Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge
Corsair Hydro H70 Liquid CPU Cooler
MSI Z68A-GD65 G3
Corsair 2x 2GB XMS3 DDR3
Seagate 400GB HDD
FSP Group Aurum Gold 500
Corsair Obsidian 650D Chassis
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
One of the first things I did with this card was see how far I could overclock it. For this, I used ASUS' SmartDoctor and was able to push the card from a stock of 782 MHz core / 1002 MHz memory / 1564 MHz shader up to 901 MHz / 1176 MHz / 1802 MHz. To do this, I had to max out the Vcore to 1.15v. Some other sites were able to get upwards of 970 MHz out of the core but this particular sample wasn't game. Regardless, a 119 MHz core clock isn't too bad and it's worth noting that ASUS has already slightly overclocked this card. Stock core clocks on other GTX 580 cards is only 772 MHz.
I did try overclocking the card without volt mods and was able to push the core up to around 825 MHz.
I also measured idle and load temperatures at the above settings with a constant room temperature of 75F. The fan controller on the Obsidian 650D chassis was set to low. I set the fan speed control on the 580 to Auto in SmartDoctor. Below are the results.
Comparing this with the 560, the 580 is 12C warmer at stock clocks and 22C hotter when overclocked.
I used OCCT's power supply test and Prime 95 to fully tax the GPU and CPU. This generated a total load of 432 watts on the system. Contrary to popular belief, you can get by with a 500 watt power supply with a similarly spec'd system, although if you plan to SLI or add additional hardware down the road, you will want a power supply with a bit more juice.
Let's move ahead and put the card through some synthetic and gaming benchmarks.