ASUS ARES II review

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Introduction

The most sexy twins in the GPU business?

Today we review something special, the ASUS ARES II. We'll be testing the card in Crossfire (4 GPUs) as well as a test session with a three monitor setup alongside the regular tests of course. AMD's entire 28nm GPU line-up has been unleashed for quite a while now and slowly but steadily we are already moving onwards to the 8000 series products. But currently all the way on top is the Radeon HD 7900 series, armed with a GPU codenamed Tahiti, a release which was received very positively in the graphics card arena.

The ARES II (ARES2-6GD5) features not one, but two Tahiti XT2 GPUs, these ate the graphics processors used in the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition graphics cards. Interesting fact is that the ARES II has 6 GB of GDDR5 memory, clocked at a whopping 6.6 GHz. That really means mean each GPU has a 3GB memory partition.

So let's get the clock frequencies straight out of the way:

  • GPU Base Clock : 1050 MHz
  • GPU Boost Clock : 1100 MHz

Each of the GPUs depending on load, power draw and heat will clock at 1050 MHz as a base frequency and and 1100 MHz to which it may boost and also is a mild overclock compared to the regular Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition graphics cards.

ASUS is making some bold statements, the card is supposed to be 13% faster than the GeForce GTX 690. 130% faster than HD 7970 Twin HD 7970 GPUs provide the fastest graphics performance of any card currently on the market.

Liquid cooling gives the card the added benefor of a smaller size, the ARES II fits in a 2-slot height. Dedicated liquid cooling for the dual GPUs joins a dust-proof fan that dissipates heat from critical components to keep temps down. Build quality and components wise the ARES2-6GD5 will not dissapoint either. Built with a massive 20-phase power delivery on a 12 layer PCB and a DIGI+ VRM digital voltage regulation design are complemented by hardened Super Alloy Power capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs. These components are forged under extreme pressure and temperatures to increase reliability, power output, and overall card lifespan while eliminating bothersome choke buzzing noise.

So yeah... have a peek at the ASUS ROG ARES II, a product with very nice game performance, a great feature set and a total frame buffer that will pop your eyes out as yeah, the graphics card has a cool 2x3GB GDDR5 graphics memory.

So much raw and pure unadulterated performance on one PCB also means a rather spectacular power draw. The power draw per card can reach up to 500 Watts (!) and as such ASUS deems it is right to apply three 8 pin PCIe power connectors as requirement. The minimum recommended power supply for one ARES II (ARES2-6GD5) is 850 Watts, again, consumed through three 8-pin power connectors.

 
Graphics Engine AMD Radeon HD 7970x2
Bus Standard PCI Express 3.0
Video Memory GDDR5 6GB
Engine Clock GPU Boost Clock : 1100 MHz
GPU Base Clock : 1050 MHz
Memory Clock 6600 MHz ( 1650 MHz GDDR5 )
Resolution D-Sub Max Resolution : 2048x1536
DVI Max Resolution : 2560x1600
Interface DVI Output : Yes x 1 (DVI-I), Yes x 1 (DVI-D)
HDMI Output : Yes x 1 (via DVI to HDMI adaptor x 1 )
Display Port : Yes x 4 (Regular DP)
Accessories 1 x CrossFire cable 
3 x Power cable
1 x DVI to HDMI adaptor
Power Consumption up to 500W, 3 additional 8 pin PCIe power required
Software ASUS Utilities & Driver
ROG GPU Tweak
ASUS Features Fan Sink 
Super Alloy Power
Note Card: 11.8" x 5.5" x 1.8"
Radiator: 4.6" x 5.8" x 1.9"
Radiator Fan: 4.7" x 4.7" x 1"
Tube: 13.4"


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Cooling wise ASUS stepped away from the regular heat cooling based method and equipped this little monster with a 3rd party liquid cooler in the line of Arctic Hybrid Cooling’s solution (ARCTIC Accelero Hybrid VGA Cooler) we recently reviewed. The card all black and red colors with a nice looking cover over the heat sink. There are three fans total, two 120mm fans are mounted on the radiator, which is cooling the whole loop. The 3rd fan is cooling the VRAM and all other PCB components, such as the VRM power circuitry. Now word is that there will be only 1000 units sold as special editions with a pricetag of MSRP 1399,- EUR.

We test the product one one 30" 2560x1600 monitor and then and as well test three monitors in Eyefinity with the hottest games like Battlefield 3, Sleeping Dogs, Far Cry 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Hitman Absolution and many more. Let's have and over to the next page where we'll start-up the technology overview first, oh and did I mention already that we'll we'll be testing not one, but two of these puppies today?  ASUS unleashed a beast !

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