In order to allow its partners to differentiate their brands with their graphics cards based on the GeForce GTX 580 graphics processing unit (GPU), Nvidia Corp. allowed select partners to start selling factory-overclocked solutions based on the latest flagship graphics chip. Palit, Nvidia's largest desktop GPU customer, has already introduced its "Sonic" version of the GTX 580 with improved performance.
Palit GTX 580 Sonic graphics card increases Nvidia recommended GPU clock-speeds by 8% to 835MHz/1670MHz and also boosts memory bandwidth by 4.7% to 201.6GB/s thanks to 4200MHz frequency. Given the fact that the GeForce GTX 580 graphics adapters are already very fast, a slight overclock will only be evident in latest games that have serious demands for graphics processing power, whereas mainstream titles will hardly receive a substantial speed improvement.
It is noteworthy that Nvidia let its allies to start selling pre-overclocked GeForce GTX 580 on the day of launch. Earlier it took graphics cards suppliers some time to pick up the potentially faster boards and test them for stability on higher clock-speeds. Indirectly this may prove that Nvidia's new GF110 chip is good for overclocking, thanks to refined design and vapor-chamber-based cooling system.
Given the fact that Palit also owns Gainward, a company particularly known for highly-overclocked graphics cards, it can be expected that the latter will boost the speeds of the GeForce GTX 580 even more significantly. Besides, there are also a number of other companies known for "enhanced" Nvidia GeForce-based graphics cards, including EVGA, Zotac and some others.
Graphics cards makers not only make their brands better known with their tuned graphics adapters, but they also usually charge slightly more than Nvidia recommended price for their enhancements. As a result, apart from natural advertising, they also get higher revenues.