GTX 580 Super Overclock in DetailAs a member of the Super Overclock series, the GTX 580 SOC has gone through what Gigabyte describes as a "gauntlet sorting process." They say the GPU must pass a sequence of tests before it can wear the SOC badge of honor. This process is designed to guarantee the best overclocking performance.
However, handpicking the best GPUs is just part of the equation. Gigabyte needs to pair them with components that are of equal quality. Using what Gigabyte calls "Ultra Durable VGA+," the company believes its SOC graphics cards are accompanied by the best components possible.
The Ultra Durable VGA+ technology used on the GTX 580 SOC brings five NEC proadlizers, also known as film capacitors, to provide amazing current capacity and extremely low ESL/ESR for better overclocking. The added proadlizers transmit more stable power even during heavy loads.
The proadlizers called for a PCB redesign, making the SOC-branded GTX 580 unlike any other on the market. Whereas most GTX 580s measure 270mm long, the SOC version spans 280mm. Given the inclusion of the larger 14-phase PWM, we're not surprised Gigabyte required a little extra real estate.
Helping to make this an even more unique product is the "WindForce 3X" cooler, featuring three 75mm ultra quiet PWM fans that force air over a massive array of fins covering a 140mm x 86mm vapor chamber. These fins are supported via two 8mm-thick copper heatpipes that help evenly distribute the heat.
With the redesigned PCB, upgraded components and the more efficient cooling design, Gigabyte managed to increase the core frequency from 772MHz to a much healthier 855MHz for an impressive 10.7% boost.
Gigabyte didn't stop there either, as it had the GDDR5 memory frequency increased from 4008MHz to 4100MHz and although this is only a mild 2.3% boost, it will help improve performance with that huge core overclock.
Gigabyte has equipped the GTX 580 SOC with another unique feature called "Extreme Dual BIOS." When the system is powered down the user can switch from the primary BIOS to the secondary with the press of a button.
As opposed to the traditional Gigabyte Dual BIOS concept where one is a main BIOS and the other one is a backup BIOS, Extreme Dual BIOS technology contains two different BIOS chips designed for separate purposes. That said, both the primary and secondary BIOS of our review sample contained the 855MHz factory overclock.
Those seeking more information on the GTX 580's GF110 GPU should read our original Asus ENGTX580 GeForce GTX 580 review.