EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Review - HotHardware

EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Review

15 thumbs up

Performance Summary: With the launch of the GTX 580, NVIDIA continued to lay claim to the fastest single GPU video card available. The EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 simply takes the lead up a few notches. Going into this review, we took note of the higher GPU and memory frequencies offered on the card and expected to see a performance boost relative to the increase in graphics horsepower. What we saw was a complete domination of our benchmark suite. The factory overclock resulted in FPS increases in every test we ran when compared to the stock GTX 580. On average, we saw an 8% performance jump. Furthermore, the HC2 eclipsed the overclocked HD 5970 by 5%, making it the fastest card in our comparison group.   


 

In the past, we've found that one advantage of buying a graphics card with a pre-installed GPU water block is a cost savings for the total package compared to purchasing the card and water block separately. This was the case with the GTX 480 FTW Hydro Copper we reviewed last summer and previous water cooled graphics cards before it. Does that hold true for this product? Unfortunately, not this time around. The GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 goes for $699. Since EVGA doesn't offer an air cooled FTW GTX 580, we'll take the next best thing and use the SuperClocked GTX 580, which retails for $519. The Swiftech / EVGA full cover water block is not sold separately so we don't have exact pricing on it, but we found comparable water blocks for about $140. Going the do-it-yourself route, the total comes out to $659, which is $40 less than the HC2. But the cost savings does not take into account the time and effort it requires to replace the stock heatsink with a water block. Furthermore, the HC2 arrives with a guaranteed 850 MHz overclock versus the uncertain speed you would reach using another model.



To wrap things up, let's look at the options available in the ultra high end market. The most expensive consumer graphics card you can buy is the Asus Ares HD 5870 X2 4GB, which retails for $1099. The next best thing from AMD's camp is the XFX HD 5970 Black Edition, a slightly overclocked version of the 5970 which sells for $719. On the other side of the fence, the only competition for the HC2 comes from similarly overclocked GTX 580s. The card we used in the comparison group from MSI held up pretty well in the benchmarks and retails for only $509 online. It's worth noting that EVGA is currently the only company that offers a liquid cooled GTX 580 model. Until we see what the upcoming dual-GPU GTX 5-series card can do, the GTX 580 FTW HC2 is the fastest GeForce card you can buy today.

With higher frequencies and lower temperatures, EVGA gives enthusiasts and gamers a product that provides dominating performance in one neat package. Yes it's extravagant and expensive, but those willing to spend this much money on a video card will not be disappointed. For example, our retail sample hit a rock solid stable 1005 MHz with only a slight voltage increase and minimal effort. From a performance standpoint, we couldn't be more pleased. With a lifetime warranty, attractive design, single slot form factor, extraordinary performance, and low temps, we highly recommend the GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 from EVGA.

 

 

  • Very low operating temps
  • Runs dead silent
  • Plenty of overclocking headroom
  • Single slot form factor
  • PhysX and CUDA Support
  • OC utilities included
  • Lifetime warranty

  • Expensive
  • Requires additional liquid cooling hardware
  • Heavy

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Hmm, its good to see GPU's coming with preinstalled cards. I had a terrifying experience at a friends places with the gasket leaked the liquid (mix of coolant and water) all over the board. We dumped like 1/2 a bottle of isopropyl alcohol all over, but the board didnt survive. Interestingly enough, the gpu and cpu were just fine haha. But Still... he's never touched water cooling again... i doubt he will in the near future.

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I'm seeing fewer liquid cooled cards in the market recently. It's such a niche market. EVGA puts them out like clock work though.

This card is seriously badass.  Wish I had three or four in SLI Wink

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I find it kind of funny really that the 5970 still beats this card as well as everything else. Then you look at the price's of course. I have not looked at the exact price, but being that it is an Nvidia card, and they always up charge to the greatest amount for the top of the series cards I imagine expensive, then on top of that it is a specialized liquid cooled card to boot.

So why would I not just get a 5970, and if I have a liquid cooling system which I would have to have to make this card operational anyway on top of what I am sure is a premium price, I can also liquid cool my 5970 for right around if not lower price, and better performance.

Or heck if I wanna get real crazy get 3 6970's which would probably use less energy than this one, and they run cooler than anything else as well as supposedly the Crossfire is much, much improved for most likely cheaper than 1 of these and the liquid cooling for it, or the 5970, and a liquid cooling setup for either.

 

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This card beats the 5970...

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Ok; I went and checked the pricing on the EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 it is listed at $699.00, with no shipping  etc, and then add say 150 on top for a low end water cooling system we are talking roughly $900.00 for a single card. Umm I can buy a 6870 x3 for $615.00 - x4 $820.00  w/free shipping at Newegg, and a 6950 x3 for $840.00, and a 6970 x3 for for $1050.00. I know this is up as a review, and everything, but I can guarantee you 2 of any of the cards I listed will eat this card for dinner, much less 3. Yes I know it has adapters for water cooling, but you still have to get a water cooling system to feed it. I could buy 3 6870's and the best GPU water cooler on the planet for less, and at the least double my benchmarks Vs. this card easy.

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Two or three of this card in SLI would be the absolute bomb! It's all much more cash than I can muster and far too much work for me too.

But it's bad to the bone.

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your absolutely right, the amount of money that can be put elsewhere, great. Also, 700$, i was looking can get you a decent gaming rig on its own. But, niche market it is.

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If a person is doing tri sli with these cards i would love to see the rest of their computer. 

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fat78:

If a person is doing tri sli with these cards i would love to see the rest of their computer. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppGA3sMp2_Y

I'm still waiting for Digital Storm to send in this Monster to HotHardware for Dave or Marco to cook up some benchmarks!!

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SammyHayabuza:
I'm still waiting for Digital Storm to send in this Monster to HotHardware for Dave or Marco to cook up some benchmarks!!

Yes, and after that they can give it to me in a contest! I like the way you think Sammy!

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