Asus Republic Of Gamers Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum: More Details Revealed

Asus announced a number of new products at the ROG (Republic Of Gamers) Unleashed press event today. Some of the hardware had been teased or announced previously, but some of the the details have been scarce. In early September we reported that Asus will soon be releasing the next iteration of its highly customized Matrix graphics cards, but many of the details were being withheld. Today, a few more of those details have been revealed, but there are some things we still don't know.

The Asus ROG Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum features a custom PCB design and power delivery subsystem with 14 phase power regulation, which Asus said enables higher and more stable overclocks. Asus said it reserves only the highest overclocking GPUs for the Matrix cards. It claimed that only the top 10 percent of GPUs are selected for the Matrix cards. These chips have been vetted by Asus employees to be among the highest overclocking GPUs to come through its factory, though it has still not revealed what the factory clock speed will be.

To keep the card cool, Asus equipped the Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum with a customized DirectCU II cooler, which features 10 mm copper heat pipes. They've have been coated in black to help them blend in with the shroud design. Although it put the DirectCU II cooler on this card, most Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum cards will likely spend their life hooked up to a more exotic cooling solution. Water would work fine on this card if a block is made, but it has truly been designed for the hardcore overclocking enthusiasts looking for world record clock speeds under liquid nitrogen. The Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum features a defrosting feature designed to keep condensation down under subzero temperatures.

Along with the PCB defrosting function, Asus has included a safe mode BIOS on the card, as well. If you manage to push the settings too high, the safe mode BIOS can recover from what could have otherwise been catastrophic failure. Pushing this button will automatically reload a factory profile to the BIOS.

The previous Matrix card, the Asus Matrix GTX 980 Platinum, featured a set of LED lights that changed color under different load patterns. Asus has equipped the Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum with a similar feature, though the lights are RGB this time around, letting you customize the different modes to any color you'd like.

When Asus first revealed the Matrix GTX 980 Ti Platinum in early September, it showed off a brand new color scheme for the company. The shroud did away with the company's traditional red and black ROG branding, and replaced it with gunmetal and copper accents, which Asus was calling the Plasma Copper ROG color scheme.

Today's announcement was accompanied with a picture of a red and black card with the same design as last year's shroud. It's unclear if both versions will be available, or if the new color has been dropped.

Follow Kevin Carbotte @pumcypuhoy. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • jasonelmore
    gonna b spensive. 10mm heat pipes.. they keep pushing the bar.. 2 years ago 8mm heat pipes was a big deal.
  • Bartendalot
    Took them long enough... I would think that most of the people who were looking to get a 980ti would have one by now.
  • nukemaster
    Took them long enough... I would think that most of the people who were looking to get a 980ti would have one by now.
    You would think. With a niche product like this, they know that they will not sell as many. I am sure the markup will be enough to cover waiting.

    You will always have users who want the top end so this will also sell to those users.
  • astonerii
    Getting the money out of those who are willing to pay it.
    Release a better but lower level card first. People pay the premium to get the newest best card. Upgrade it slightly, a few of those people upgrade again. Upgrade it again. A few of those get the new upgrade. Put some sparklies on it, and yet again, the same group that has been giving you their money splurge again.
    It goes along the lines of maximizing profits without leaving the little guy out in the cold. the little guy can pick up the one he can afford. The rich guys keep replacing at a premium and reselling their old stuff for less. Giving little guys a chance at a lower cost upgrade.
    Here it is the reverse of the economics class I was in. Where they make a car for sale, and they sell the first one to the person who wants it most for a million dollars. The second one to the person who wants it next most for 900,000 ... until they have sold every car that anyone wanted.
  • monsta
    look like a nice card , wonder what the clocks will be on this beast
  • HyperMatrix
    The problem with binning like this is that you're reducing the quality of the standard GTX 980 ti card. So on average, the cards will overclock less.
  • photonboy
    I don't follow your "economics" logic at all. The GTX980Ti released a while ago, so it's actually taken a while for this premium project to appear.

    And how is anybody being left "out in the cold"? We have graphics cards at every level. Plus, these are very high-end graphics cards so the entire discussion is rather pointless.

    By your car analogy it's like you're asking Ferrari to produce a car that "only" costs $180,000 for the poor people who can't afford the similar $220,000 model.

    (And they don't sell cards one at a time like in your car analogy so... whatever. I just can't follow your post at all.)
  • astonerii
    They sell GTX 970s, GTX 960s and GTX 950s, so lower income, or lower spending people can get a better card than their old one.
    The logic of this latest premium card is that They probably sold a stock GTX 980to a bunch of people, who wanted latest and greatest, knowing better cards would come out shortly. They got the premium dollars from those people for the weakest of the pretties. Then they came out with overclocked versions, and sold cards to many of the same people, who turned around and dumped those cards on craigslist or Ebay, along with some people who waited for the better deal of the overclock. Later we saw some water blocked cards, and again, the same process happened. Then the 980ti came out, similar process. 980ti overclocks... 980ti water cooled... With this process they maximize income and sales. While they were doing this process of scaling the power up for the top end, they were also scaling down. By only offering the 980 and 970 at first, they got many people to spend a bit more for a higher end card than if they released the 960 and 950 versions at the same time. They got the maximum amount of money from their customers, and then they offered a lesser cost version which got more people to jump in and buy a card. Then again, they release yet a lower end card, but one that is better than the older cards to get even more customers to jump in and spend.
  • fuzzion
    If you can wait, grab the Pascal next year.

    It will have twice the performance of 980ti
  • jimmysmitty
    16758335 said:
    gonna b spensive. 10mm heat pipes.. they keep pushing the bar.. 2 years ago 8mm heat pipes was a big deal.

    Not really. The Asus ROG GTX 980Ti Strix is $689 on Newegg, $60 bucks more than some others, which is not too bad and it has the 10mm heatpipes.

    Looking at the design, I don't think this will perform as well as the Strix which has a larger heatsink and 3 fans vs 2. As well it has the same 14 phase design and seems to be able to push to over 1300MHz base core easily.