ASUS is one of few graphics card makers that has the resources to develop its own unique solutions and the perhaps most obvious sign for this was when it launched the ASUS MARS last year. The component giant is now about to unleash the second generation dual-GPU graphics card and this time it is AMD’s Cypress graphics circuits that are found beneath the giant copper cooler. ASUS ARES aims to become the fastest graphics card in the world and with 4GB memory and a solid copper cooler it has the means to succeed.

We have had details on ASUS’ new graphics card for some time, but it’s now at first that the company allows the public to take a glance at it.

ASUS ARES will be shown in all of its glory at CeBIT next week, but already we can offer some juicy details. The card will be sold in limited quantities and performance will be noticeably better than Radeon HD 5970.

This is made possible by letting the two Cypress GPUs operate at the same clock frequencies as the single-GPU card Radeon HD 5870. I.e. 850MHz, unlike 725MHz with HD 5970. The memory will operate at 4800MHz, but the really cool is that the memory buffer is now 4GB instead of 2GB, which will not only enable even the heaviest of games to be played at 3 x 2560×1600 pixel resolution but also make it perfect for AMD’s coming 3-D technologies that will be launched for the Radeon HD 5000 series later on. 3-D will require a lot of memory and extreme performance, and ARES delivers both.

To achieve this performance ASUS hasn’t just designed its own PCB. It has revised the power supply with dual 8-pin connectors and one 6-pin connector for powering the two Cypress GPUs at even the most extreme of frequencies. This is kind of the whole point of ARES.


The cooler is a story by itself. Made from solid copper the cooler isn’t just heavy, but also very efficient. It has eight wide heatpipes and one 100mm fan (32mm thick) for 600% better airflow than the regular HD 5970 cooler and this enables ASUS ARES to operate at higher GPU clock frequencies than most Radeon HD 5870 can do, and it has just one GPU to cool.

ASUS’ goal isn’t just offering extreme performance, but doing so with minimal noise and once again the cooler is there to make it possible. The first benchmarks indications promise good.

3DMark Vantage Extreme
– X14104 points
AMD HD 5970 – X11000 points

ares2Exactly when ASUS will launch ARES is uncertain, but when it does it will be a limited edition with a special packaging. Metal or plastic are the alternatives that are mentioned today, maybe inspired by some of the DVD Collector’s Edition boxes.

The price tag will of course scare away many, but most seem to point to that ARES will be cheaper than MARS, which is at least something. More information on ASUS ARES the coming week.

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