ASUS has taken the wraps off of a new dual GPU graphics card that comes equipped with a sealed loop liquid cooler to keep the two overclocked 7970 GHz Edition GPUs frosty. The new ROG ARES II is a limited edition card that pairs the ARES II GPU with an Asetek-based cooler and rounds out the top-end of the company’s Republic of Gamers lineup.
The card itself features two AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition GPUs clocked at 1050 MHz base and 1100 MHz boost, 6GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1650 MHz, and ASUS’ DIGI+ 20-phase VRM with “Super Alloy Power” hardware. The ROG ARES II has a 500W TDP and uses three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. The card measures 11.8” x 5.5” x1.8,” not including the radiator.
The ROG ARES II includes one DVI-I, one DVI-D, and four DisplayPort video outputs. ASUS is also packing a DVI to HDMI adapter in the box.
The sealed loop water cooler is where the card sets itself apart, however. Based on an Asetek design, the ARES II water cooler features a 120mm radiator, and two CPU-style water blocks over each 7970 GHz Edition GPU. The loop runs from the radiator and through both water blocks before returning to the radiator which is paired with two 120mm fans. Curiously, the water cooler did not result in a single-slot design. Rather, the ARES II card has a somewhat-bulky two slot profile. According to ASUS, the water cooled card will run up to 31 degrees Celsius cooler than the reference NVIDIA GTX 690 graphics card while being as much as 13% faster (though ASUS does not specifically name the games/benchmarks).
ASUS has not released any pricing or availability information, but you can expect it to rival the price of PowerColor’s Devil 13 thanks to the sealed loop water cooler and ARES II hardware. Currently, ASUS is planning on producing a mere 1,000 liquid cooled ARES II cards, so be prepared to be fast on the mouse click upon release.
I would have liked to see a water cooler that was a bit more customized to the card. In particular, I think ASUS should have used a single water block that covered both GPUS and the VRM area, which would have allowed ASUS to get rid of the fan on the card itself entirely. Nevertheless, the ARES II will be extremely fast, and hopefully run nice and cool even when overclocked. I’m interested in seeing a head-to-head between the ARES II and PowerColor Devil 13.
Read more about AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture at PC Perspective.
As good as the cards design
As good as the cards design is, 13% faster while costing 20% more then GTX690 even costing price of 3x 7970’s. And on top of that up to 500+watt TDP with 3x 8pin PCI-e power connectors.
Just because the
Just because the card has 3 PCI-E plugs doesn’t mean it’s going to pull beyond 500W.
This is a 350W card.
You have to give them credit,
You have to give them credit, that really does raise the bar for a top end video card. The cost is high, but the design is damn cool.
This card could have
This card could have definitely been slimmed down a bit into a single slot. And the double wide 120mm radiator is a nice touch, saves more space than a 240mm normal width, but to maximize cooling it seems like rather than push/pull, you would almost have to get an air penetrator fan to push air all the way through it, instead of just having a slight breeze graze both sides.
I wouldn’t think this thing would pull more than 500 watts max, and even that is being a bit unrealistic. 850-1000w PS would probably do just fine. I don’t see the point of the RAM fan. Kinda dinky and its exhaust instead of intake. But I like this card better than the mars ii, which is like 2500 bucks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this thing go for more than 3.5k.
I can think of a few more practical things to spend that kind of money on…