Tom's Hardware's 2011 Gift Guide: Part 1, For System Builders

Zotac Infinity Edition ZT-50102-30P GeForce GTX 580

$649.99
www.zotacusa.com

Go big or go home, right? Heading into the 2011 home stretch, the GeForce GTX 580 remains the fastest single-GPU card in Nvidia’s consumer line-up. It might only include half of the total CUDA cores as the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 590 (512 vs. 1024), but better thermals mean it's able to run faster, too.

Of course, the GeForce GTX 580 can also be overclocked, though that serves to push a potentially loud card into the realm of ridiculously loud. What’s a self-respecting, ear-protecting gamer to do?

Zotac has one answer: add water cooling. Better yet, just have that water cooling installed out of the box. And while you’re at it, Zotac will overclock your card at the factory, taking NVIDIA’s 772 MHz default graphics engine clock and juicing it to 815 MHz. The shader clock climbs from 1544 MHz to 1630 MHz. Even the 4008 MT/s memory clock gets a nudge to 4100 MHz at the end of Nvidia’s 384-bit GDDR5 memory bus.

Of course, Zotac supports all of the usual amenities: DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1, CUDA, PhysX, three-way SLI, and 3D Vision. The card utilizes PCIe 2.0 x16 and offers one mini HDMI and two dual link DVI-I connectors.

Zotac uses the CoolIT Systems Omni ALC cooler, which is factory-sealed and ready for system installation. The interposer plate that attaches to the GTX 580 card is remarkably thin and allows the card to occupy only one card slot. L-shaped tubing connections keep the total card length at only 10.5 inches. Most interestingly, the interposer plate is the only proprietary part of the cooling system. In this case, it’s designed for the GeForce GTX 580, but in theory you should be able to purchase different interposer plates for future cards and carry over the radiator and tubing apparatus, which is a terrific value-add for serious gamers.

Zotac throws in a software bundle, including Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, but the real draw here is the overclocking and liquid cooling. This GeForce GTX 580 Infinity Edition is without question one gift that would keep giving the whole year ‘round.

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    Top Comments
  • serhat359
    I feel sorry for those girls that they have to smile for the camera even though they have no idea what they are holding
    36
  • wizloa
    i clicked for the lady
    33
  • HansVonOhain
    Must... focus ... on ... computer parts...
    22
  • Other Comments
  • gerohmygosh
    Where is the girl for the PNY RAM?!?!?!
    0
  • wizloa
    i clicked for the lady
    33
  • phamhlam
    What is your favorite picture?

    Mine was the one with the 4 SSD.
    My floppy disk totally turned to a hard disk drive.

    I can't wait for part 2 already.
    6
  • serhat359
    I feel sorry for those girls that they have to smile for the camera even though they have no idea what they are holding
    36
  • HansVonOhain
    Must... focus ... on ... computer parts...
    22
  • phamhlam
    What is hotter? The computer parts or the girl?
    -6
  • richboyliang
    haha do these girls know what they're doing?
    -7
  • koolkat574
    richboylianghaha do these girls know what they're doing?


    Depends on if you use an aftermarket cooler or the stock one
    -6
  • manu 11
    For one second, my focus was deviated, back to pc!
    -5
  • lunyone
    It looks like the Blonde model was having more fun, or is it just me. If I wasn't married, I'd take either! Forget the PC hardware, there are more important things to look at!!! Lol!
    10
  • bcontoursvt
    All these pages later and I still have no idea what the topic of the story was...
    11
  • LuckyDucky7
    I don't get it.

    Why are some things suggested in this guide mostly the worst value you could get for that sum of cash?

    For starters:

    -MSI 990FX-GD80 wouldn't be my top pick. That would go to a Gigabyte 990FXA-UD(x) board. Why bother getting a board that's more expensive than the best processor for the platform (or one whose lower-end boards don't catch fire).

    -i7-3930K? Ivy's just around the corner and will run on 150 dollar boards that do more than X79 could think of.

    -Silverstone 1000W PSU? Seasonic's already got their X-1050, which has 80+ Platinum certification instead of gold for the same cost.

    Some things I guess I just don't understand, then. You list some parts that have really good value, such as that RAM and Powercolor graphics card along with the 955BE, and then go to the polar opposite. I don't see the reason for that.
    21
  • manu 11
    I can ditch pc hardware if i can get a girl in those photos
    1
  • kustiki321
    I'm sorry, was there supposed to be some sort of gift guide here? I know it's a tech site and I was expecting one but I can't seem to see what they're recommending.
    0
  • mkrijt
    The redhead doesn't seem to have fun....
    17
  • cold fire
    I'm having a hard time deciding whether I'd take all the hardware or all the girls. :$
    -8
  • tzhu07
    Those girls prove why Tom's Hardware will never be at the level of AnandTech...
    -7
  • gazum123
    Anonymous said:
    I'm sorry, was there supposed to be some sort of gift guide here? I know it's a tech site and I was expecting one but I can't seem to see what they're recommending.



    Get a life you freak
    -22
  • Goldengoose
    gazum123Get a life you freak

    Get a sense of humor you rude little man.
    15
  • Anonymous
    and not a single anti-static precaution taken... All those naked components... what a waste
    -4