NVIDIA officially unveils GeForce GTX 580

We've known it's on the way for some time now, but today NVIDIA officially unveils its next-generation GeForce GTX 580 GPU based on the Fermi architecture.

We've known it's on the way for some time now, but today NVIDIA officially unveils its next-generation GeForce GTX 580 GPU based on the Fermi architecture.

NVIDIA is making heavy use of the phrase "world's fastest" in their PR materials:

The GeForce GTX 580 GPU delivers the world's fastest performance for DirectX 11 (DX11) games, and support for NVIDIA 3D VisionTM, Surround, PhysX®, SLI® and CUDATM technologies, further entrenching GeForce-based PCs as the most robust gaming platforms in the world. The combination of an innovative vapor chamber thermal solution and new architectural enhancements make the GTX 580 the fastest and quietest GPU in its class, delivering an increase of up to 35 percent in performance per watt, and performance that is up to 30 percent faster than the original GeForce GTX 480.

There are some big performance gains for DirectX 11 users:

For the most recent games that feature tessellation -- the key feature of DX11 -- the 512-core GeForce GTX 580 is up to 160 percent faster than the closest competitive product. Even in previous-generation DX9 and DX10 games, the GeForce GTX 580 is faster by up to 62 percent, including in the blockbuster PC title StarCraft II.

These performance claims are compared to AMD's Radeon HD 5870 and not the latest 6000-series GPUs.

But will it play Crysis, or Crysis 2? Of course!

"For Crysis 2, we'll take advantage of what NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 580 GPUs bring," said Cevat Yerli, president and CEO of Crytek. "A supersoldier that needs to save NYC from an alien invasion needs the best tech possible. That's not only his Nanosuit, but also stunning DX11 geometric realism that a GPU like the GeForce GTX 580 can offer for our PC gamers."

Here are some of the product highlights:

  • 512 cores and 16 PolyMorph engines deliver massive tessellation and compute firepower for games
  • Hard launch with immediate availability at an estimated SEP of $499 USD.
  • Up to 35 percent improvement in performance/watt efficiency
  • New vapor chamber thermal solution results in the quietest GPU in its class
  • New level of geometric realism -- 2 billion triangles/second
  • Provides game developers total creative freedom to create cutting-edge DX11 games

Available worldwide from today, with a recommended retail price starting at $499.