Gainward GeForce GTX 580 Golden Sample
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With just a couple of days before AMD/ATI release their latest Radeon HD 69xx series we bring you a review about the latest and most powerful to date NVIDIA graphics processing unit the GeForce GTX 580. Now many people around the globe from end users to driver testers and hardware reviewers claim that the GTX 580 is what the previous GTX 480 should be like since the new model uses less power and produces less heat than its predecessor. Personally i disagree since as you will see later on the new GeForce GTX 580 manages not only to surpass the ATI Radeon HD 5870 with extreme ease but in most cases it also manages to surpass the current AMD/ATI flagship, the Radeon HD 5970. With that in mind even if NVIDIA could had released the GTX 480 with similar performance it simply would not make sense since there would be no competition between both leading companies for almost a full year, not to mention less profit for both companies. Anyways the card with us today carries the Gainward logo and as usual it belongs to their famous Golden Sample series.
Gainward Co. Ltd was founded in Taipei back in 1984 and their main goal was to produce a variety of PC video enhancement products. In 1989 Gainward starts production of new VGA technology and becomes a major developer for Tseng Labs ASIC in Taiwan. Their USA presence was officialized in 1991 and by 1992 Gainward was ranked Top 1000 Industrial companies in Taiwan. TNC Industrial Co. Ltd. merged with Gainward in 1997 and with that move they became one of the largest graphics cards suppliers, shipping more than 2 million boards during the year. In 2000 Gainward establishes their presence in Europe with a new branch in Germany while in 2001 they become an NVIDIA Certified Selection Solution Provider and NVIDIA Launch Partner. Gainward and Palit Microsystem Inc. merge together in 2005 to ensure a higher level of accessibility and the highest possible product quality. In 2006 they introduce a new company logo which they change again in 2008 when they become an AMD authorized partner.
The GeForce GTX 580 Golden Sample is currently Gainwards flagship card and much like all Golden Samples it features increased GPU/Memory/Shader clock speeds. Unfortunately it comes with the stock cooling solution instead the usual custom cooling solution Gainward uses with their Golden Sample cards. My guess is that Gainward decided that the custom cooling solution coupled with less power demand was sufficient enough and so there was no need to change it. Of course it is very possible that in the near future they may replace this Golden Sample with one that will also feature a custom cooling solution, however i can't say for sure. The only thing i can say is that this card literally blew me away with its performance and i really doubt that the new Radeon HD 6970 can surpass it, even with the recently discovered "optimizations" AMD/ATI has placed in their latest Catalyst drivers to boost performance with slight cost to image quality.