Here are the first pictures of what is touted to be the GeForce GTX 580 reference design graphics card by NVIDIA, by sections of the Chinese media. There are some interesting inferences that can be drawn just by the looks of the card. To begin with the cooler bears an uncanny resemblance to one of the earliest design iterations of the GeForce GTX 480 (pictured here and here). In its final iteration, NVIDIA gave the GTX 480 a more massive cooler, perhaps to keep up with its finalized clock speeds. If the design of the GTX 580 cooler is anything to go by, it means that either NVIDIA refined the GF100 architecture in the GF110 (on which GTX 580 is based) a great deal, increasing performance per Watt; or that since GTX 580 is in its development stage, its final version could look different. GeForce GTX 580 is being designed as a counter to AMD's Radeon HD 6900 series single-GPU graphics cards that are based on the new Cayman graphics core, which is slated for release in late November. It is expected to be 20% faster than the GTX 480.

Seen below, the alleged GTX 580 has a black PCB, a full-cover dual-slot cooler bearing one fan, and dual-DVI, plus HDMI outputs. Unfortunately, no specs have accompanied the photos so we're left with the rumors of a 512 (or more) Core card with a 384-/512-bit interface and up to 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Hot stuff for a cold winter. This and Cayman.