ASUS ROG MARS 2 Review

Conclusion

ASUS ROG MARS 2 Review

Conclusion

So, the Republic of Gamers MARS 2 then.

It's two GTX580s on the same board and the performance very much indicates this. Throughout our testing it was no quicker than a pair of stock GTX580s in SLI and, in those tests where we didn't have a GTX580 SLI setup available and so used a GTX590, it wasn't much better there either.

It looks fantastic, that can't be denied. ASUS have worked their magic with the cooler which is capable of coping with the heat generated from two GF110s working hard. The decision to have two DirectCU heatsinks, rather than one big one, definitely has results. The temperatures stayed under 80°C and at no point did it become annoyingly loud either. From a design point of view it's tough to fault it. The top is chunky and bolted to the bottom to make sure that even under the highest levels of stress the circuit board wont warp. We reckon you could run over it with a car and it wouldn't flex, although we wouldn't recommend it.

Testing this we were reminded very much of the previous ASUS high-end effort the ARES. It's prohibitively expensive and, in the end, the performance just doesn't justify it. It's impossible to talk about it without mentioning the price, so let's get that out the way straight away. £1100. One thousand, one hundred pounds.

That sounds like a lot of money and it is. For the same cash you could get three GTX580s or two GTX580s and water blocks, pumps, rads and all the gear to keep them frosty and quiet. Not only would they overclock better, and the lack of overclocking is one of our two big disappointments with the MARS 2, but they'd look nicer, be cooler and if one of your chips died you wouldn't be left without a display.

If it sounds like nothing but negativity it's because when you get a card that is clearly aimed at the enthusiast with a huge bank account you have certain expectations. Of all the things we expected, getting exactly what the specs would indicated, GTX580 SLI performance, wasn't really one of them. After all if we wanted that we'd buy a pair of GTX580 and spend the £400 we saved on something else. A huge SATA 6 SSD for example. The MARS 2 doesn't even have the saving grace of the ARES in that it comes with ludicrously high-end packaging and frippery.

So if you want a single card version of a GTX580 SLI setup and don't mind paying £400 to basically be able to put "ASUS MARS 2" in your forum signature, then this is the card for you. If you want performance, or value for money, or almost any other measurable then stick with the two card option.

   

Thanks to ASUS for providing the MARS 2 for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

16-09-2011, 04:07:25

tinytomlogan
Recently won the lottery and aren't sure what to buy? Perhaps the MARS 2 from the Republic of Gamers branch of ASUS is just the ticket...



Continue Reading

16-09-2011, 04:53:12

Youngie1337
Had a quick read, oh my the price >.<. lol @ 1 for price haha, I would prefer 3x580'S, DEFO not for me lol. I'll wait until it's in the acceptable price range.

16-09-2011, 05:11:21

Excalabur50
Watched the full vid today GREAT review as always nice card if you got money burning a hole in your pocket.

16-09-2011, 05:36:04

Sgt.Bilko
Thanks for a good and thorough review.

Agreed preformance is disappointing but I think the damn thing looks like it's been in a fender bender with that 3 slot grill and the sloping fan cover. It just looks wrong.

16-09-2011, 07:12:37

Solidarity
I have not watched the videos yet, but I did skim read the written review. Saw the price, and realised this card is more expensive than my entire rig. If I was the type of person who had enough money to just throw around, I still wouldn't get this card.

16-09-2011, 07:14:45

yassarikhan786
Brilliant review of an overpriced card. I've seen these cards going for upto 1500 on Ebay.

16-09-2011, 07:17:34

dugdiamond
i'm gonna have to start donating blood, if i am going to be able to afford GPUs like this one. BUT, it is a shame i am only a stone!!!

16-09-2011, 08:11:12

badtaylorx
am i the only one who thinks $1500 USD is reasonable??? the construction of this thing as well as all of the R&D behind it more than justifies its price.....an extra $500 for that.......if i didnt have 2 rigs @ the moment and HD7XXX wasn't right around the corner,,, id seriously be considering this!!!

16-09-2011, 10:27:32

yassarikhan786
Quote:
Originally Posted by badtaylorx View Post

am i the only one who thinks $1500 USD is reasonable??? the construction of this thing as well as all of the R&D behind it more than justifies its price.....an extra $500 for that.......if i didnt have 2 rigs @ the moment and HD7XXX wasn't right around the corner,,, id seriously be considering this!!!
It would be more like $1,700 for us british guys and girlies and no one can justify that much money for the performance you get.

16-09-2011, 10:40:44

SPS
Quote:
Originally Posted by yassarikhan786 View Post

It would be more like $1,700 for us british guys and girlies and no one can justify that much money for the performance you get.
It's 1100

16-09-2011, 10:43:35

yassarikhan786
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS View Post

It's 1100
I know it's 1100. I was simply expressing the amount in dollars to get my point across.

16-09-2011, 10:52:47

SPS
Quote:
Originally Posted by yassarikhan786 View Post

I know it's 1100. I was simply expressing the amount in dollars to get my point across.
It confused me because you said it was $1700 for us british, which sounded like you thought it cost 1700 but accidentally put the dollar sign after reading the above post.

Nevermind anyways lol

16-09-2011, 10:59:24

yassarikhan786
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS View Post

It confused me because you said it was $1700 for us british, which sounded like you thought it cost 1700 but accidentally put the dollar sign after reading the above post.

Nevermind anyways lol
lol. If we could get the card shipped from the USA with the shipping costs not being too steep, it would still not be worth it over two 580's in sli.

16-09-2011, 11:06:11

jonowee
To fit all that on a single PCB, nerd porn.

But no; it makes two, even three-way SLI 580 Lightning look like a bargain with just as much power delivery porn. But the MARS II is a technical achievement worth a hat tip to ASUS

16-09-2011, 12:56:39

silenthill
[/size][size="3"]not happy with the noise of the 120'' fans much to loud for 1200 card

16-09-2011, 13:51:34

Ya93sin
Rather have 2x580s than this, and even then only if I had 3 monitors or something.

As Tom said, you could get all the watercooling stuff you need that would keep the cards cool, you could OC the cards as well, and the performance is higher still, but maybe this is for those who want ease of mind and have a stack lying around somewhere.

17-09-2011, 05:33:54

Alicarve
good review thanks was tempted until i saw the price

17-09-2011, 08:00:18

Master&Puppet
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

Recently won the lottery and aren't sure what to buy? Perhaps the MARS 2 from the Republic of Gamers branch of ASUS is just the ticket...
Jesus. Enough said.

M&P

19-09-2011, 13:44:58

Hippie Tech
Great review ! And yes, I skipped through the gaming parts.

Did someone say nerd porn !? Bring it on ! haha.. Hearing that made me want to join this forum lol..

pEACe

20-09-2011, 08:40:15

Bungral
Nice one Tom.

No chance of me ever buying one of these or even being interested in doing so.

23-09-2011, 01:44:18

Siwini
Overpriced no doubt. I'll stick with my 570.

23-09-2011, 04:43:03

SkinToxicated
judging by Toms review, it doesnt seem to become greater than the sum of its parts. yeah it looks the business, but how can you justify something thats doesnt put much more on the screen than 2 SLI'd 580s and is 400 sheets more?

dunno if its my sense talking, but if someone gave me a blank Scan/Aria voucher to build a rig i still dont think i would drop one of these in it

23-09-2011, 04:58:13

yassarikhan786
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinToxicated View Post

judging by Toms review, it doesnt seem to become greater than the sum of its parts. yeah it looks the business, but how can you justify something thats doesnt put much more on the screen than 2 SLI'd 580s and is 400 sheets more?

dunno if its my sense talking, but if someone gave me a blank Scan/Aria voucher to build a rig i still dont think i would drop one of these in it
The only game it really excels at is metro 2033. Other than that it is on par with two 580's. Two factory overclocked 580's would beat the Mars 2 in performance.

23-09-2011, 06:58:55

jonowee
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinToxicated View Post

judging by Toms review, it doesnt seem to become greater than the sum of its parts. yeah it looks the business, but how can you justify something thats doesnt put much more on the screen than 2 SLI'd 580s and is 400 sheets more?

dunno if its my sense talking, but if someone gave me a blank Scan/Aria voucher to build a rig i still dont think i would drop one of these in it
If you have to think about price to performance with this card, you most likely shouldn't buy it.

23-09-2011, 07:28:04

SkinToxicated
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonowee View Post

If you have to think about price to performance with this card, you most likely shouldn't buy it.
very true. This is card that you want rather than a card you need
Reply
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