ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870/2DIS/2GD5Slightly more interesting and dynamic is the next card in our dual review, the ASUS Republic of Gamers MATRIX Radeon HD 5870, otherwise known as the “ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870/2DIS/2GD5”. I dub thee the ASUS HD 5870 2GB Matrix.
Right away you can tell by looking at this graphics card that it is different than the rest. The ROG logo in our testing version was kind of a late addition, but the final versions are a little cleaner.
The external connections on the Matrix card are the same as the HD 5870 V2 we saw on the previous page with one unique addition: a safe mode button. That is the magical button you press to reset the graphics cards BIOS to their original, nearly stock settings and is insanely useful as I will describe on the next page.
You can tell something is up with this card right away when you see that rather than an 8+6 power combination the Matrix card is asking for a pair of 8-pin PCIE power connectors. Obviously ASUS is preparing this card for some more intense overclocking and power draw.
The Matrix logo there also serves an interesting purpose: the LED lights behind it change color as the GPU load increases: red for extreme loads, purple for heavy loads, blue for medium loads all the way down to green for safe mode / idle. It’s a pretty useful and unique way to add style and flair to a GPU.
Another good sign for crazy overclockers is the inclusion of the ASUS “ProbeIt” area (another poor choice in names) that allows the use a multimeter to these leads to monitor the voltage of the GPU, memory, etc.
ASUS is definitely using higher end components on the ROG Matrix card to help prepare it for more overclocking headroom as evident by the FPCAP seen on the back.
The ASUS 5870 ROG MATRIX still has a pair of CrossFire X connections for multi-GPU goodness.
The cooler on the Matrix card is pretty similar to that of the reference design though the heatsink is still noticeably better. Noise levels here will depend greatly on how much you are overclocking; and you will if you own this card.