Asus Matrix 5870 2GB Video Card Review


Hardware aficionados know there is more to performance computing than just buying the most expensive parts available and throwing them altogether in the same system. There's overclocking, case modding, cooling, and performance tuning to consider, among many other thigs. Of course, everyone has their opinions on these aspects of the hobby, with some folks taking things to further extremes than others. We get excited when the companies that manufacture the hardware we crave actually listen to our requests and incorporate features in their products that provide enthusiasts with more tweaking options, along with increased performance.

The Republic of Gamers line of products from Asus is the company's answer for enthusiasts who demand top of the line performance and style. From the ROG series, we recently looked at the monstrous Rampage III Extreme X58 motherboard, along with the jaw dropping Ares dual 5870 4GB video card. Both parts represent the company's commitment to meeting the needs of hardware fanatics by offering exclusive features not found in more mainstream products.  

Today we look at one of the most highly customized Radeon HD 5870 cards on the market. The Asus Matrix 5870 offers identical clock speeds to AMD's reference design, with an 850 MHz core clock and 1200 MHz memory speed, but that's where the similarities end. This particular graphics card features 2GB of GDDR5 memory, a custom ROG shroud, an LED load indicator, voltage read points, a video BIOS recovery button, dual 8-pin PCI-E power connectors, and a Super Hybrid Engine chip which provides real time hardware monitoring and adjustments. Without a doubt, it's loaded with options and unlike any other 5870 currently available. Interested? Read on to find out if the Matrix 5870 has what it takes to be your next upgrade.

Asus Matrix 5870 2GB Video Card
Specifications and Features

Core Clock
850 MHz
Memory Clock
1200 / 4800 MHz (Clock Rate / Effective Rate)
Stream Processors 1600
Total Memory
Memory Interface
256 bit
Output Connectors
1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Dual Link DVI-I
Bus Type
PCI-E 2.0
Form Factor
Dual Slot

HDMI to DVI Adapter
DVI to VGA Adapter
Dual 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCIe Power Adapters
CrossFire Bridge
Driver Disk
User Guide
Case Badge
CD Case
Power Requirements 2 x 8 pin PCI-E power connectors

Height - 5 in
Length - 11.5 in
3 Years Limited

When compared to reference design 5870s, the $499 Asus Matrix 5870 commands a hefty price premium over standard 1GB models, which can be purchased for about $355. Obviously that's a huge difference, and a consideration that budget conscious users will find difficult to swallow. On the other hand, the Matrix targets a different type of consumer. In this market segment, we find it occupies the same price point as other 5870 cards equipped with 2GB of memory, but lacks the exclusive Eyefinity 6 connectivity the other $500 models offer. It's clear that Asus has differentiated itself from its competitors by designing a non-reference 2GB 5870, with only three video outputs. Do the additional features add enough value to justify the extra cost thought? We find out in the following pages...

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