Nvidia has had a lot of positive press and publicity with the launch of the GTX680 (read my overview here), and this month the company confirmed the first orders to cease production of older Geforce 500-series cards this April, beginning with the GTX580.
The flagship card based on Nvidia’s GF110 was a second-generation Fermi design that didn’t suffer the woes of the GTX480 that preceded it. The card is still held in high reverence by many hardware sites and still enjoys healthy sales. This month the card celebrates its death with an anticipated $100 price drop as stocks clear out. While it creates a lot of heat, the GTX580 is more efficient than the GTX480 and also compares well with AMD’s Radeon HD6970 although the latter has been usurped by the brilliant HD7970.
For those of you looking to snag one on the cheap, the GTX580 requires a power supply capable of delivering 550watts or more with a 8 and 6-pin PCI Express power connector. Most cards feature redesigned heat shrouds and coolers and all take up at least two PCI Express slots on the back of your chassis. Note that the GTX580 cannot run three monitors off a single card – for that you need a GTX680 – but Nvidia 3D Vision is easily managed by a single GTX580 and brings a pleasurable new experience to your games and they way you interact with them.
Overclocked, the card may even hang ten with the HD7950 and will most certainly deliver playable performance for the next few years. Pick up one now and perhaps upgrade it when the GTX700 series pops up sometime in 2013.