ASUS MARS II Review: GTX 580 SLI On One PCB
Introduction and Specifications
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.
|Graphics Engine||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 x2|
|Bus Standard||PCI Express 2.0|
|Video Memory||3GB GDDR5|
|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)|
|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
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.