As was the case with the GTX 480, NVIDIA APAC again chose to ignore us with the launch of the GTX 580, so we had to resort to the manufacturers to try and get a sample. Eventually, weeks after the launch, MSI stole one for us so we could bring you this review.
I would like to think it's not just me that has animosity against NVIDIA and I'm pretty confident after talking to partners that I'm not the only one. While my frustration with NVIDIA relates to the lack of support with up to date information and complete lack of samples when it comes to high end parts, there's clearly partners who are both unhappy and worried about NVIDIA hitting the retail channel.
There are three reasons this review wasn't brought to you at launch. The first is that NVIDIA APAC doesn't care about me. New mid-range card? Oh, they're happy to help; we have more GTX 460 coverage than any other tech site, helping promote the model heavily for NVIDIA. It was a great card and partners did some great things with it, and we wanted to show you that. High end, though? We just get looked past by them. I'm not sure why; I'd love to have an answer not just for you, but for me. Unfortunately we weren't even granted a logical explanation.
Another reason we didn't have this card for launch is because partners didn't have any real stock. Tight stock means that reference cards tend not to get sampled and this is something we're seeing with NVIDIAs high end models. Again, the launch of the GTX 46X series was completely different. The other thing is that partners are legitimately worried about their future with NVIDIA. Since NVIDIA didn't provide a sample, it forced me to dig and dig and dig to get one. When you dig so much, you find out so much more. Partners seem worried about NVIDIA going retail and anyone who said they were worried said the same thing; at the end of the day they can't compete with NVIDIA when it comes to price, because they set it.
That's Another reason why we didn't have a card at launch. That doesn't matter now, though, since we have one for the moment. No doubt at the next high end launch we'll run into the same problem.
Anyway, let's get into the package that MSI has got going on.
There's really not much that you haven't seen to the overall package with the main stand outs being a 6-Pin to 8-Pin PCI-E connector along with a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable. It's nice to get the cable versus just a convertor; good news for people who own monitors that are HDMI connected.