ARES, The Greek God Of War
I love computer hardware. In fact, I love it so much that I built my career around it. But I have to admit, after reviewing countless graphics cards, nothing has ever come close to the excitement I experienced when I purchased my first 'big league' graphics card (It was the Canopus Pure3D by the way, sporting a colossal 6 MB of RAM when all of the other 3dfx Voodoo cards only had 4 MB). The point is that, as an experienced reviewer tasked with testing hardware all day, it's rare that I feel anything close to the gleeful anticipation I did in the days of my youth.
How strange for me, then, when I come to realize that I'm wearing a huge cheese-eating grin while unpacking the Asus ARES graphics card.
At first I am a bit puzzled by the package on my doorstep. Asus mentioned that a graphics card was being sent for review. But this package is huge. It looks more the size of a laptop. There's very little information about the product inside, other than a Republic of Gamers (RoG) logo on the top left and some small Radeon-related logos on the bottom.
Opening the box, I'm treated to a locked James Bond-style attache case with reinforced metal edges. The name ARES is proudly emblazoned on a medallion at the bottom-right of the case. Attached to the handle is a small booklet that gives some hints about the product inside. But at this point, who would do anything but open the thing as fast as possible?
As I fold open the case, I notice a number of items protected in compartments cut into the black protective foam. However, my eye is quickly drawn to the colossal graphics card that dominates my field of vision...