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Nvidia GTX 580 jumps launch date

Further details of Nvidia's upcoming GTX 580 GPU series have leaked out, courtesy of both Nvidia itself and a UK retailer, ahead of the official launch announcement.

The first confirmed details of specifications and pricing comes courtesy of technology retailer YoYo Tech, which surprised its customers with an e-mail advertising an Nvidia GTX 580 1.5GB reference board, available for ordering now.

It's not known whether YoYo Tech has official sanction from Nvidia to offer the cards - which have not yet been officially launched - to the public, but the e-mail includes the first full details of specifications to be seen for the next-gen boards.

According to the company, the first GTX 580 cards will include 1.5GB of GDDR5 RAM on a 384-bit bus, offering 4Gb/s of throughput, while the Fermi-based GPU will pack a massive 512 full-performance CUDA cores with the GPU core clocked at 772MHz.

All together, the card is am impressive performer, offering up to 30 per cent improved scores in popular benchmarking suite 3DMark Vantage over the company's current high-end GTX 480 series.

Sadly, that extra performance comes at a cost. YoYo Tech is warning customers that the dual-slot card requires around 244W under full load, meaning this 27cm long card is one for those who don't care overly much for the environment or their electricity bills.

The power draw of the card is so impressive, in fact, that the reference build comes with something new: vapour chamber cooling. Designed to keep the GPU and memory chilled even under extended gaming session, it marks the first foray for Nvidia into high-end cooling solutions - something it normally leaves up to its hardware partners to sort out rather than stick on its reference designs.

Despite rumours late last week that the card would debut for a wallet-busting £500, YoYo Tech's pricing - valid, the company claims, for immediate delivery from its central warehouse - sees the card hit the UK for just shy of £400.

Strangely, there's no branding to indicate a hardware partner on YoYo Tech's site, suggesting - to all outwards appearances - that the board is manufactured by Nvidia itself. While the company has dabbled in self-branded hardware in the past, offering a small selection of lower-end cards in Best Buy stores across the US, this could mark the company's first salvo in the retail battlefield - or simply a mistake on YoYo Tech's part.

If you're curious as to how the vapour chamber cooling system operates during use, Nvidia has joined in the fun with a little leak of its own - albeit coyly referring to the boards as "unreleased Nvidia GPUs". The promo vid is presented for your perusal below.