Asus ARES Dual Radeon HD 5870 4GB Review

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Asus ARES Dual Radeon HD 5870 4GB ReviewBack in April, we first gave you a glimpse of the extreme Asus ARES dual-Radeon HD 5870 GPU powered graphics card, complete with some preliminary benchmarks. At the time, the specifications weren't quite finalized and there was little word about availability in the U.S., but the card's impressive configuration immediately piqued our interest. The ARES was, after all, a "true dual-Radeon HD 5870" CrossFire setup on a single PCB. The Radeon HD 5970 was / is the fastest single graphics card on the market, and the Asus ARES would clearly offer more performance due to its increased number of stream processor cores and potentially higher clocks.

Over the long holiday weekend, we received word that Asus had decided to introduce the ARES in the U.S. market. And much to our satisfaction one of the cards was en route to the HotHardware labs. We have only had a short time with the card, but it is exactly the type of product we know the hardest of the hardcore among you are dying to check out. So, we immediately ripped the box open and plugged it into one of our test rigs to see just what it could do. Here's a hint--this baby is freakin' Fast, with a capital F...

Asus ARES Dual Radeon HD 5870 4GB Review

 

 

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 6:29 PM

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?
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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 7:32 PM

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.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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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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Marco C replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 11:13 PM

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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werty316 replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 11:23 PM

e-penis anyone? I'd hit it!

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Inspector replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 11:41 PM

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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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 11:59 PM

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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AKwyn replied on Fri, Jul 9 2010 3:26 AM

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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fat78 replied on Fri, Jul 9 2010 5:59 AM

My Bday is coming up any. Any one want to send one of these my way?

lol

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Wow, those Crysis benches were damn impressive. I wonder how a dual-gpu GTX480 would run. You'd need a nuclear power plant to keep it running, but should provide for some interesting benches.

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I'm not very impressed with this card.  For one, I think the price is too high.  For $1200, you can probably almost match or even best those FPS in some games with a pair of 5870 or GTX 480 with money to spare for a monitor!

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Jul 9 2010 12:19 PM

While I do dislike the price. I do admit that I want to see one of these babies overclocked and in crossfire. What's better then 4 5870's (2x2)

 

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realneil replied on Fri, Jul 9 2010 12:26 PM

I saw a British website last week that had two of these cards on hand and promised to crossfire them but they couldn't post anything THEN because of a non-disclosure agreement.

I looked again for it just now and coudn't find it,.........sigh!

 

 

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Jul 9 2010 12:39 PM

I think I found a Crossfire review for you guys.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/ARES_CrossFire/1.html

 

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TaylorKarras:
I think I found a Crossfire review for you guys.

Taylor,...............thanks for the link.

Two of them is like killing Ants with a Howitzer.

I think that those of us with money to burn (not me) will jump right on this beast of a card. I wonder how long it will be before another card comes along to take it's place?

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jul 9 2010 4:45 PM

Thanks for the link Taylor! Gonna go have a look right now.

@Neil

Blowing up ants with a howitzer is way more run than using a magnifying glass lol

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acarzt:
Blowing up ants with a howitzer is way more run than using a magnifying glass

Yes,.........from a great distance it is,..........

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On the web page of techPowerUp they mention that this video card require special drivers to make it work correctly in single mode and with Crossfire.

I remember when Asus released a Special Edition of the Ge-Force 7800GT with Dual GPU, it was capable to compete against the Ge-Force 8000 GTS and the 8800 GTX in single mode but in SLI mode it was able to beat or compete against the 8800 GTS in SLI and the 8800 GTX in SLI too.

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With the stratospheric price, I know the targeted customer base comprises those that will spare no expense for top-of-the-line components.  However, that doesn't mean they won't have misgivings about paying for superfluous things like the briefcase and mouse, which definitely look like they added to the total price tag as opposed to just being "freebies".  I understand that ASUS is proud of their product, but they shouldn't expect that pride to be put on the customers' tab.  I bet if they offered this as a limited edition bundle and a standard edition without the mouse and briefcase for $50 less, not many people would opt for the extras.

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I have the standard 5970 and its miles better i think. I would rather buy a card that dose not take up more than one slot, is half the price, costs less to run and i can run crossfire with ease. hmmm? just like my 2 5970's ive alrdy got? dont c why u would buy one of these cards

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This is a beast.  Really didn't think the price was going to be 1200.  Does anyone know if these double cards are ever bottlenecked by PCI-E bandwidth?  Wouldn't it be better to run two 5870's in separate x16 slots?

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 10 2010 12:10 AM

You could get 3 GTX 480s for $1500.. only $300 more than this, and it would be faster :-)

But then if you add in an other of these bad boys it should take the lead again :-P

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AKwyn replied on Sat, Jul 10 2010 2:49 PM

pwhittak:
I have the standard 5970 and its miles better i think. I would rather buy a card that dose not take up more than one slot, is half the price, costs less to run and i can run crossfire with ease. hmmm? just like my 2 5970's ive alrdy got? dont c why u would buy one of these cards

If anybody remembers correctly, the 5970 was inbetween the 5870 and the 5850. This card has got two 5870 GPU's built onto the card and I just think that it's what the 5970 should of been all along, two 5870 GPU's put together.

jturnbull65:
With the stratospheric price, I know the targeted customer base comprises those that will spare no expense for top-of-the-line components.  However, that doesn't mean they won't have misgivings about paying for superfluous things like the briefcase and mouse, which definitely look like they added to the total price tag as opposed to just being "freebies".  I understand that ASUS is proud of their product, but they shouldn't expect that pride to be put on the customers' tab.  I bet if they offered this as a limited edition bundle and a standard edition without the mouse and briefcase for $50 less, not many people would opt for the extras.

I agree. Most of these gamers already have a gaming mouse, why would they need an additional one? I admit that the briefcase looks cool but it is a bit overkill. What they should of done was 86' the extras and just offer the thing in an attractive cardboard box like all the other graphics cards do.

 

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AKwyn replied on Sat, Jul 10 2010 2:51 PM

lifeskills:

This is a beast.  Really didn't think the price was going to be 1200.  Does anyone know if these double cards are ever bottlenecked by PCI-E bandwidth?  Wouldn't it be better to run two 5870's in separate x16 slots?

I don't think so. PCI-E bandwith is very plentiful, and they wouldn't make dual GPU cards if the bandwith wasn't sufficient enough. Besides, where will the MicroATX users go to get their Dual GPU fix? The two additional slots have to be used by something you know.

 

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jbauman38 replied on Sat, Jul 10 2010 3:00 PM

so basically its a 5970

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jbauman38:

so basically its a 5970

A 5970 is two 5850s basically.  The Ares is a "true" dual 5870

Asus did this with the MARS as well which was a "true"  dual GTX 285 instead of the GTX295's dual GTX275.

 

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 10 2010 4:15 PM

The GTX 295 is actually dual 260s. :-)

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Marco C replied on Sat, Jul 10 2010 5:28 PM

It's more like dual, Radeon HD 5870 2GB cards in CrossFire with a quieter cooler.

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realneil replied on Sat, Jul 10 2010 9:37 PM

Marco C:
It's more like dual, Radeon HD 5870 2GB cards in CrossFire with a quieter cooler.

Yes, with a gigantic price premium thrown in too. When are you gonna give it away Marco?

 

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acarzt replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 1:20 AM

I don't know about giving it away... but I would be particularly shocked if this card went missing from the HH lab ;-) lol

 

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crowTrobot replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 10:17 AM

I was stunned by the pricetag I completely forgot to look at how good the cooling on this thing is. lol

BTW that makes me think, why are the video card designs "underneath" (on the heatsink) where nobody can see it and we don't see enough backplate art when that is the side that is visible most of the time.

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slugbug replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 12:04 PM

For that price you could buy 2 x 5970's. Regardless of how good the cooling is the price is much too high.

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realneil replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 1:59 PM

slugbug:
  For that price you could buy 2 x 5970's,............ 

For that price you could build an entire system, one that works wonderfully and has a good video card and quality components in it.

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pwhittak replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 2:46 PM

thats exactly my point i have 2 5970's and they r gr8 an miles cheaper

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TaylorKarras:

I don't think so. PCI-E bandwith is very plentiful, and they wouldn't make dual GPU cards if the bandwith wasn't sufficient enough. Besides, where will the MicroATX users go to get their Dual GPU fix? The two additional slots have to be used by something you know.

 

good point, never really considered a dual-GPU for my microATX. probably because the 5970 cost more than the rest of the system combined!  I remember some speculation on weather or not the 890fx chipset could support two 16x cards at once(before it dropped).  Thats what got me thinking about the bandwidth on dual-GPU cards.  I guess this is a non-issue.

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realneil replied on Wed, Jul 14 2010 11:56 AM


TaylorKarras:
PCI-E bandwidth is very plentiful, and they wouldn't make dual GPU cards if the bandwidth wasn't sufficient enough.

PCI-E bandwidth is limited on some platforms. The socket 1156, P-55 chipset has the PCI-E controller on the CPU and it has limitations as to allocated bandwidth. All of it's resources are available at full X16 speed when you have only one device on the PCI-E bus. But add another card, any type of card, and the P-55 chipset automagically throttles the available X16 speed to x8 for each device. It gets even worse when you add another card to the bus. So in this case, the single, but dual GPU graphics cards are the only truly viable solution for Crossfire/SLI effect. Having a fast, powerful single GPU card works rather well too.


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Somebody mentioned crossfire so here it is http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/ARES_CrossFire/

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