PNY’s luxury XLR8 comes with closed-loop liquid cooling from
Asetek. These self-contained systems require less setup the XLR8 wasn’t much
more difficult to install than a standard card.
But the difference it makes to the card’s specifications are
immense. This enhanced GTX 580 (already a powerful card) goes far beyond the
remit of the unenhanced.
The original core clock of 772MHz has been pushed up to
857MHz. and the 1,536MB of GDDR5 memory also gets a speed nudge, from 1,002MHz
(4,008MHz DDR effective) to 1,053 MHz (4,212MHz DDR effective). Aided by the
384bit interface, memory bandwidth is thus increased from 192.4GB per second (GBps)
to 202.2 GBps.
Performance is very good. The PNY edged ahead of the
standard GTX 590 in out tests, although AMD’s HD 6990 is even faster.
In Crysis, it scored 56 and 48.2fps at 1680x1050 and
1920x1200 pixel resolutions, compared to the 598.3 and 49.5fps of the 6990. the
GTX 590 here slipped behind with 55.2 and 47.1fps.
In the heaven engine, this PNY was also slightly ahead of
the standard 590, and scored 62.4 and 57.7fps to its 60.9 and 57.3fps. the 6990
was faster still, and notched up 63.9 and 58fps.
In BattleForge, the PNY established itself as the fastest
card, and its 95.6fps at 1920x1200 decimated the 91 and 87.7fps of the 590 and
In Stalker, the 580’s figure of 83.2 fps at 1920x1200 was
identical to that of the 6990, but some way ahead of the GTX 590’s 75.6fps.
The liquid cooling system doesn’t enable this card to run
totally cool. It does a good job of protecting the GPU, but parts of the board
became hot to the touch during testing. The card remained stable, though, and even
an over-clocking test wasn’t able to trip it up.
PNY promises a 30 percent reduction in operational noise
over the reference design. Whereas the standard 580 produced 43dB in our tests,
the XLR8 recorded 39dB. We still found it loud in operation.
You’ll need to find room in your system case for the
radiator, plus two spare power supply connectors.
The flagship GTX 590 remains unfeasibly expensive, making
this super fast PNY excellent value at $700. its
cooling system works well to protect the GPU.
nVidia GeForce GTX 580; 1,536MB GDDR5 RAM; 857 MHz core
clock; 1,053MHz memory clock (4,212MHz DDR effective); 400MHz Ramdac; 384bit
memory interface; 512 CUDA cores; 64 texture units; 48 ROP units; PCI
Express; 1x 6-pin and 1x 8-pin power connector; DirectX 11.0; 2x DVI;
Mini-HDMI; 5 year warranty