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

Adding Asus' Ares II To Our High-End Benchmark Results

As in the automotive world, the extreme high-end of computer hardware is almost always fun to look at, and rarely practical to own. With its Ares II, Asus set out to build the fastest graphics card in the world, matched by stunning presentation. The final product was mostly supposed to serve as demonstration that the company could build such a performance-oriented product, even if it was only available in limited quantities (the company claims only 1,000 were made, of which only a fraction made it to the U.S.).

So, why bother looking at it now? Because we had one in the lab, that's why. Oh, and it just so happens that only two samples of the other "fastest dual-GPU card in the world" ever left its manufacturer's lab. That was HIS' Radeon HD 7970 X2 (not X2), and we got both of them last year. Creates a nice little comparison, right? The Ares II offers an additional 50 MHz on the core clock, plus liquid cooling to deal with the incredible heat generated by two Tahiti GPUs.

We previously rounded up HIS' Radeon HD 7970 X2, PowerColor's AX7990 6GBD5-A2DHJ Devil13, and EVGA's GeForce GTX 690 in Radeon HD 7990 And GeForce GTX 690: Bring Out The Big Guns. Now that we have the Ares II, it only makes sense to add it to our round-up numbers. We're using the same benchmark system and drivers to keep the comparison fair. It would have been great to get those other dual-Tahiti boards into the lab to run them with the very latest drivers, but they're both such rare museum pieces that it simply wasn't possible. We settled on turning back the clock and adding Asus's effort. Incidentally, we didn't add Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan for much the same reason (not that it would have mattered, since one Titan is slower than a GTX 690).

Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 Vs. The Dual-Tahiti Competition
Asus Ares IIHIS Radeon HD 7970 X2PowerColor AX7990 6GBD5-A2DHJ Devil13EVGA GeForce GTX 690
Shader Units2 x 20482 x 1536
GPU Clock Frequency1100 MHz1050 MHz925 / 1000 MHz (BIOS)915 MHz + GPU Boost
ROPs2 x 322 x 32
GPU2 x Tahiti2 x GK104
Transistors2 x 4.31 million2 x 3.5 million
Memory Size2 x 3 GB2 x 2 GB
Memory Bus2 x 384-bit2 x 256-bit
Memory Clock Frequency1650 MHz1500 MHz1375 MHz1502 MHz

On paper, Asus' Ares II looks good. HIS' Radeon HD 7970 X2 runs 50 MHz faster than PowerColor's Devil13 card at its overclocked BIOS setting, which is why it proved to be the faster board in our original round-up.

  • 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