Asus GTX580 Direct CU II Review – the ultimate 580?

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The high end sector only drives a small portion of income for nVidia and AMD, however it is important to be seen as dominant in this sector as public perception and confidence can drive sales further down the range. The Asus GTX580 Direct CU II is a highly modified play on the nVidia GTX580 reference solution which looks on paper to be one of the finest graphics cards on the market.

We have looked at reference design GTX580′s in the past and have been extremely impressed with nVidia’s flagship graphics card. While the HD5970 is still the ultimate performance king, in fairness it is a dual GPU design.

The GTX580 is comprised of 3 billion transistors and it demands high levels of power, even though nVidia have made changes to the architecture to ensure that electrical leakages and latencies are reduced. The Geforce GTX580 has 512 cuda cores and also features 64 texture memory units and 48 ROP’s via a 384 bit memory interface with 1.5GB of memory onboard.

Product nVidia GTX 480 Asus GTX 580
Shader Units 480 512
GPU GF100 GF110
ROPs 48 48
Transistors 3200M 3000M
Memory Count 1536MB 1536MB
Memory Bus Width 384 bit 384 bit
Core Clock 700mhz 782mhz
Memory Clock 924 mhz 1002mhz
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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Asus GTX580 Direct CU II Review - the ultimate 580?, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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32 Comments
  • Tech Head
    February 8, 2011
    #1
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    Lol Asus are insane. love it, even if I could never afford it

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  • Raymond E
    February 8, 2011
    #2
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    Some of the best reviews on the net here, without a doubt. awesome work.

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  • Fugger
    February 8, 2011
    #3
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    Man, that got me hard.

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  • Thomas
    February 8, 2011
    #4
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    well thank god its not another AMD review ! great job on the testing. that card is amazing looking and in performance. cant see it anywhere for sale. not that I can afford it mind you, but im curious.

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  • Pinnacle of power
    February 8, 2011
    #5
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    Read it and weep AMD ! these cards are kicking ass all over the world :)

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  • KoRn
    February 8, 2011
    #6
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    I would sell my left kidney for this card, what an amazing bit of work from ASUS. well showcased on KG, great review.

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  • Manny
    February 8, 2011
    #7
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    I love the metal coolers, this is way out of my league, but i love the metal cooler on the msi card you reviewed today too. so much nicer looking than plastic crap. (HIS blue cooler springs to mind!)

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  • Tim
    February 8, 2011
    #8
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    Something interesting has happened to me since November. I generally opted out of AMD hardware. not because its poor or bad, but because nvidia have always been better.

    Reading all the reviews here lately and especially the FLeX 6870 review has really made me want to get into 3 or even 4 screen setups. I know a stunning card like this ASUS board will do it, if you end up with two of them, but the cards alone would cost one thousand quid. Two HD6870′s and 3 24 inch screens would cost the same as two of these cards.

    its horses for courses and im still not sold on AMD drivers, but its got me thinking. At least I have till the summer before I work out what to do. (getting married soon!)

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  • Tri Color
    February 8, 2011
    #9
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    Absolutely love it. its Asus insanity again. engineering overload :) great job.

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  • Ned
    February 8, 2011
    #10
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    Nice to see you reviewing some nvidia hardware again. Always enjoyed reading your reviews of the new hardware. This is certainly one hell of a sexy card, but the price is a little too rich for my blood. Still, great to read and a good highlight on ASUS, as its often with sapphire!

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  • Natty
    February 8, 2011
    #11
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    good lord, what a monster of a card. My 5670 is shaking.

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  • Dave
    February 8, 2011
    #12
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    Imagine four of these in SLI, how good would that be !

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  • Maddys boy
    February 8, 2011
    #13
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    Lovely bit of work from Asus there. Totally overkill, but we all love that, right?

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  • BenJamin
    February 8, 2011
    #14
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    I still these cards are overpriced, not just the Asus one, but the 580s in general.

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  • Roger
    February 8, 2011
    #15
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    The backplate is mounted with screws in a reverse position, that’s unusual.

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  • Trev
    February 8, 2011
    #16
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    Nice cooler design, wonder how it would compare against the arctic cooling extreme.

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  • Longjohn
    February 8, 2011
    #17
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    I see a problem, it’s really too powerful for a single screen, but to use it across 3 you need two of them.

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  • Sammy
    February 8, 2011
    #18
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    I will be ordering this when I can find one.

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  • Bob cat
    February 8, 2011
    #19
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    We all love the attention to detail, but I would love to know how many of these really do sell, a few thousand worldwide maybe? How many did the ares sell?

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  • Kern
    February 8, 2011
    #20
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    Awesome! I love Asus designs

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  • Colin flapjack
    February 8, 2011
    #21
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    Id still rather have an hd6970

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  • Ewitry
    February 8, 2011
    #22
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    I like my games but I see no real need for this power. I’ve still got a 5870 and at 1920×1200 its brilliant. I’d rather have a new CPU and a psu :)

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  • MadOne
    February 9, 2011
    #23
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    Why no direct comparison with a standard GTX580 ?

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  • aberkae
    February 9, 2011
    #24
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    Price, link, availability?

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  • Dave
    February 9, 2011
    #25
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    @ Madone.

    Why would you compare results against a reference GTX580? the clock speeds are basically the same.

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  • Raymond
    February 10, 2011
    #26
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    It says in the article,. only SLI for 3 screen gaming. so you would need two of them.

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  • Pedro Duarte
    March 8, 2011
    #27
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    One question … how did you do the stability testing on your overclocking? I have one and… is that 973Mhz core and 4700 memory furmark stable? I think that 1.125v is not enough for those clocks … at least, not to pass furmark :) I’m really curious on how did you do the stability testing :)

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  • Zardon
    March 8, 2011
    #28
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    Bear in mind every card will be slightly different. How far can you push yours? I generally test with unigine for artifacting, it’s a great stress test and easily to see when issues occur

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  • Pedro Duarte
    March 9, 2011
    #29
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    I only test with furmark … and my is topping out at 961Mhz, 4335Mhz mems … at 1.15v …

    That’s why i’m kind of doubting the 1.125v will resist to furmark … but that’s me :)
    Runing 3dmark 2010 it will do 976Mhz without crashing and 4450 on the memories … but that’s not 100% stable because at furmark benchmark … once it gets at 98% the fans stop and the graphic driver gives stops responding …

    But yes, i know not all cards are equal :) I was just thinking about the testing method … because, those 4700 memory is huge … it’s 350Mhz more than mine … not even talking about the core because it’s “not that high” …

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  • Zardon
    March 9, 2011
    #30
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    Interesting, I’ve had two and I get similar with both cards. Is your memory artifacting in games or is it just fur mark stress testing?

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  • Pedro Duarte
    March 9, 2011
    #31
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    Nope… it just crashes the graphic driver… no artifacts what so ever. I can run it at 961 and 4315Mhz zero problems … more than that … caboom :P

    It simply quits the application … sometimes i get a reboot, other just crashes the explorer and graphic driver :x

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  • Paul
    March 19, 2011
    #32
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    Furmark has it’s own issues as stated over at Guru3D, it’s been shunned!

    “Note: As of lately, there has been a lot of discussion using FurMark as stress test to measure power load. Furmark is so malicious on the GPU that it does not represent an objective power draw compared to really hefty gaming. If we take a very-harsh-on-the-GPU gaming title, then measure power consumption and then compare the very same with Furmark, the power consumption can be 50 to 100W higher on a high-end graphics card solely because of FurMark.

    After long deliberation we decided to move away from FurMark and are now using a game like application which stresses the GPU 100% yet is much more representable of power consumption and heat levels coming from the GPU. We however are not disclosing what application that is as we do not want AMD/NVIDIA to ‘optimize & monitor’ our stress test whatsoever, for our objective reasons of course”.

    Original link: http://www.guru3d.com/article/liquid-cooling-overclocking-geforce-gtx-580-danger-den/8

    Worth a note I thought.

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