So what's not to like?
The GTX 580 AMP! edition is an improvement on the fastest single-GPU card around, offering nearly 6% faster speeds at standard mainstream resolutions over the stock GTX 580 in DX11 applications.
Given quite how demanding Tessellation routines are on graphics hardware at this stage, that's a welcome rise.
Whether you should opt for this pre-overclocked edition is another matter entirely.
Is money no object?
A few frames-per-second here and there are barely discernible to the naked eye. The mere fact of knowing the card is faster than the reference design improves one's view of the card in itself, but in all practicality, the difference is fairly minor.
Let's put it into context.
Ever play an RPG where you gain a 5% damage bonus to your attack? You can't really feel that kind of difference, can you? It's not like going from a weapon that kills in two attacks to a weapon that kills in a single blow.
We like the fact that, without further overclocking, this card is basically the fastest single-GPU card on the planet. But the matter of price is a point of concern for those of us without money to burn. At around £470, it's a whole £70 pricier than a standard GTX 580.
That's a 16% premium for 6% more performance. It's not quite that cut-and-dried of course, but for us, those numbers don't add up to a reasonable value proposition.
To further complicate matters, Nvidia's own GTX 480 – which is still a powerful, though hotter-running, high-end DX11 card – has been dropping in price since the GTX 580's inception.
Examples can be seen for £255 at the moment, which is a fraction of the GTX 580's cost, let alone the Zotac GeForce GTX 580 AMP!, for a card which offers around 15% less performance.
To rationalise this, think in terms of the price differential. 45% less money for 15% less performance? Almost sounds like a bargain, right?
We like the GTX 580 AMP! edition. It's really fast, and that's what we want to see. But at this price, it's just a bit too hard to recommend, when you can have nearly-as-good for close to half the price.
The GTX580's already legendary performance is boosted by some BIOS tweakery that re-sets the core and memory clocks to run faster.
This translates around 6% performance gains across a variety of games. And that crazy-heavy cooler really does the business.
The price. For the performance benefits, £470 is just too much of a premium.
The fastest card money can buy. Though rather too much money, in our opinion.