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ASUS MATRIX GeForce GTX 580 1536MB Platinum OC'ed Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jun 24, 2011 8:39 am
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: ASUS

Specifications and Overclocking


Out of the box the GTX 580 MATRIX from ASUS doesn't carry with it anything all that special when it comes to the clocks. We see the core come in at 816MHz, the Shader at 1632MHz and the 1536MB of GDDR5 come in at 4008MHz QDR. For this reason we have chosen to overclock the card and bench it at the overclocked speed we're able to achieve.




Today, though, we won't be using MSI Afterburner and will instead be using the new GPU Tweak It utility from ASUS. They've finally decided to ditch DumbDoctor; sorry SmartDoctor, and make an overclocking program that looks a whole lot better and offers a load more function.


Like the Lightning cards and Afterburner, the ROG MATRIX card and GPU Tweak It unlocks the ability to do more. Apart from just adjust the core like we're able to do on a lot of other cards, we're able to also adjust the PLL and Memory voltage to help us achieve higher overclocks overall.




With all this in mind, we ended up with a core clock of 925MHz, Shader clock of 1870MHz and memory clock of 5GHz QDR even. This isn't the highest overclock we've achieved with a GTX 580, but using the default air cooler, ASUS have clearly opted for a path that consists of the card running quieter instead of running louder.


This is great, but without manually adjusting the fan, as we get the voltage up which in turn helps us get the clock speeds up, the card can run quite warm because the fan continues to spin with low noise being in mind. We won't get into specifics yet and instead will wait till we cover the fan noise and card temperature later.


What we can say, though, was hitting the 100% fan speed and cranking the voltages up, we ended up at 970MHz on the core and 5100MHz QDR on the memory. This is a nice overclock, but since it wasn't a huge amount faster than when the fan was on auto, we opted to go for the slightly lower clocks with fan on auto instead of the higher clocks and the fan on 100%. Of course, if you want to do some specific benchmarking, you know the option to go to 100% is there and you're able to net yourself some extra MHz thanks to being able to run extra voltage safely through the card.




Quickly before we move onto testing, though, the "Burn" feature in GPU Tweak It was something I wanted to quickly cover. I love this little feature; with our core set to 935MHz and our memory at 5000MHz QDR we're able to save the profile like we normally would with MSI Afterburner. That way, when we fire up Windows we can just hit Profile 1 and everything is at what we want. If we hit the Burn button, though, we're able to update the BIOS on the card with our own clocks. As you can see in the above GPU-Z screen, no longer is the default setup on the card 816 / 1002 (4008 QDR) / 1632, it's now at 932 / 1250 (5000 QDR) / 1870.


This means if I uninstalled the overclocking software or took the card to another computer, the card would be running at my safe overclocked settings straight away without doing anything. Of course, if something goes wrong, we've got the Safe Mode button on the back which resets our BIOS, but the ability to easily burn a profile to the BIOS is really cool.


GPU Tweak It is really powerful software and while there are a few things I would change about it, ASUS have done a good job of expanding on features that MSI Afterburner offer us. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do a separate article covering the software top to bottom and see what features are lost when we throw another branded card into it. One of the best features to MSI Afterburner is that we can throw any brand card in it and we are still able to make use of features like core voltage adjustment.

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