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Asus' ROG Ares II: Four Dual-GPU Graphics Cards, Compared

A Page In History: The World’s Fastest Dual-GPU Card

Asus ships this flagship card in a briefcase that you might expect to see a spy carrying around in a movie. Is it full of money? Does it contain the pieces for a sniper rifle? Or will you find the Ares II in there? The low profile, unassuming look might not have been Asus' intention, but it certainly fits well. When you combine this card's high price and gratuitous power consumption, we're not surprised the company only chose to manufacture 1,000 of them.

Apparently, it didn't have any trouble selling them, though. At least here in the U.S., they aren't available anymore.

Asus did hit its target of manufacturing the fastest dual-GPU graphics card on the planet, though. HIS could have worn that crown if the company had put its prototype into production. The Radeon HD 7970 X2 was overclockable, and might have matched the Ares II. However, Asus took that additional step, earning it a well-deserved, if largely symbolic, victory.

There's one other variable we didn't bring up in this story, but have in the past: using frame limiting to address micro-stuttering. AMD needs to learn from the RadeonPro tool we've tested previously and further develop what that utility does to smooth out performance. Software advances would go a long way toward making AMD's real-world experience a lot better.

Make no mistake, Asus' Ares II is the fastest graphics card around. But it really only performs on the GeForce GTX 690's level once you use frame limiting to get stuttering under control. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 690 is less expensive and consumes a lot less power under full load. If you missed out on your chance to own an Ares II, let that be your consolation. Asus' board is bigger, badder, and commands more attention, but almost a year after its launch, the GeForce GTX 690 remains the most elegant high-end card we've ever used.

  • acasel
    nice video card.

    hope it doesnt cost a kidney :)
    Reply
  • Ceee9
    last picture on the last page seem..., i think it oversize
    Reply
  • JJ1217
    ermagherd gerfics cerd yey i r so herpy
    Reply
  • UltimateDeep
    I think you can get 2 690s or least 3 680s for the price of an ARES 2. The benchmarkers didn't evaluate Performance per watt, or Performance per dollar and the flipping size and length of each card which is the reason why I still stand by the GTX 690 in this article... For all these cards, all of that personally needs to be taken into consideration.

    I've nothing against the Dual 7970s but just want to let consumers be aware of the pros and cons especially the cards are not for the meek of wallet.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    So about that FCAT ........... sigh
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    Wonder if Asus will re-release this card into the US market as the 7990.
    Reply
  • ASHISH65
    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • dkcomputer
    Classic statement whenever you talk about AMD - "If only the software were better" or "When the software catches up" - how about "If only this component would be relevant when the software its made for exists"
    Reply
  • PadaV4
    So is the fps for radeon dual cards already divided by 2 or must the reader do it by himself?
    Reply
  • ShadyHamster
    You can't buy it anymore, but we got our hands on one and are adding it to our database of performance data.

    If you live in Australia and have a spare $1900 you can still get your hands on one.
    Reply