EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Review - HotHardware

EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Review

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Watercooling has seen greater mainstream acceptance in recent years. As a result, manufacturers have acknowledged the trend and expanded their product lineups to include these more exotic parts. But what's the big draw for video cards, motherboards, or memory pre-installed with liquid cooling options? Simply put, increased cooling potential nets higher overclocking headroom which translates into higher, stable operating frequencies and ultimately, greater performance. In this particular case, performance is anchored by lower component temperatures and a quieter computing environment as well.



With help from the folks over at Swiftech, EVGA came up with a single slot, full cover watercooling solution you see here. It transfers heat from all the components that generate high temperature, specifically the GPU, VRM, and memory chips. The Hydro Copper 2 measures 10.5" (266.7mm) in length and stands 4.4" (111.2mm) tall. With the full card waterblock, it's also a heavy card, weighing in at 3 lbs. In comparison, the Hydro Copper 2 is the same length as other GTX 580s, but still shorter than the 12" Radeon HD 5970.



A look along the top edge of the card reveals some important connections. The Hydro Copper 2 requires two power jacks, one 6-pin and one 8-pin connector from the power supply. There are also dual SLI connectors which enable multi-card gaming, making it possible to link two, three, or four of these behemoths on the same motherboard. Look closely and you'll see a small EVGA logo next to the 8-pin power connector which lights up during normal operation.


An EVGA GTX 580 backplate comes pre-installed on the Hydro Copper 2. Besides protecting the card, it helps to cool the components found on this side of the PCB. And we think it adds to the overall aesthetic of the product, making it obvious this isn't a standard GTX 580. You can actually buy the backplate separately for $20.

 



Like the reference design, the Hydro Copper 2 comes with three connections on the PCI bracket. You get a mini-HDMI port along with two dual-link DVI connectors. The HDMI port is version 1.4a, which was released March 2010 and supports all of the latest 3D formats.



With a high end product, one would expect the accessory bundle to include everything required for installation. In this regard, the Hydro Copper 2 did not disappoint. There is a quick start guide, driver disc, DVI-to-VGA adapter, PCIe power adapters, and HDMI-to-mini HDMI cable. Moreover, EVGA threw in a set of 1/2" and 3/8" stubby fittings with corresponding hose clamps. The disk contains NVIDIA graphics drivers, EVGA Precision, OC Scanner, and EVGA SLI Enhancement.


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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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