EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3GB Review
Over the last few weeks we have seen some very interesting graphics cards making their way towards the retail channels. Both MSI and Gigabyte have introduced their overclocked and custom cooled GTX 580s while MSI recently put even more onto the table by releasing a 3GB version of their Lightning series. Dubbed the Lightning Xtreme Edition, it has the potential to offer extended performance in bandwidth limited situations but also comes with a steep price of over $600.
Unbeknownst to many, EVGA has also entered the heightened bandwidth market with their own GTX 580 3GB. This new GTX 580 forgoes the custom cooling and component choices of some competitors and instead focuses upon a better buying experience through the inclusion of a lifetime warranty and EVGA’s always excellent customer support. Its accessory package also continues down the no frills route with the usual power and video adaptors though a mini HDMI to HDMI dongle is included.
From the outside, there really isn’t much to distinguish this GTX 580 from any other reference-based example on the market. It still uses a 6+8 pin power connector setup despite the additional memory along with slick looking blue highlights on the graphics. We would have loved to see this card come with EVGA’s new “DS” heatsink but it seems that wasn’t meant to be.
EVGA has however included their custom backplate which is designed to maximize airflow and supposedly increase cooling performance. It does this through the use of larger than reference openings up top and some additional slats near the two DVI connectors and single mini HDMI output.
You may have noticed this card’s name doesn’t include EVGA’s usual catch phrases like “Superclocked”, “SSC” and “FTW”. That’s because their 3GB GTX 580 retains reference speeds instead of being overclocked like much of the competition it its price range.
Speaking of price, the GTX 580 3GB somehow hits the $590 mark even without features like higher clock speeds and a custom heatsink. This actually puts EVGA’s card in a tough position: it is only $15 less than MSI’s Lightning Xtreme Edition 3GB, $55 more than Gigabyte’s Super Overclock and $65 more than MSI’s standard Lightning card. Perhaps the most eye opening aspect of this card’s price is its $50 price premium over Zotac’s nearly identical GTX 580 3GB. Is EVGA’s customer service excellence lifetime warranty really worth such a steep cost? Let’s find out.
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