Asus R.O.G Mars limited-edition graphics card
The mother of all graphics cards? It just might be...
- 1024-bit memory bandwidth, 4GB of GDDR3 memory, huge bragging rights
- Prohibitively expensive, significant overheating issues
The limited-edition Asus R.O.G MARS is essentially porn for hardcore PC enthusiasts. With the possible exception of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5890, it's the fastest graphics card money can buy. If you can afford it -- and are wily enough to track one down -- the MARS will not disappoint.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
The Asus R.O.G MARS is a limited-edition graphics card for PC gamers with more money than sense (i.e. nearly all of them). But since when has PC gaming been about "sense"? Water cooling, LED lights, Perspex windows, hydraulic panels — all this stuff is overpriced and completely mental. Which is exactly how we like it. Even so, the Asus GTX 295 MARS is in an entirely new class of nuts. It’s blisteringly fast, ridiculously expensive and big. (Did we say big? We meant BIG!)
Billed as the world’s fastest graphics card, the Asus R.O.G MARS is a custom-designed, ultra-enthusiast board based loosely on the Nvidia GTX 295 chipset. However, it boasts completely different specifications to its forebear — including a 1024-bit memory bandwidth and a whopping four gigabytes of GDDR3 memory (spread across two GPUs). The board comprises two full GT200b chips with GTX 285 frequencies on a pair of mirrored Printed Circuit Boards that are linked via SLI. In other words, it’s like having two GTX 285s on steroids.
The cores are clocked at 648Mhz — a modest boost of 72MHz over the GTX 295. More pertinent improvements include a faster shader clock (1.476GHz vs. 1.242GHz) and a boost in memory clock speed — 1.242GHz (2.484GHz effective), compared to 999MHz (1.998GHz effective) on the GTX 295.
Asus claims that the R.O.G MARS is 23 per cent faster than a generic GTX295, and we see little reason to doubt it. One thing’s for sure: this thing will eat almost anything AMD can dish out for breakfast. Its only serious rival is the AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970, which also boasts DirectX 11 support.
Here’s a look at those Asus R.O.G MARS’ specifications in full:
Graphics Engine: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 x2
Transistors: 2 x 1,400
Shader ALUs: 2 x 240
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory: DDR3 4G
Engine Clock: 648 MHz
Shader Clock: 1476 MHz
Memory Clock: 2200 MHz ( 1100 MHz DDR3 )
Texture fillrate: 2 x 51,840MTex/s
Memory bandwith: 147,456MB
CRT Max Resolution: 2048 x 1536
DVI Max Resolution: 2560 x 1600
Texture fillrate: 2 x 51,840MTex/s
Memory bandwidth: 147,456MB
The first thing that stands out about the Asus R.O.G MARS is the sheer size of the bloody thing. It makes former heavyweight cards, such as the ASUS EAH4870X2, look like Fischer Price toys in comparison. Measuring a faintly ridiculous 275x115x48mm and requiring two eight-pin connectors to run, the Asus R.O.G MARS will be a tight fit for most PCs. This may make Quad-SLI setups next to impossible. Indeed, we couldn’t even fit one of these monsters inside our Antec Skeleton enclosure, let alone two. We consequently had to slide the motherboard out of its enclosure during testing. (As we said earlier, this card is nuts!)
The Asus R.O.G MARS has a suitably monolithic design to match its looming size. With its metallic grey colour scheme and assortment of fins and grills, it looks like a futuristic gun or sprawling sci-fi space ark. Needless to say, if you have a transparent PC chassis, this is the card to own!
Now, you’d think over-heating would be an issue for such a power-hungry card — and you’d be absolutely right. When under load, the MARS’ twin GPUs reached temperatures that came perilously close to triple digits (98 degrees Celsius, to be precise). By contrast, the AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 peaked at 72 degrees. Needless to say, you’re going to need an additional cooling solution for this baby if you plan on extensive overclocking.
On to testing. We ran our benchmarks on a Vista 64-bit machine running an Intel Core i7 965, 6GB of DDR3 RAM and a Western Digital VelociRaptor (WD3000GLFS) hard drive, installed in an Antec Skeleton case. We then compared the results to other graphics cards we’ve reviewed in the same testbed. Unless otherwise stated, we have used the DirectX 10 version of games with maximum settings enabled. Here are the results:
|Model||Chipset||Memory||3DMark 06||3DMark Vantage||Crysis Warhead (fps)
||Far Cry 2 (fps)
||Lost Planet (fps)
||Call of Juarez (fps)
||Half Life 2:
Episode Two (DX9)
|ASUS R.O.G MARS||Nvidia GTX 285 x2||4GB||9076||P13988||32.17||60.56||34||43.1||128.54|
|AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970||ATI Radeon HD 5970||2GB||9968||P13988||41.37||92.70||83||96.8||138.71|
|Manli GTX295||NVIDIA GTX295||1GB||9688||P16245||38.9||74.25||N/A||74.3||129.87|
|ASUS ENGTX285||NVIDIA GTX285||1GB||9708||P13532||35.3||60.17||50.1||52.4||131.32|
|Manli Radeon HD 4890||ATI Radeon HD 4890||1GB||9896||P9379||34.72||49.38||46||57.4||140.11|
|ASUS EAH4870X2||ATI Radeon HD 4870X2||2GB||10360||P10486||32.64||N/A||27.8||66.8||137.27|
As you can see, the Asus R.O.G MARS is a pretty tough card to beat, with solid benchmark results across the board. The AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 did manage to gain a slight edge in the majority of our tests, but if you’re in the Nvidia camp like a lot of gamers, this is the best card that money can buy.
The first batch of MARS graphics cards is limited to a run of 1000, each with its own serial number. Frankly, we think owning a MARS is enough reason to brag already!
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Xbox One X
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Will Now Resist the Elements
- Logitech Unveils MX ERGO, their first trackball in nearly a decade
- MSI's new Ryzen-ready motherboard coming to Oz
- Seagate Expands Portfolio with 12TB Drives for NAS and Desktop Computing
- Intel's 8th Gen Desktop Processors Go On Sale Today
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTCobol DeveloperOther
- CCDeployment ManagerNSW
- FTData Centre Systems EngineerOther
- FTIT Graduate / Junior Project AdministratorOther
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- FTTechnology Development ManagerQLD
- FTManager, Platform Wealth OperationsOther
- FTSenior Telecommunications RiggerOther
- FTChange Lead, SalesforceOther
- FTBusiness Project ManagerOther
- FTOffice Manager | Start-up | Global Cloud ProviderVIC
- CCGeospatial Project ManagerNSW
- CCSystem Analyst - AxwayACT
- CCSenior Test AnalystsACT
- FTBlockchain DeveloperOther
- FTPractice Director Quality AssuranceSA
- FTNetwork PlannerOther
- FTPageUp BAOther
- FTHR Business PartnerOther
- FTSenior DevOps LeadVIC
- FTData Centre Support Engineer -| 6mth ContractOther
- FTSocial Media SpecialistOther
- CCIntel IT ArchitectNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCSolaris / Oracle SPARC administratorVIC