What a lovely card the ASUS ROG GeForce GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum really is. Great looks, great design, tweakable, you can liquid cool it or simply use the air based cooling solution. But ... it has the wrong GPU doesn't it? Honestly I feel it has been fitted with the wrong GPU. This product would have made so much sense if it was based on a 780 Ti GPU. In the correct factory overclocked settings you should not make any mistake, it is as fast as a Titan making this card SCREAMING FAST. But all GTX 780 Ti cards have been factory tweaked as well and simply are a good chunk faster with some models being 100% silent on air cooling. Once you start to manually overclock then you'll reach the 'reference' performance of the 780 Ti, and yeah... that just a very trivial. Now I know what happened, or at least I can reason to it -- it's timing. Nobody expected the 780 Ti to be released, as it was announced right out of nowhere at a press launch in Canada. Nobody saw that product coming or really did expect it. Now many months ago ASUS already started the Poseidon Platinum project with the target, it should be as fast as a Titan, and then it must be able to clock faster then a Titan. And ASUS succeeded and did exactly that, but never saw the 780 Ti coming. So as sexy and as cool as the Poseidon Platinum really is, it has been trumped by the GTX 780 Ti, even with such a card running at reference speeds. So for this card to remain competitive in sales, it needs to be priced lower than the GTX 780 Ti. And that would be the good news, as we'll explain in the conclusion chapter.
Make no mistake, the card is sheer shweeeeeetness in design. Custom PCB, seriously quality components and yeah it is a great looking product alright. I can see myself building a nice PC based on a ROG themed motherboard in this all red/black design, pop in this baby and the looks would kill. Great design, everything makes sense and it comes with a nice sturdy back plate as well.
Cooling & Noise Levels
The NVIDIA reference coolers do their job well, but they follow the temperature target of 80 Degrees C. With the ASUS DCUII H2O cooling technology the GPU will get a lot of of cooling power thrown at it. As a result the temperature on air remains at almost 70 Degrees C with similar results shown with thermal imaging (measured at the backside of the PCB at the GPU location). In its default configuration you barely hear airflow when the GPU is under stress installed in a PC. Liquid cooled we noticed roughly 45 Degrees C under stress, EXCELLENT temps. But liquid cooling loops, gear, components etc. differ as well as the ambient temperature. As such, the temps on liquid cooling will be as good as your LCS setup really is. I can say similar things about noise levels of course. Some run the LCS fans at high RPM, others demand sheer silence... which will impact cooling performance. That is the trade-off and choice that you make.
Once again not bad, we measure roughly 240 to 250 Watts (under full stress). But at this performance level, that is absolutely okay. That 250 Watt TDP also will make running multi-GPU solutions a bit more easy. With two cards we think an 800 Watt PSU would be sufficient. So while it's not great to have a GPU sucking up 250 Watts it could have been a lot worse, really. If you look at the dual-GPU based ARES II for example, that card alone draws 500 Watts / 250 Watts per GPU. So, perspective is the word I'd like you to keep in mind.
The ASUS ROG GeForce GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum can be considered to be as fast as the Geforce GTX Titan. Compared to a GTX 680 it seems 30% faster. Drivers wise we can't complain at all, we did not stumble into any issues. And with a single GPU there's no micro-stuttering (if that ever bothered you) and no multi-GPU driver issues to fight off. Performance wise, really there's not one game that won't run seriously good at the very best image quality settings. Gaming you must do with a nice 30" monitor of course, at 2560x1440/1600. I mean Battlefield 4 at Ultra quality is still oozing out 60+ FPS there. Or what about Hitman Absolution with 60+ FPS at 2560x1440 High quality and 2xMSAA? At these resolutions the GeForce GTX 780 offers just a phenomenal gaming experience with image quality that you can only see on a PC.
The card is already clocked for you at 954 MHz (854 = reference clock) and boosts to 1006 MHz. This GPU can take 1150 MHz fairly easily really, and at that stage you've added another 10% performance already. Our tweaks made the GPU run at 1100-1150 MHz whilst boosting over 1200 MHz (depending on temperature, power draw and load). This result is fairly similar on all GTX 780 and 780 Ti cards. We expected a little better result on liquid cooling, but did not succeed, even by adding voltage at 1250+ MHz the card became unstable fairly easily. It however might have been an isolated thing with this specific sample, as I know these cards are made to tweak alright.
Great looks, nice cooling, a sturdily built, good component quality, it's darn fast in performance as it can even pass the mighty GeForce GTX Titan when you tweak it a little. Yeah, the ASUS ROG GeForce GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum has got a lot going for it. It just would have been better to see it equipped with the 780 Ti. The GeForce GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum is a fantastic piece of technology. Silky smooth and fluid framerates is what you'll get thanks to the tremendous horsepower at hand. It does so while hardly making any noise and with dynamically adjustable temperatures you can decide yourself how hot your GPU may run. Heck, if you are not satisfied... you can go with liquid cooling as an option or alternative. That really is a unique choice that you'll have right there. The card is a nice chunk faster compared to the reference GeForce GTX 780 and goes head-to-head with the GTX Titan, and that's not a bad performance spot to be in alright. Combined with sheer silence and the overall brute performance to play any game to date with the very best image quality settings and high monitor resolutions the GeForce GTX 780 is simply a great card. Now I do not have this confirmed just yet, but we expect the MSRP pricing to be EUR 500~550 incl. VAT with low volume availibility in January 2014, and sure, I concur that the price remains the obstacle for this product series compared to the GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti. But hey, it is a quality build, has great looks and excellent cooling. Definitely a recommended product.
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