When it comes to creating custom, eye poppingly powerful graphics cards not many companies can compete with ASUS. They will be remembered for the ARES and MARS video cards, as they outperformed anything on the market at the time while costing as much as an inexpensive car. They also granted wealthy enthusiast users plenty of bragging rights on the forums.
Today we are looking at the Republic Of Gamers Mars II video card, which is a custom design comprising two powerful GTX580’s onto a single PCB. Asus are only making 999 of these cards, and we received number 518 for review. Our time with the sample hasn’t been as long as we would have liked, but we will try and ensure you have enough information to help with a potential buying decision.
Oh yes, just in case you were already wondering, ensure you have a healthy bank balance before even contemplating a purchase as they are expected to retail for £1,149.99 each. No, seriously, that isn’t a typo. Rest assured, if you are the kind of person who shops around for bargain basement deals, you are on the wrong page.
The Republic Of Gamers Mars II continues the legacy of insanely powerful graphics cards for the hardcore audience with insanely deep pockets. This limited edition card is a custom GTX580 design with dual GPU onboard paired up with a whopping 3GB of GDDR5 memory.
I have always had a soft spot for the GTX580. I feel it has been one of Nvidia’s highest points in a long and successful history of creating class leading video cards. A single GTX580 isn’t easy to cool however, so trying to design a card with two of these GPU’s on board was clearly going to be a challenge for Asus.
We have looked at several Asus cards in recent months which have came equipped with the new Direct CU II cooler. The specific cooler included on the Mars II is a metal design which is claimed to offer 600% greater airflow than the reference design, while running 20% cooler. Not only is the cooler a custom design, but ASUS aren’t taking any chances, as they have installed dual 120mm fans to cover the width of the PCB. Underneath are all copper pipes with separate heatsinks for each core.
|ASUS MARS II|
|GPU||Nvidia GTX 580 x2|
|System Bus||PCIE 2.0 x 16|
|Video Memory||3GB GDDR5|
|Memory Clock||4008 mhz (1002mhz GDDR5)|
|Memory Interface||384bit x2|
|Maximum Digital Resolution||2560×1600|
|Maximum VGA Resolution||2048×1536|
|Output I/O||2x Dual Link DVI / 1x HDMI / 1x Display Port/ 1x D-sub|
|Microsoft Direct X||11|
|Adaptor/Cable Bundled||2x 8 pin Power Cable/ 1x DVI to DSub Adapter / 1x Extended SLI bridge|