Asus Ares II 2x HD 7970 Review

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Stormfuror

$1500..... fifteen hundred dollars!!! One thousand and five hundred dollars! I know the only people who can afford it easily make way more money than me. But good grief.... that is just too much money for a GPU. I just ordered 2 GTX 760's and I spent $520... I think I'll be happy with that for a while.

Just have to say it though.... that is one sexy card! I'de love to have that thing plug into my Asus ROG mobo! :D

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vrmlbasic

So AMD, about that 8000 series of desktop radeons...

Because I want to upgrade this machine from its aged Crossfire setup but I don't want to upgrade now just to be upstaged by the 8000. I'm not going to spend 1500 on a GPU, I'm more of a 100-500 dollar/gpu guy, but if I were I'd be hesitant to buy this with, again, the 8000 supposedly around the corner.

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kiaghi7

Alrighty, I see your Ares II, and raise you a water-cooled Titan:

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Colorful-GTX-Titan-iGame-Water,22532.html

Then, I re-raise the bet with a sub-zero cooling Titan:

http://www.techpowerup.com/185411/colorful-unveils-geforce-gtx-titan-ultra-edition-with-subzero-cooling.html

Note that case in the 4th picture, that's not a PC case, that is literally a phase change condenser... If you're not sure what that really means, think of it like having a refrigerator hooked up as a cooling solution FOR ONE PCI-E card!

This isn't to knock the Ares II, it's of course a preposterously powerful card in its own right, but they are purposely comparing a water-cooled card against an air cooled card, knowing that when THEIR card is air-cooled it gets it's lunch money taken away by the Titan...

And not in a nice way...

So if we're going to be intellectually honest, anyone who's going to go out of their way to get a titan isn't strapped for cash... That's all there is to it, people living from pay check to pay check aren't pining over their next ferrari purchase either...

As such, anyone who can afford either of these cards is certainly able to cool them with some ludicrous cooling solution, so let's "play fair" so to speak, and see which one comes out on top with BOTH being liquid cooled...

Then, if we want to go for another, "mismatched match up", then why can't the Titan use sub-zero cooling! If it's alright to be mismatched the other way, let's flip the discussion around.

If AMD/ATi's only way to suggest that their product is superior is to only compare it against one with a marked disadvantage, shouldn't that speak more to the failing within AMD/ATi rather than their competitor that they have to go so far overboard just to edge out in a clearly stacked competition?

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NavarWynn

Except the Titan is slower than the 690, which just got stomped. No doubt, add a water cooler, or put it in it's own refrigerator (*snicker*) and you can probably run a Titan as quietly as this one. Unfortunately it'd likely still be slower... :( Sorry, as we all know, OCing (even w/ liquid N2) will only get you so far...

Don't mean to offend, but obv. you are a Nvidia fanboy... sheesh, share some medals, and take heart in the fact that Nvidia's next gen of hardware will likely stomp this into the ground (though it might not look as good)

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kiaghi7

Curious that you suggest I'm an Nvidia fanboy, since my history with ATi goes back all the way to the earliest Radeon days, and I support whomever is better.

Amusingly you forgot that the Ares is only "faster" by having such a significant overclock, which itself is only possible with water cooling... The 690 you specifically reference is indeed vastly more capable under the same conditions... Hence why I said to compare it to a water cooled Nvidia equivalent and it'd simply reset the hierarchy.

More over, if you want to reverse the unfair comparisons, why not go the other way around and show the Ares II versus a phase-change cooled Titan or again the 690... But again, it's a hyperbolic example to point out how preposterous it was to compare the Ares II against the AIRCOOLED competition...

My assertion the entire time has been "why not compare contemporaries", and that also including their cooling methodologies.

If anyone here is obviously anything, it would be you heralding a card that can only take on the reigning champion by purposely stacking the comparison in its favor.

It's alright that ATi has a supremely powerful card and I applaud the developers of the Ares II, but I simultaneously have the intellectual honesty to also say that it's simply not the best there is, because under comparable conditions, the Nvidia contemporaries do indeed out-pace the competition.

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Hawkzro

I think one thing that we need to remember is that the Ares II and the GTX 690 are multi gpu graphics cards where the Titan is a single gpu... So yes, while the Ares II and GTX 690 are faster then the GTX Titan as a single PCB solution, they are not the fastest single GPU's on the block. Heck all nvidia has to do is release a GTX 790 with two, yes two, GK110 gpu's on it, that would be two Titans on a single PCB and would blow an Ares II out of the water, and that's even on air. Don't get me wrong, the Ares II is probably the sexiest card I've ever seen, and I would be lying if I said I didn't want one, because dammit I do lol. But I think some people forget that the Titan is a single gpu performer where these others are already in crossfire and sli, and everyone knows that once you put more then two cards/gpu's in sli or crossfire, IE once you get 3 or 4 car solutions, you start to get diminishing returns. So having two GTX 690's or two Ares II cards is pretty much pointless because your starting to get into the quad sli/crossfire and it's not that they aren't better in quad, it's that most applications to write code with quad in mind and you start to only get minimal performance gains. But two GTX Titans gives you no diminishing returns because it's only dual Sli, and almost always get double performance with two cards. Just thought I would point that out.

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Blackheart-1220

*fapping vigorously*

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yammerpickle2

Even if the price is high it is good to see Asus and AMD throw down the gauntlet to NVidia. Competition is good. Also with 4K set and displays you are going to need this kind of power. Let's see if Nvidia fires back with a Titan II.

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Refuge88

with less than a thousand in circulation I don't really see this as anything else than a backhanded way of claiming the crown. I would have suspected a rule for most powerful GPU to require that it acctually be "available" for purchase... I don't really count less than a thousand as readily available.

Also, on a side note, 4k for computers has been old news for some time. triple monitor 5460 pixel gaming (including 3d surround) has been a realtively easy to accomplish goal for awhile now.

We are talking about a $1,200 rig plus three monitors of your choosing.

Then again if you are wanting 3d at those res, then you better be slapping in two 680 or better cards.

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vrmlbasic

If it takes more than one monitor to get to "4K" then it isn't "4K" as far as I'm concerned.