Yesterday at the PDXLAN 16.5 gaming event in Portland Nvidia gave attendees a first-hand glimpse at their next generation graphics card – which is widely expected to bear the GTX 580 moniker. Although the company's Director of Technical Marketing for the GeForce line, Tom Petersen, was careful not to give out any specific details or show the product itself, he did share some interesting tidbits and tech demos that got the crowd cheering up in excitement.

Besides promising the 'fastest DirectX 11 GPU on the planet' will be out very soon, Petersen said the unreleased card boasts a new vapor cooling system, offering dramatically quieter and cooler operating conditions over their previous flagship, the GTX 480, as well as the GTX 285. The card is said to be nearly silent during gaming. With Fermi receiving quite a bit of flak for exactly these reasons it's interesting to see Nvidia hyping the technology, although AMD/ATI doesn't seem too impressed by it as they've been using something similar since the ATI Radeon HD 2900 series.

Nevertheless if Nvidia really manages to deliver the fastest single-GPU card while significantly decreasing temperatures and noise levels then AMD might still have something to be worried about. After talking the card's new cooling capabilities, Petersen topped off the presentation with a couple of tessellation-focused demos of Aliens vs. Triangles and Endless City, followed a brief segment demonstration of Call of Duty: Black Ops gameplay on PC.

Although the card in question hasn't been officially revealed yet, it is expected to feature 512 CUDA Cores, a GPU clock of 772 MHz, a shader frequency of 1544 MHz, 1536MB of GDDR5 memory running at 4408 MHz, and dual-DVI, HDMI outputs. The GeForce GTX 580 is expected to be priced around the $500-$550 mark.