NVIDIA Unveils GTX 580 Built on Fermi Architecture; Allows for Multi-GPU Gaming

Written By Sam on 10 November 2010

After NVIDIA’s graphic card versions, the GTX 480 and the GF 100 GPU, released last year, this year will see what NVIDIA developers claim to be the fastest graphics card available in the market, the GeForce GTX 580. Built on the Fermi architecture, which is the most advanced GPU computer architecture ever built, NVIDIA has managed to put together a good gaming GPU and a good computer GPU in a single product, that is, the GTX 580.

However, this was not true of the GF100 chip, which not only had size issues but was also built using TSMC’s 40nm process that is still in its developing stages and the results were way below satisfactory leading to its ouster.

The GTX 580 is reportedly the first of the GeForce 500 series and sets a high example for future models in this series to follow. But since NVIDIA is still in the process of ironing out kinks from the 40nm process and refining their techniques, the GTX 580 has ended up having a lot in common with the GTX 480 except that it is a faster version of the same. It seems like the 500 series will be very closely related to the 400 series with only speed being the main differentiating factor.

This differentiating factor comes from the fact that the GTX 580 is a complete chip. It is completely enabled with the ROPs, the L2 cache and the SMs. This gives the GTX 6.6% more shading, texturing, and geometric performance as compared to the GTX 480.

The second factor that makes the GTX 540 a little different from the GTX 480 is clockspeeds. The GTX 580 runs at 772MHz compared to the GTX 480 that runs at 700MHz, marking a 10% increase in the core clockspeed. It has also resulted in an 8% increase in the memory bandwidth which results in an overall 25 to 30 percent performance boost on the GTX 580.

The 10.5 inch long GTX 580 is available for $499 including the 512 CUDA cores. It allows for multi GPU gaming with its three way SLI. It comes with mini-HDMI and DL-DVI outputs.

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