The ARES II virtually dwarfs most consumer-grade graphics cards in existance, measuring 11.8" wide and  5.5" tall (not even including the 120mm radiator and rubber hoses), which means it can only fit inside spacious enclosures (like a Cooler Master COSMOS II).

Despite being marketed as a dual-slot solution, the ARES II actually takes up the adjacent slot (ergo, effectively three-slots) no thanks to its attractive metal faceplate. The rear I/O configuration is typical of Asus's custom cards, featuring four full-sized DisplayPort and dual DVI connectors. You should be able to use all of them for six-display Eyefinity action, which the card has plenty of GPU horsepower and framebuffer to drive comfortably.

You will also need a fairly heavyweight power supply (probably 1200W+, up to 525w of potential power draw for a single ARES II) with a strong 12v rail and three 8-pin PCIe connectors.

 

The closed-loop liquid cooling system uses a fairly thick radiator (made by Asetek, identical to the one found on premium CPU coolers like the Antec 920) and two 120mm fans in a push-pull configuration to dissipate the heat. During testing we found the fans to be whisper quiet (maxed out at around 1500rpm), although we reckon that a more aggressive PWM controlled fan could shave off a few more degrees.

 

At the middle of the card, a solo 70mm axial fan provides airflow over the VRM zone, which appears to be effective as the onboard VRM temperature readouts did not exceed 50 degrees celcius during extended benchmark routines. Overall, the liquid-cooler and onboard VRM fan are streets ahead in terms of noise levels compared to the stock HD 7970 blower solution.