Asus Mars Test

Asus Mars GTX 295 benchmark review

The Asus Mars is said to be the world's fastest graphics card. PC Games Hardware did the test and checked the performance of the 1000 Euros device.
Asus Mars GTX 295 benchmark review
Asus Mars GTX 295 benchmark review [Source: view picture gallery]

It is common practice that the partners of AMD and Nvidia stick to the default design when a new graphics card generation is introduced, but usually the first custom layouts follow soon after that. The situation that graphics card manufacturers deliver a completely new creation which doesn't stick to any specifications from Ati or Nvidia is rather rare though. Asus is one of the companies that take the risk from time to time and delivers an extreme custom design. Today Pc Games Hardware takes a look at the latest creation: the Asus Mars.

Asus Mars versus Geforce GTX 295
Asus Mars GTX 295 benchmark review (19)
Asus Mars GTX 295 benchmark review (19) [Source: view picture gallery]
The Mars is an enhanced offspring of Nvidia's Geforce GTX 295. The latter one, flagship among the Nvidia cards since January 2009, utilizes two SLIed GT200b chips to beat the common single-GPU devices. Each GPU on the GTX 295 has access to 896 MiByte GDDR3 VRAM which is linked with a 448 Bit interface. Since SLI all necessary information has to be available in both memory blocks, one can't really say that the card has effective 1,792 MiByte. The "odd” amount of VRAM is related to the retrenchments of the GPUs: Instead of eight ROP partitions with 64 bit each (=512 Bit) and 128 MiByte there are only seven active. This is where Asus comes in.

On the Asus Mars two full GT200b chips with GTX 285 frequencies are used. This would actually result in 2x 1,024 MiByte VRAM, but Asus also used memory chips with twice the size resulting in impressive 4 GiByte (2 GiByte per GPU). So the Mars could be described as a Geforce GTX 285/2G setup on one single card - with one drawback: The memory is running at 1,152 MHz while the default value for the GTX 285/2G is 1,242 MHz. Both graphics chips are set to 648/1,476 MHz (GPU/ALU).

The table below shows the specifications of the Asus Mars and other relevant graphics cards:

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Raffael Vötter (Sep 01, 2009)

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