A performance analysis of the GeForce GTX 580 video card wouldn’t be complete without some overclocking results, so we got in touch with our friends over at EVGA and they said the latest build of their EVGA Precision software would work on the GeForce GTX 580 reference card.
Using the EVGA Precision software utility for the GeForce GTX 580 graphics card is a little different, though, as the shader clock slider is locked with the core clock just like on the GeForce GTX 480. We contacted NVIDIA about this and they had this to say on the issue:
“When you move the processor clock slider on GTX 480 skin on the latest GF100 Precision tool the core clock goes up by proportional amount, since it’s ½ shader clock on this architecture. This is by design, GF100’s NV clock domain is controlled solely by the processor/shader domain.” NVIDIA PR
This makes sense and makes overclocking a little easier! The bad news is that those that run F@H won’t be able to adjust just the shaders as the core and shader clock are locked together and can’t be un-linked.
The highest overclock that we could get on the GeForce GTX 580 reference card was 886MHz on the core and 1125MHz on the GDDR5 memory. This overclock was 100% stable on games, but for some reason it would crash on the longer synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark Vantage.
We had to back down the GPU Core Clock down to 850MHz (1700MHz shaders) and the overclock was then 100% stable.
What is interesting is that we could get the core clock up to 871MHz (1742MHz shaders) and run F@H for 12+ hours with no crashes or turn in any early work units. Looks like 3DMark Vantage puts the hurting on the Fermi core if it isn’t 100% stable.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Graphics Card at 772MHz/1544MHz/1002MHz:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Graphics Card at 850MHz/1700MHz/1125MHz:
We saw 3DMark Vantage go up from X13292 to X14498, which is a 9% jump in performance! Let’s see what it does in real games.
The jump from 772MHz to 850MHz on the core clock helped boost performance by 13% in Metro 2033 and by 10% in AvP at a resolution of 1920×1200. We’ll take a 10-13% performance increase from overclocking any day! If we could adjust the GPU voltage we are certain we could have gotten a higher overclock in the games. We were able to run AvP at 885MHz core clock with full stability, but just couldn’t get it stable in 3DMark Vantage! As you know, overclocking can be really frustrating!