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Asus GTX980 ROG Matrix Platinum Review

Rating: 9.0.

If you are feeling those January winter blues, then we hope to cheer you up today. What better way to start the New Year than with a look at the flagship Asus GTX980 ROG Matrix Platinum? This Republic Of Gamers card ships with a customised PCB to target overclockers worldwide. This PCB is based around a 14 phase VRM and Asus have added a special ‘defroster' circuit – if you fancy using the liquid nitrogen that Santa left under your tree at Christmas. This is an expensive solution, priced at £599.95 but it is built to target a very specific audience.

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The ASUS GTX980 ROG Matrix Platinum is certainly a stonking looking graphics card. The sporty red stripe is very indicative of the Republic Of Gamers brand and each individually designed fan is in place to work together, rather than against each other.
asus_memory_defroster-1024x697cooler overview

The ASUS ‘defroster' circuit is actually a trace which runs through specific parts of the PCB, heating up – to prevent frost and damp condensation on the card.

GPU GeForce GTX 680 (Kepler) GeForce GTX 980 (Maxwell) Geforce GTX 970 (Maxwell)
Streaming Multiprocessors 8 16 13
CUDA Cores 1536 2048 1664
Base Clock 1006 mhz 1126 mhz 1050 mhz
GPU Boost Clock 1058 mhz 1216 mhz 1178 mhz
Total Video memory 2GB 4GB 4GB
Texel fill-rate 129 Gigatexels/Sec 144.1 Gigatexels/Sec 109.2 Gigatexels/Sec
Memory Clock 6000 mhz 7000 mhz 7000 mhz
Memory Bandwidth 192 GB/sec 224 GB/sec 224 GB/s
ROPs 32 64 64
Manufacturing Process 28nm 28nm 28nm
TDP 195 watts 165 watts 145 watts

The new GM204 GPU is very efficient. The Maxwell SM has been rebalanced so that the CUDA cores are fully utilised more often. Doing so saves power and enhances overall performance. The L2 cache size in the GM204 is 2MB, or four times larger than the GK104. The addition of extra cache means that fewer requests to the GPU memory are needed – again reducing power consumption and pushing more performance.

The Geforce GTX 980 is equipped with 7Gbps memory. Those of you with higher resolution monitors, or running in a multi screen configuration will also be pleased to hear that there is 4GB of GDDR5 memory on the card, not 3GB – this memory will push 224 GB/s sec. Nvidia have added a new compression engine to reduce the demand on DRAM bandwidth.

The Asus GTX980 ROG Matrix Platinum has received a core clock enhancement to 1,241mhz, from 1,126mhz on the reference design. The GDDR5 memory is shipped at the default clock speeds of 1,753mhz (7Gbps effective). This card is one of the fastest ‘out of the box' GTX980's we have tested.

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