First up is the GTX 580 from Taiwan based hardware manufacturer, Gigabyte Technology. Well known for their motherboards, Gigabyte has expanded their product line up to include cases, coolers, power supplies, notebooks, and peripherals, as well as graphics cards. During the past couple of years, we have seen a steady stream of reference and overclocked versions of video cards featuring both AMD / ATI and NVIDIA GPUs sporting the Gigabyte logo. And here we get our hands on the latest release from their Ultra Durable line.
Memory Clock / Size
1002 MHz / 1.5 GB
Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable
DVI to VGA Adapter
PCIe Power Adapters
Gigabyte offers two different models based on the GTX 580 currently. The base model is a re-badged reference design card from NVIDIA, sporting a dual slot, single fan cooling solution, and offers a core clock of 772 MHz. It comes with a 3 year warranty and sells for $499, the standard price for a stock GTX 580. The card we're looking at here is the Ultra Durabe VGA (UDV) model and sports a factory overclock to 795 MHz and Windforce 3x cooling solution. Moreover, the PCB has been redesigned to incorporate Gigabyte's 2 oz copper layers and top of the line components. The pleasant surprise here is that the N580UD retails for only $5 more than the stock GTX 580.
The N580UD features a dual slot cooler with three PWM fans sitting on a vapor chamber heat sink that stretches across the entire length of the card. In addition, three copper heat pipes are used to help to dissipate heat. Triple fan cooling solutions are becoming more common in the market place, especially with hot running, high end models. Gigabyte claims the advantages of this particular design are increased heat dissipation and quieter operating environment. Like the reference design, this card requires one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI Express connection from the power supply.
As with every enthusiast class product, the manufacturer includes a small accessory bundle to assist with initial installation. Gigabyte includes two Molex to PCIe power adapters, a DVI to VGA adapter, and a mini HDMI to HDMI cable. We also find a user manual and utilities disk included.