Like MSI, ASUS has of course created a card that's designed for the most extreme overclocker in mind, with a large line-up of options that revolve around getting the absolute most MHz out of your card when on LN2. Unfortunately, what's better isn't something we can test since we don't really do that kind of stuff here. Instead, we'll leave it up to those extreme overclockers that are chasing world records. We'll just have to see what brand they're using when they manage to take top spot.
Both companies, though, also offer a fantastic card for people who are interested in getting something that stands outside the pack when it comes to comparing something like the MATRIX to a reference GTX 580. For people who are looking at having some fun and want something that stands out, the ASUS is a fantastic option and for a number of reasons.
The first is the cooler; the DirectCU II cooler is unreal and sure it's large, coming in at three slots. If you're on any performance motherboard and you're only interested in going a single graphics card, then it doesn't really matter. Combined with a ROG board which has fantastic quality sound and networking, the need for extra slots should be limited anyway, so going down the three slot path isn't a huge deal.
What the cooler does is help offer us unreal performance at just a ridiculously low noise level. Sure, the path that ASUS has chosen to go here doesn't let us achieve as strong of an overclock, because they want to keep the noise low, but you're only a single button away from getting noise levels similar to the competition and having the same kind of head room which brings us on to another stand out feature.
The implementation of buttons on the card itself might be a little bit of a pain for people who have the card sitting snug in their case, but for people who have the side panel off or the machine on a testbed, then it's a great feature. With the buttons we're able to get to 100% fan speed in a split second while also being able to push voltage to an even higher level than the software allows, which brings us on to yet another stand out feature.
GPU Tweak It from ASUS isn't crap! I never liked Smart Doctor and I think it's safe to assume most felt the same. GPU Tweak It is built from the ground up and offers us just a ridiculous amount of features and options for this ROG based card. Of course, it will be interesting to see what we can do with it when we're using a non ROG card or even another brand, but comparing MSI Afterburner and the Lightning series to GPU Tweak It and the ROG MATRIX, you'd have to give ASUS the tick because of the huge amount of options built in when using an ROG card.
ASUS has done a fantastic job with the MATRIX GTX 580 Platinum and it's more than them just slapping a big cooler on it and saying "on your way." If you want a big cooler on a GTX 580 you can go get the GTX 580 DirectCU II version from ASUS. If you want that cooler and so much more, though, the MATRIX GTX 580 Platinum edition is going to be the card to buy.
If we were asked what made the card really stand out from the pack, though, we'd have to say it's the fact that ASUS are able to offer us so much power at a ridiculously low noise level. ASUS have done such a good job making sure that the fastest single GPU card on the market can run faster and quieter and really, they're two benefits we're not going to complain about.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [The Card]
- Page 3 [Specifications and Overclocking]
- Page 4 [Test System Setup and 3DMark 11]
- Page 5 [3DMark Vantage]
- Page 6 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum]
- Page 15 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 16 [Benchmarks - PhysX Tests]
- Page 17 [Temperature Test]
- Page 18 [Sound Test]
- Page 19 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 20 [Total Performance Rating (TPR)]
- Page 21 [Final Thoughts]
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