Vapor-X cooling method. The cards, packed tightly together in a small space, were cool. Heat is not a problem with this card.
Moving from an HD 4850 to a GTX 580 in the same system, I notice a power increase of approximately 50 Watts at idle, and up to 120 Watts at maximum capacity; 330 Watts maximum for the entire system. For me this is acceptable due to the increased productivity of the card, however it may not be viable for all users.
Anything to be aware of?
The GTX 580 requires two power cables, an eight pin and a six pin to molar connection; the eight pin can be a hassle as the oddly shaped ones can be hard to find online. Cables should be supplied with the card. If not, check your motherboard box for these cables, they should be there.