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Asus Reveals Over-Engineered GTX 980 Matrix

Silently, Asus' ROG division has posted some specifications and images of a new graphics card, the Matrix GTX 980.

The Matrix series of graphics cards from Asus are known to be the most extreme air-cooled cards the company makes, and you can probably see why. The Matrix GTX 980 comes with a massive custom PCB design which has a 14-phase VRM circuit. Considering that reference GTX 980 boards have four phases for the GPU and one for memory, a 14-phase circuit is just plain madness. It will ensure very stable power delivery, though, which should help when overclocking to levels far beyond what air-cooling can endure.

Asus didn't indicate a base frequency, but given the huge cooler, chances are it will be running at its 1342 MHz GPU Boost clock most of the time anyway. The 4 GB of GDDR5 memory remains at the reference 7.0 GHz frequency, and it runs over a 256-bit memory interface.

The cooler on the card is based on the DirectCU II design, but with a couple of changes. It is built with 10 mm thick matte-black heatpipes and features a custom shroud that follows the design of past Matrix cards. Air is pushed through the aluminum fin array by two fans, one of which features a CoolTech design. There's also an LED-lit ROG logo with a customizable lighting pattern. Despite the beefy cooler, the card also comes with an LN2 mode switch for overclocking under liquid nitrogen.

Display outputs consist of an HDMI 2.0 port, a dual-link DVI-I connection and three DisplayPort 1.2 interfaces.

Add everything together, and you're probably looking at one of the most powerful GTX 980 graphics cards. Thus on paper, this is one of the most powerful single-GPU graphics cards available.

While Asus didn't indicate pricing or availability yet, we don't imagine that these will come cheap, as the company charges a respectable premium for a premium product. This isn't the entire official announcement yet, so take this as little more than a teaser!

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Niels Broekhuijsen
Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware news on all components and peripherals.
  • dovah-chan
    To be honest I think everyone would be interested in a 980 Poseidon more than a Matrix edition. Many reviewers lamented that the 290X Matrix Platinum didn't have the same features as the 780 Poseidon. Maybe there will be a Poseidon card on AMD's side this time since there is a possibility of the reference cards being liquid cooled?
    Reply
  • soccerplayer88
    I'm happy with my EVGA GTX 980 ACX 2.0. However I quickly modified the VRAM heatsink and attached my Kraken G10 (Kraken x60 combo), couldn't be happier. My load was hitting near 45C (delta-T).

    I don't care what type of heat sink they put on these things, they're still loud and dissipate heat like crap. With my G10, my 980 idles at 3C (delta-T) and running Furmark for an hour caps out at 24C (delta-T).

    What I want to see is manufacturers start to include some decent cooling options. I think there is one card out there that has built in liquid cooling but I would like to see some more out of the box.
    Reply
  • mortsmi7
    I'm happy with my EVGA GTX 980 ACX 2.0. However I quickly modified the VRAM heatsink and attached my Kraken G10 (Kraken x60 combo), couldn't be happier. My load was hitting near 45C (delta-T).

    I don't care what type of heat sink they put on these things, they're still loud and dissipate heat like crap. With my G10, my 980 idles at 3C (delta-T) and running Furmark for an hour caps out at 24C (delta-T).

    What I want to see is manufacturers start to include some decent cooling options. I think there is one card out there that has built in liquid cooling but I would like to see some more out of the box.
    Why all the (delta-T) nonsense? It's all but meaningless without a reference temperature.
    Reply
  • deadbc77
    I hope they have a upgrade program like EVGA,for my dual 980 Strix.(fingers crossed)
    Reply
  • slyu9213
    Seeing that the Poseidon GTX 980 has already been announced I would wait for that.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Meh, not impressed. If Asus really wants to innovate with the GTX980, then they need to increase the memory bus bandwidth from 256-bit to either 384-bit or better yet a 512-bit bus (yes, just like what AMD has now with Hawaii). Until that happens, I'll keep yawning :P
    Reply
  • drakennz
    "My load was hitting near 45C (delta-T)."
    :'D hahahahahaha - you should definitely get that checked out!
    Reply
  • arossetti
    For the amount of money you'll pay for one of these specially engineered air cooled cards you could spend just a little more and slap a water block on a reference card, loop it into one the expandable AIO coolers like the Glacial or a custom loop and get great temps and almost no noise. -
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Water cooling the 9xx series will eliminate noise but don't expect higher clocks. So far, temps hasve been a complete non-issue on 9xx cards ... I haven't as yet seen one "hit the wall" on GPU temps yet.

    I have a 26% OC on twin Asus 780s that run w/ GPU temps at 39C on the box I am typing from now but have bettered that a bit on two later air cooled builds using the MSI 780. Of course they ran hotter but still more than 12C below the rated 95C.
    Reply
  • fuzzion
    Still happy with my decision to have bought the 780ti OC edition some long time ago.
    Reply