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Asus ROG Ares III Card Comes With Full-Cover Water Block

The first Asus ROG Ares graphics card was air-cooled, and when Asus slapped two Radeon HD 7970’s onto a single board the company decided to partially liquid cool the card, giving it a hybrid cooling design just like the newer AMD Radeon R9 295X2. This time around, when Asus put two Radeon R9 290X GPUs onto a single GPU, it decided that rather than to make an air-cooled or hybrid-cooled card, it would make it exclusively cooled with water. Meet the Asus Republic of Gamers Ares III graphics card.

The card itself carries the same Hawaii GPUs as the R9 295X2, although they run at up to 1030 MHz rather than the reference 1018 MHz. Each GPU has access to 4 GB of memory, giving the card a total of 8 GB of memory. This memory runs at an effective speed of 5.0 GHz over a dual 512-bit memory interface. At this point you’re probably wondering what makes this card so special, so here it comes:

What sets the Asus ROG Ares III graphics card apart from reference R9 295X2 solutions is the PCB design and the cooling. The GPUs are hand-picked and tested, and they are powered by a more elaborate 16-phase Digi+ VRM circuit. The cooling is provided by a hand-crafted EKWB water block, which has a large "ARES" carved into it. It has the standard G1/4” threads, so if you have a custom water loop there is a good chance this will work in it. Because the water block makes the card quite thin, Asus also equipped the unti with a single-slot expansion bracket.

Included with the card is the silver metal carrying case (pictured), along with two G1/4” fittings, an 8 GB ROG USB stick and an AMD Gold Reward game coupon for the Never Settle promotional material. Oh, and Asus will only be making 500 units, each of them numbered as a limited edition card.

There's no word on pricing for the ROG Ares III just yet, although Asus did indicate that it will be available early in September. Some might point out that since the R9 295X2 is on promotion for $999 this card will be a tough sell, but like the past Ares cards, this unit isn’t really built to compete with its reference counterparts.

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  • Gam3r01
    Very impressive to see this card down to one expansion slot!
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Wow .... handpicked GPUs and water cooling manage a 1.18% overclock ... whooo whoooo. !

    Reply
  • dovah-chan
    I wish I could afford this :( At least produce an ROG or ARES branded EKWB block for us humans.

    Anyways I love seeing MARS or ARES cards. It's so cool just seeing Asus engineers going wild and pushing the limits of what they can do with the current times technology.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Looks great .... even like the suitcase :)

    Custom PCB
    Great Power Delivery
    Great Water Block (Unlike the EVGA Hydrocopper which runs 30C hotter on VRM than other blocks)
    Hand Picked GPUs

    And what do we get ? .....

    1030 MHz rather than the reference 1018 MHz. ....a whopping 12 MHz ???
    memory runs at an effective speed of 5.0 GHz ... not impressed

    The Asus 780 is similar in that it goes to 889 Mhz instead of reference 865 with a custom PCB and memory is a the reference 6008 ... I have OC'd them to 1100 (> 1250 on boost) and taken memory up over 7.4 Ghz ..... with all that room, why doesn't Asus give us a lil more in the box ?

    Seems w/ all that effort the factory OC shuda been sumthin to brag about rather than a hair above reference .... the design is gorgeous tho and size is impressive.

    Reply
  • DarkSable
    Okay... I'm sorry guys, but this is huge. Yeah, it's a card with a prebuilt waterblock on it...

    But it's a SINGLE SLOT card with a prebuilt waterblock on it. As a guy who loves making his system smaller and smaller, this card is suddenly very very very attractive.
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    Wow .... handpicked GPUs and water cooling manage a 1.18% overclock ... whooo whoooo. !

    You have no bloody idea what kind of overclock it can achieve.

    It's probably so conservative because there's no guarantee that it's going in a system that's got enough radspace to cool it effectively. Just like buying any factory overclocked card, you have no idea what it can do until you push it.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    You have no bloody idea what kind of overclock it can achieve.

    It's probably so conservative because there's no guarantee that it's going in a system that's got enough radspace to cool it effectively. Just like buying any factory overclocked card, you have no idea what it can do until you push it.

    OK, but what does that have to do with my post ? What I was referring to is all that effort for what ? Big deal...... limited production run which manages a measly 1% OC ? Does any other manufacturer do that ? Ever seen an EVGA Classified w/ a 1% factory OC ?

    I wasn't addressing what clock it might be able to achieve, irrelevant to the topic at hand. The point is everybody else does better why is Asus the ONLY manufacturer who needs to be so conservative. I expanded on this very clearly in the following post; your comment is irrelevant to that point.

    why doesn't Asus give us a lil more in the box ?

    The "point" I am addressing if that look at every single Asus card's clock and look what everybody else has .... MSI has gone back to reference PCBs, EVGA never did anything else w/ their SC series and yet despite that extra hardware and technology, Asus's offerings are orders of magnitude below the competition.

    780 Ti = Asus 954 / MSI 1020 / Gigabyte 1080 / EVGA 1006 ... why is Asus 5% lower ?
    780 = Asus 889 / MSI 954 / Gigabyte 954 / EVGA 967 ... why is Asus 7% lower ?
    770 = Asus 1058 / MSI 1137 / Gigabyte 1137 / EVGA 1111 . ... why is Asus 7 % lower ?

    I know what the Asus cards can do cause I have 7 of them here at home. But since the 670, they have failed to offer a product that comes outta the box with a lead.
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    ^ I see what you're saying, but...

    do out of the box speeds matter that much? I mean, for the people who won't overclock, yeah, they make a bit of a difference, but for those of us who do, they're arbitrary, and not telling of what final performance is going to be.

    And a card that's being sold which can only go into a custom water loop... I would hope that it would be well-overclocked by the user.

    I understand the gripe, I'm just not sure that it's something to actually complain about when the company produces good cards with great coolers and usually very good PCB designs.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Oh no argument there .... still it makes me doubt their direction. The 670 DCII TOP was the greatest card evah IMO.....techpowerup gave it the only 10.0 ever. But their 7xx series has been disappointing. I shook my head every time someone wanted me to build with EVGA SC series and I found it burdensome to always have to repeat the same web searches showing VRM failures on the EVGA 570s ... why was EVGA the only one of the big 4 who didn't use a custom PCB w/ beefed up VRMs.

    But now w/ nVidia having put both physical and legal barriers as to what 3rd paty vendors can do with voltages, the logic of a custom PCB is harder to justify. The original MSI 780 was a 2nd place finisher in most tests to Asus but the new MSI 780 kicks tail. I use the Asus 780 in WC builds and the MSI 780 in AC builds cause the MSI is much quieter.

    In my own box, I have the twin 780s down from my original OC as my son (he's a pilot) likes to play Flight Sims and BF4 on my box after I'm snorin' .... BF4 manages to crash the GFX driver when nothing else does.... so I have about a 26% OC on the core and 21 % on the memory. The run about 44c under Furmark and 39C if i turn the rad fans to max..... I was lucky .... both my 780s have Samsung memory.

    But the thing is, MSI has managed to compete here with a quieter card using a reference PCB. Now it has to be mentioned that this is not the old nVidia PCB .,... it's a bit beefier with better VRM and unless ya play little tricks like thy do with the Classy and Lightning, we are not seeing better overclocks than the reference boards.

    It just seems to me that "they are resting on their laurels" a bit. And while they still rule the MoBo segment at $250 and up, I can't make a recommendation for an Asus board under $225 ..... their boards are comparable to the competition and they do have the best BIOS IMO, but I am not gonna pay $545 for a Z97 Hero w/ 4790k when I can get the Z97 GD65 w/ the 4790k for $465.

    They have also had some quality problems .... RMAs are up in recent years .... the Z87 boards are still dealing with the BIOS Clock Freeze Bug which is now showing up in Z97 boards too. Things used to easy .... for over 10 years I bought nothing but Asus MoBos, Asus GFX cards and Asus Opticals .... after reading all the tests and reviews, always felt that I was getting the best product for the money .

    Now when I read reviews like this where the MSI 780 Ti gets a 9.9 rating (2nd only to the aforementioned 670 TOP), and the Asus gets the lowest rating (9.4) ya just gotta wonder what direction the company is going....especially after a year wrestling with the BIOS Clock Freeze bug ... two fixes announces, latter being a new BIOS (announced June 11) that Asus never actually released as described and will not address whether the BIOSs released since fix the problem or even acknowledge that there was a BIOS fix.

    But straying way off topic :) ... the card is damn pretty, the small size is great and with the EK block it will render the poorly performing hydrocopper irrelevant. Hopefully we'll see an 880 like this. Just wish they had the confidence to turn heads and make it look like they making performance and leading the pack a priority.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    Great Water Block (Unlike the EVGA Hydrocopper which runs 30C hotter on VRM than other blocks)

    Huh... I really don't get where this is coming from. I have 2 EVGA GTX 780 Hydrocopper's and I can assure you there is zero VRM problems. They even did the same thing EVGA did with their 5 and 6 series, make them a single slot (something I wish they would of done for their 7 series). The only poor Hydrocopper design I can remember was the original 580 Hydrocopper which was later replaced by the 580 Hydrocopper 2. I happen to have two of the 580 Hydrocopper 2 FTW's inside by closet right now and they performed great.

    Anyhow this is going to be pretty big for custom WC guys. Single slot ridiculously high performance card, allows for two of them in a loop with large rads and a solid pump/res.

    http://i537.photobucket.com/albums/ff338/palladin9479/PC%20Builds/20131107_210842_zps8ce924b3.jpg
    :Edit:
    After scouring the internet I see where the confusion came from. The Hydrocopper block was a swifttech komodo which doesn't include active cooling for the VRMs, everyone thought all their blocks would be this way. The Hydrocopper classified on the other hand has active cooling for the VRMs. And the Hydrocopper wasn't 30C worse then every other, only 30C from the Hydrocopper and the EK, it was 10~20 from the rest of the pack but had better performance in cooling the GPU chip. The only case where this would present a problem is if you were volt modding on a standard card, in which case just use a classified card.
    Reply