EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Review

Article Index

Test System and 3DMark

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: In order to provide comparable results, the graphics cards tested here were installed on the same, high end X58 based test system. The components we used consisted of an Asus Rampage III Extreme motherboard, Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor, and 6GB of OCZ Blade memory. Within the BIOS, we configured the processor to an overclocked speed of 4.27GHz and memory to 1857MHz.

We feel these settings will minimize the occurrences of CPU performance bottlenecks during benchmark runs and allow the graphics cards to show their true potential. Furthermore, our Crucial M225 solid state drive entered the testing process with a clean copy of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit installed. Once installation was complete, we fully updated the OS and installed the latest drivers and applications relevant to the review article.

HotHardware's Test System
Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition
Overclocked 4.27GHz

Asus Rampage III Extreme Motherboard
X58 Express Chipset

EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2
XFX HD 5970 Black Edition
Gigabyte Super OC HD 5870
Zotac GTX 570 Amp! Edition
HIS HD 6870 Fan Turbo

6GB OCZ Blade DDR3-1857
(3 X 2GB) 7-8-7-20 1T

Crucial M225 128GB SSD
Firmware 1916

Watercooling Loop:
Laing MCP655 D5 12V DC Pump
Thermochill PA120.3 Triple Radiator
EK-RES400 v2 Multi-Option Reservoir
1/2" ID / 3/4" OD Tygon R3400 Tubing
Bitspower 1/2" Compression Fittings
Six 120mm Yate Loon D12SL-12 Fans

Dell 3008WFP LCD Monitor
2560 x 1600 Resolution

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Professional 64bit
NVIDIA GeForce Driver Release 263.09
ATI Catalyst Display Driver 10.12

Benchmarks Used:

3DMark Vantage
3DMark 11
Aliens vs Predator
Metro 2033
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat

To see where the GTX 580 FTW HC2 stands against the competition, we gathered several of the fastest cards we could get our hands on. From AMD, we tested the XFX HD 5970 Black Edition, Gigabyte Super Overclock HD 5870, and an HIS HD 6870 Fan Turbo. We also ran numbers from an MSI N580GTX OC and Zotac GTX 570 Amp! Edition. Every single one comes factory overclocked to provide additional performance. For reference, we tested the MSI 580 at stock speeds as well. Unfortunately, we did not have either the HD 6970 or 6950 card available for testing. They happen to be AMD's fastest single GPU cards at the moment (HD 5970 is still more powerful) but keep in mind that they are comparable to the GTX 570 in performance. Nevertheless, the group of GPU's we're comparing in this article represent some of the biggest and baddest models available from both camps.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DX10 Performance

3DMark Vantage

Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10. With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated new graphics tests, CPU tests, several feature tests, and support for the latest PC hardware. We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Extreme and Performance preset options.

Well, we're off to a good start. The GTX 580 FTW HC2 hit a score of P32823 and X14569, beating the other overclocked GTX 580 from MSI for the top spot in Vantage. In fact, it even led the HD 5970 Black Edition by 11% in this particular benchmark.

Futuremark 3DMark11
Synthetic DirectX Gaming


The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows 7-based systems because it uses the advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 11, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Extreme and Performance preset options.

3DMark11 is a vicious benchmark and really puts a hurting on the current crop of DX11 hardware. With that said, the HD 5970 flexes its muscles and leads the GTX 580 FTW HC2 by a 14% margin. But the EVGA card easily outpaces the rest of the pack.

At the end of the day, you really can't do much with 3DMark besides running the test and compare your score with others on discussion forums. The following pages consist of our real world gaming tests, so let's find out how the EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 performs in that environment.


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