ASUS MARS II Review: GTX 580 SLI On One PCB

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Asus has never been a company to shy away from offering over-the-top, custom products that command a price premium. Here's proof. Perhaps it’s because the company is large enough, and thus, has the resources to cater to virtually all market segments, big or small. Or perhaps the top brass at Asus just likes inducing slack-jawed stares from PC enthusiasts. Whatever the reason, we hope they keep it up because testing this kind of stuff and showing it to you all is freakin’ fun.

A case-in-point is the Asus MARS II graphics card, which packs a full GeForce GTX 580, dual-GPU SLI configuration onto a single PCB. A quick glance at this monolith should reveal to even the most casual PC users that the MARS II is no ordinary graphics card. Heck, there isn’t a single thing about the Asus MARS II, from its specs, to its sheer size, and its huge price tag, that can be considered mainstream. The MARS II is as over-the-top and as custom as they get and it’s also going to be a limited edition, with only 999 cards slated for production.

Luckily, one of those 999 cards (number 545 to be exact) found its way into the HH labs and we’re able to give you the full scoop on this beast. Specifications and a few pics are below; the full Monty is laid out on the pages ahead.


Yeah, that's a pair of 120mm fans and a triple-slot case bracket.

ASUS MARS II Single-Card GeForce GTX 580 SLI
Specifications & Features
Model MARS II/2DIS/3GD5
Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 x2
Bus Standard PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory 3GB GDDR5 
Engine Clock 782MHz
Memory Clock 4008MHz (1002MHz GDDR5)
Memory Interface 384-bit x2
D-sub Max. Resolution 2048 x 1536 
DVI Max. Resolution 2560 x 1600 
D-sub Output Yes x 1 (via DVI-to-D-sub adaptor) 
DVI Output Yes x 2 (Native dual link DVI x2) 
HDCP compliant Yes
HDMI Output Yes x 1 (Native HDMI 1.4)
Display Port Yes x 1 (Regular DisplayPort)
Adaptor/Cable Bundled 1x Limited Edition aluminum ID plate
2x 8-pin to 6-pin Power Cable
1x DVI-to-D-sub adaptor
1x Exclusive 12cm SLI bridge
Software Bundled ASUS utilities and drivers; GPU Tweak
Dimension 13 inch x 6.2 inch x2.5 inch(3slot)
Note To have the best cooling performance ASUS ROG MARS II extends the Fan sink to 3 slot, please check your motherboard slot space and Chassis Dimension before Purchasing

ASUS ROG Rampage III Extreme or Rampage III Extreme Black Edition Mainboard is recommended for best Synergy


    
Asus MARS II box and accessory bundle

Before we dive in, dissect the Asus MARS II and evaluate its performance, here’s a look at its packaging and accessory bundle. For the most part, it’s pretty standard fair.  Included with the card are a couple of 8-pin PCI Express power adapters, a DVI-to-VGA adapter (for the insane user who uses a $1500 graphics card with an analog display), a driver and utility CD (with Asus' excellent GPU Tweak tool), a RoG case badge, a speed-setup guide, and an extended length SLI bridge.

In addition to the aforementioned items though, Asus also throws in a couple of noteworthy goodies. First is an aluminum plate that’s individually laser-engraved and sequentially numbered to certify the card’s limited edition status. Second, there are a couple of spacers that Asus calls “PCIe Sustainers”. These spacers adhere to the bottom of the card and rest upon adjacent expansion slots to ensure the MARS II sits perfectly straight and upright in its slot. Why would you need spacers to help keep the card sitting upright? Because the thing weighs over 5lbs. Gigity.

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Comments

Comments
LBowen 3 years ago

That is just freakishly awesome :O Thanks for the review and benchmarks Marco :)

Inspector 3 years ago

Epic! There is just one more thing left to do here... Get another card and quad it!

The three power connectors were first thing to cath my eye ;)... Lol

realneil 3 years ago

"two cards can be paired together in a quad-SLI configuration as well. Good God"

ROFLMAO!

Great review Marco, it had to be a blast playing around with this wazoo monster. How long before you have to send it back?

I think of this video card as a monument to excess. An overabundance of bling. A double helping of 'badazz' for sure.

But I want one of them. (this is SO irresponsible of me, I know)

marco c 3 years ago

Asus can have this thing back when they pry it from my cold, dead hands! HAHAHA!

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

 

"I called this "FrankenCard"  I bet Marco felt like Dr Henry Frankenstein when he first powered on FrankenCard and started the benchmarks in The Lab"

Marco: Look! It's moving. It's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, IT'S ALIVE! 

Dave: Marco - In the name of God! 

Marco: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God! 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021884/quotes?qt0188582

 

Drake_McNasty 3 years ago

This thing is awesome! 5.4lbs? Holy sh** I see they didn't put the number of the card on these like some companies have done with other limited edition cards in the past. This thing is sweet, thanks for the review Marco. Did you have a dedicated psu just for this card? Also which monitor are you running that uses 1920x1200?

On a side note EVGA is selling those bottom plates to people for added support on 560 TI's. Are those cards really that weak?

AKwyn 3 years ago

God damn that is one amazing card; I did want to ask though... How is the noise on this thing?

Otherwise, great card, great review, good thing as always.

marco c 3 years ago

Louder than a GTX 580 or 590, quieter than a 6990. And unless it's really getting hammered, it's generally quiet. Only when thet fans spin up does it get kinda loud (48.5db max at 100% fan speed).

ThunderBird 3 years ago

Great review Marco that is one beast of a card. That power draw is insane though!!!!

Asus really out did themselves with this 580 SLI card.

jonation 3 years ago

that is a true tank of a card. nice review as always

TLyons 3 years ago

There is no question that it is an awesome card, but the simple fact that it costs as much as 3 580's and offers less performance than a trio of the cards leaves this piece of hardware purely in the "Status Symbol" category...

AKwyn 3 years ago

[quote user="TLyons"]

There is no question that it is an awesome card, but the simple fact that it costs as much as 3 580's and offers less performance than a trio of the cards leaves this piece of hardware purely in the "Status Symbol" category...

[/quote]

That, or the people who are insane enough to overclock this with LN2 and break records... I mean seriously, that price is really unreasonable; even for a graphics card like that.

rrplay 3 years ago

One thing is for sure this Mars card is in a whole new class by it's own..Getting your hands on one to put through the paces with a review such as this is in a class all by it's own.For some reason my intial impression of the card was that it was going to quite a bit louder and found out from this review not to be so.Seriously a power hungry beast . WOW Could not actually ever afford anything like this but 2 580 's for me  would be just awesome. Still appreciate getting to see this Beast of a GPU under the hood in HH.

AKwyn 3 years ago

[quote user="rrplay"]One thing is for sure this Mars card is in a whole new class by it's own.[/quote]

The Radeon HD 5870 ARES was also in a class of it's own. That being a card with two 5870 GPU's instead of the downclocked GPU's found on the 5970 and with enough overclocking potential to break the roof, that that card was built by ASUS.

It seems like ASUS keeps on outclassing themselves.

rrplay 3 years ago

[quote user="TaylorKarras"]

It seems like ASUS keeps on outclassing themselves.

[/quote].

Definitely for sure 'outclassing' and pacing the rest to  new standards What could Asus possibly have in store for next year's limited edition dual gpu release ? Pretty sure the price is def going to be pretty steep,along with the powerful processing to be as different as night and day.Like we've seen here.

Maybe the Radeon HD5870 Ares is still in the HH lab or being put to some very good use elsewhere.

PMontoya 3 years ago

imagine 4 of these. it would rival gods creation

AKwyn 3 years ago

[quote user="PMontoya"]

imagine 4 of these. it would rival gods creation

[/quote]

4 of these would be impossible. Seeing as how there's only one SLI connector on there.

Crossfire is capable of more GPU's (up to 8) but it's not avaliable to the public, so unfortunately you're unable to do the same with the 6990.

Still, a man can dream right?

 

EDIT: Also welcome to HotHardware; I liked your comment but please think before bumping topics like this, thanks!

NKhan2 3 years ago

will this play mario? :P

realneil 3 years ago

[quote user="NKhan2"]

will this play mario? :P

[/quote]

no

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