Asus ARES Dual Radeon HD 5870 4GB Review - HotHardware

Asus ARES Dual Radeon HD 5870 4GB Review

5 thumbs up

As we've mentioned, inside the gigantic Asus ARES retail box resides a locking, metal briefcase that holds the card itself and all of the accessories included with it. While the size is a bit much, the overall presentation is definitely that of an ultra-high-end, enthusiast product.

 

Cracking open the brief case reveals a number of items; the ARES card (obviously), a pair of dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCI Express power adapters, a DVI to HDMI adapter, a CrossFire bridge connector, a case badge, driver discs, and users manuals. In addition, Asus also throws in a Republic of Gamers branded gaming mouse, with adjustable DPI settings and customizable buttons.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, the Asus ARES is a unique sort of beast. The card is massive and quite heavy. The PCB measures 11.5" by 5" and the large cooling solution will cover three expansion slots. A finned aluminum heatsink adorns the backside of the PCB, to cool half of the RAM. Another aluminum heatsink covers much of the front of the card, to cool the power regulation circuitry and remaining RAM, and two large all-copper heatsinks with think, 8mm heatpipes take care of the two Cypress XT (Radeon HD 5870) GPUs. In the middle is a large 100mm cooling fan. And covering the whole assembly is a black and red aluminum shroud.

 

 

As you can see, the Asus ARES is a biggun'. And it requires three power connectors--two 8-pin, and one 6-pin. The shebang weighs in at around 5lbs, so securely screwing the card in place is paramount--the plastic, tool free hold downs on some cases aren't going to cut it.

Outputs on the ARES card consist of a single dual-link DVI output, an HDMI output and a DisplayPort output. The ARES obviously is a great candidate for Eyefinity due to its sheer horsepower, but note that it's limited to three screens due to its output configuration. and because one of those outputs is HDMI, the maximum Eyefinity resolution will be limited to 3 x 1920x1200.

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That's one sick card. Outrageous price... but sick card.

Can you run 2 in crossfire?

That would just be nuts lol

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OMG, sexy ass packaging! :D, but the intel mission case was nicer xD.

Shocking price! But it performs very well i see.

LOL running 2 in crossfire would be awesome too see!

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I don't know Inspector...Kinda ugly I think. Yet I don't care what it looks like, just how it performs.
 
Although I don't see why they don't have the quad Eyefinity port on this one?
I do like the Mouse and the case! At the rate that ATI is introducing things in about two months and everything becomes outdated! Then at least you get a couple of cool consolation prizes :P

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Those are some impressive Windows numbers. I'm glad that they are really putting the pressure on Nvidia to step up their game. However, the price is ridonkulous. This appears to be a PR card... never intended to actually sell to the mass market.

And, as a Linux aficionado I still can't help but to warn people away from the ATI cards: AMD/ATI's proprietary drivers are so buggy as to be unusable, and the open drivers are so slow as to allow this thing get smoked by a 5 year old Nvidia card.

Until ATI puts serious effort into their drivers supporting other platforms, I just can't seriously consider their cards. Not that anyone could seriously consider this card, given the price.

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Very impressive indeed. This card is one that actually lives up to its reputation. I can imagine cross-firing these bad boys!!!! 

 

Great review Marco how bout that James Bond briefcase the card comes in, series business here. Yes

 

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Yes, this puppy can be run in CrossFire. I don't think I'll have much luck getting Asus to send a second one over though! :)

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e-penis anyone? I'd hit it!

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LOL, its worth trying Marco... :D. Everyone would love to see what can be done with two of these beast, tell them they don't even need to include everything, just the card would be great... Wink

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Definitely a BA piece of hardware, the thing that gets me the most is a single 480 still consumes more power with 1 GPU and a tad over 1/4 the memory. Not to mentioned being spanked. Of course I would like to see it up against a pair of 480's to see what the difference would be, and of course a crossfired pair of 5870's.

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All I can say after reading the review is that NVIDIA really needs to step their game up this time. I'm just surprised that they didn't test Metro 2033 on this card, maybe it could show how this card would work in areas where the NVIDIA cards usually dominate, such as tessellation and god rays.

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