What are most of the so-called overclocker-friendly graphics cards anyway? Generally, they are serial products with pre-overclocked frequencies and, occasionally, original cooling systems. Lately, however, there have been more and more exceptions to this rule as new products of this kind feature specially selected GPUs, custom-designed PCBs, distinctive branding, unique ID plates and various overclocking-related accessories.
EVGA Corporation took a solid approach to developing a very special high-end graphics card series of their own and engaged world-famous overclockers, Vince "k|ngp|n" Lucido from the USA and Ilya "TiN" Tsemenko from the Ukraine. The result is called EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified:
The series includes four graphics cards, two of which are fitted with full-cover water-blocks for liquid cooling systems and another two, with air-based coolers. The cards in the two pairs differ in the amount of onboard memory. We’ve got an EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified 3 GB for our today's tests. It’s got an air cooler.
Closer Look at EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified 3 GB (03G-P3-1588-AR)
Packaging and Accessories
The face side of the black box has a minimum of details. You can only learn the name of the card, the amount of its onboard memory, and what technologies it supports.
The back of the box isn’t gaudy, either, but you can see a photo of the card there, read about its key features and system requirements. The cardboard box is filled with a piece of foam-rubber that protects the card against any transportation hazards.
Included with the card are two power cables, a DVI-I->HDMI adapter, a DVI-I->D-Sub adapter, an installation guide, a CD with drivers and utilities, and a sticker with EVGA logo.
No games, discount coupons, screwdrivers or any other free stuff in here. Everything is simple and serious. Well, every owner of an EVGA GeForce GTX 5xxx series card can get 3DMark 2011 for free by simply registering his/her product at the EVGA website.
There is also a sticker inside the box that warns you against taking the graphics card out of your computer within the first two minutes of shutting the latter down unless you want to scorch your fingers. It also says you must connect three power cables to the card, two of which are of the 8-pin variety.
Judging by the barcode, the graphics card is, rather incredibly, manufactured in Iceland but its PCB is made in China. The recommended price is $599 ($549 for the version with 1.5 GB of graphics memory). This includes the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty you can get by registering your card at the EVGA website.