Originally Posted by jagz
Yes, what black & Senator said.
Yea sound's like the Lightning but if the Sparkle can keep up I'll get that, just hoping someone here own's one.
What type of benches are you looking at with a single 580? Just for reference I get 67FPS in Cinebench 11.5. 22675 on 3DMark06, 4500 on 3DMark11 w 6950.
Ah and any realtime 570 vs 580's? Just incase I get the lesser one, but I doubt it.
Have a chat with systemlayers as he owns a Sparkle and has his overclocked: http://www.overclock.net/member.php?u=68199
From our conversations, he seems to really like it as it is very quiet at full load with great temps (pretty much on par with decent watercooling!). He also mentioned that he runs it passively at idle/Windows, which, if noise is an important factor to you, can be one of the biggest selling points. Plus, the color scheme of the card would match up with your power supply.
With that said, another alternative is you could also buy a vanilla GTX 580 from EVGA (as they go on sale for under $500 after rebate), and can also slap on the same AXP cooler as the Sparkle. EVGA doesn't care if you use aftermarket coolers though. In the event you need to RMA the card, just make sure you install the stock cooler on there, and they'll take care of the rest.
YMMV, but both of my vanilla cards seem to overclock very well even with just the stock coolers.