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ASUS ROG Matrix HD 7970 Platinum 3GB Review

Coming in at 11" x 5.1" x 2.1", some thought will have to go into whether this mammoth of a card will fit in the enclosure that you are using.

Over at the tail end of the card, we get a few buttons dedicated to controlling a special core voltage offset, resetting an unstable overclock and to trigger 100% full-speed fan operation.

 

The back of the card is even more interesting, with a large metal backplate providing some rudimentary protection to the PCB and a few interesting features that we will detail in the section below.

 

First off, the Matrix Platinium has 2 x 8-pin PCIe connectors, implying that it can draw up to an enormous 375W of power for the board, giving it comfortable headroom for extreme overclocking over the reference design.

 

In the middle, we see an iROG processor, designed to act as a simple microcontroller for the extended controls and monitoring for the board.

 

Finally, we see a few probe points and socketed connectors for a feature that ASUS calls "VGA hotwire". Using a recent Rampage or Maximus Extreme board, users can drectly take control of the core/memory/slot voltages in the BIOS or software or screen overlay. You can see a demostration of this later on in this article. There are also a few points (the golden squares) that must be shorted with a pencil to disable nanny state OCP and to allow external modification of voltages.

 

When the card is in operation, the ASUS Matrix logo will light up to different degrees of blue or red depending on the loading of the VRMs. This is rather useful if you want to see the stress levels of a particular benchmark scene and gives a cool lighting effect in a windowed case.

Lennard Seah
Why can't I have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads

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