Mars II - The Worlds Fastest Graphics Card in the making?
Very recently, we were privileged enough to get our grubby hands on the monstrous Asus Aries dual HD 5870 graphics card. The performance was astonishing and the craftsmanship was sublime. While the pricing was just as insane, we still commend Asus for their efforts. These extreme graphics cards are akin to the mouth watering concept cars at motor shows that never make it to production. The only exception is that Asus decided to offer a limited production run of their concept for those who will only accept the best... But what if even Aries isn't enough?
Yes, it is a rather chilling thought that a 2 x 1600 stream processor product with ramped up frequencies is inadequate for anyone, but we have recently learned that Asus are at it again. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the MARS II.
...and this is it. Now obviously it doesn't take a genius to realise that this is a Dual GTX 480 graphics card. Sitting proudly on this enormous PCB are two GF100 cores and two dedicated banks of memory. It is not known if there are more memory ICs on the back of the graphics card but we could expect well over 3GB of on board memory!
We all know that the GTX 480 has incredible power demands, noted by the fact that it can consume as much as 30W more than the dual GPU HD 5970. As such, it comes to no surprise that nearly 50% of the PCB is populated by two sets of VRM sections. The Mars II's power demands are also more than obvious by the implementation of three 8pin PCI-E ports.
Like the Aries Graphics Card, the Mars II is also taller than the average GTX 480. Also if you are bonkers enough, it is also possible to pair two Mars II graphics cards thanks to the implementation of a SLI connector.
As unorthodox as this graphics card may seem, it is a truly impressive piece of engineering. While the original Mars and the ATi based Aries had dual GPU siblings in one way or the other, no Dual GTX 480 product exists at present. To see such a complex graphics card fused into a single PCB SLI solution is truly astonishing. With this in mind we are eager to see how well it performs, but also how Asus plan on cooling it!
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