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GeForce GTX 580 And GF110: The Way Nvidia Meant It To Be Played

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-980X (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz at 3.73 GHz (28 * 133 MHz), LGA 1366, 6.4 GT/s QPI, 12 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardGigabyte X58A-UD5 (LGA 1366) Intel X58/ICH10R, BIOS FB
MemoryKingston 6 GB (3 x 2 GB) DDR3-2000, KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX @ 8-8-8-24 and 1.65 V
Hard DriveIntel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
GraphicsGigabyte GV-N580D5-15I GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 1.5 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 1.25 GB
AMD Radeon HD 5970 2 GB
AMD Radeon HD 5870 1 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6870 1 GB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 10.10
Nvidia GeForce Release 260.99 (For GTX 480 and 470)
Nvidia GeForce Release 262.99 (For GTX 580)

Falcon Northwest can remove the backlit logo if you're rather have a solid color instead.

In addition to our open-air test bench, which is fine for collecting performance data, but insufficient for gauging heat or acoustic performance (especially in an SLI/CrossFire configuration), Kelt Reeves at Falcon Northwest shipped us a prototype Mach V-series PC in his Icon 2 chassis, which has been an ongoing work since 2002. You'll notice that this thing has a very SilverStone-like look to it, and that's because SilverStone borrowed a number of its design elements when the company was contracted to build this thing. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Kelt should be feeling pretty loved right about now.

The Icon 2 won't be available for another month or so, but if you're planning a high-end system purchase with holiday money, this chassis will become an option in the fairly near future, and it has clearly been a labor of love. Compartmentalized to isolate heat and improve cooling (the shipping version employs a a divider between the fan and grommet in the fan deck shot below), the GPUs are kept separate from the rest of the platform. In our particular setup, an Intel Core i7-980X overclocked to 4.2 GHz is cooled with an Asetek 570LC setup in a push/pull config to maximize cooling.

Icon 2's prototype fan deck

The Mach V made it perfectly clear how big of a difference there is between GeForce GTX 480 and 580. While the 480s would clearly spin up under load, generating a distracting amount of noise, even under load, the 580s were quieter than the 120 mm Scythe exhaust fan on the prototype machine's I/O panel.

Lost Planet 2Highest Quality Settings, No AA / 16x AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1900x1200 / 2560x1600, DirectX 11, Steam version
Just Cause 2Highest Quality Settings, No AA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Bokeh filter and GPU water disabled (for Nvidia cards), Concrete Jungle Benchmark
Metro 2033Medium Settings, AAA / 16x AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Built-in Benchmark, Steam version
DiRT 2Ultra High Settings, 4x AA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Steam version, Custom benchmark script, DX11 Rendering
Aliens Vs. Predator BenchmarkHighest Quality Settings, SSAO, No AA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600
Battlefield: Bad Company 2Custom (Highest) Quality Settings, 8x MSAA / 16xAF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, opening cinematic, 145 second sequence, FRAPS
3DMark VantagePerformance Default, PPU Disabled
Civilization 5Highest Quality Settings, No AA, 1920x1080, Demo Version, Leader benchmark, Map View test (zoom in and zoom out)