ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

Back in 2009, ASUS launched their 1000-piece limited edition mammoth "Mars" (2 x GTX285 on a single card) and took the performance crown over then GPU leaders NVIDIA GTX295 and AMD HD5970, albeit at a significant price premium. Two years later today, we do a mini review on the world's fastest single graphics card equipped with two GTX580 Fermi cores – the ASUS Republic of Gamers Mars II 3GB.

Introduction

IMG 9260 ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

A very big box

IMG 9261 ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

 

IMG 9268 ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

Like its predecessor, the ASUS ROG Mars II has limited production run of 999 pieces (ours was the "529th").

 

GTX 580

GTX 590 (2 x GTX 580)

Mars II

Core Clock

772MHz

607MHz

782MHz

Shader Clock

1544MHz

1215MHz

1564MHz

Memory Clock
(effective)

1002MHz
(4008MHz)

854MHz
(3416MHz)

1002MHz
(4008MHz)

Memory

1.5GB

2 x 1.5GB

2 x 1.5GB

Stream Processors 512 1024 1024
TDP 243W 365W ?
 
From the specifications table above, we see that the Mars II is clocked marginally higher (1.3%) than the reference GTX 580 core clock, and 28% over the similar dual chip GTX 590. To sustain the higher frequencies, the ROG team at ASUS designed a custom PCB and power circruitry on the Mars II, allowing the 2 GF110 Fermi cores to perform at their full potential on a single card.

 


IMG 9273 ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

On the triple slot I/O shield, we have two DVI-D ports, a HDMI and a Display Port interface on the card allowing for up to 4 display outputs.


 ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

At the side of the card,  there are 3 x 8 pin PCIE power connectors delivering up to 450W of additional power. There is also a red-backlit button to override and trigger 100% fan speeds on the two huge 120mm fans in the cooling system.

IMG 9293 ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

Accesories

IMG 9291 ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB   A Mini Review

ASUS has thoughtfully bundled a "PCI-E sustainer" to protect the motherboard and to aid mounting in obtuse cases.