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ASUS MARS II Dual GTX 580 3GB Graphics Card Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: ASUS

ASUS GPUTweak, MARS II Comparison and Testing Setup

Along with the ASUS ROG Matrix GTX 580 released earlier in the summer, the company also put out a new version of its GPUTweak software that is used for monitor, managing and overclocking GPUs.  We spent quite a bit of time going over the various features of the software in our review of the Matrix GTX 580 and I would suggest you give that a look before moving forward.  

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The very same GPUTweak software will work wonders with the MARS II card including allowing you to push both GPUs a bit further than the 782 MHz clock speed they ship at.  Just be sure you remember to click the "Mars II" line and select the "sync with all card" option so that moving the slider just once will affect BOTH of the GPUs on the board. 

You will see our overclocking results later in the review and I have to say I came away impressed with the added power that ASUS was able provide to those willing to do a bit of tweaking.

Now, below, before we get into specifications of our test bed and what cards we are going to be throwing into the pit with the MARS II, I had a premonition that you all would want to see the MARS II card compared (physically) to lots of other cards.  With that in mind, take a look at the next photos or just keep scrolling to move past...

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Top: ASUS MARS II  Bottom: ASUS ROG Matrix GTX 580

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Top: ASUS MARS II  Bottom: Reference GTX 580

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Left to Right: MARS II - Matrix GTX 580 - Reference GTX 580

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Left to Right: MARS II - Matrix GTX 580 - Reference GTX 580

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MARS II - Radeon HD 6990

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Back: MARS II  Front: HD 6990 - Notice the MARS II is longer

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Back: MARS II  Front: ARES

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Back: MARS II  Front: ARES

Testing Configuration

GPU-Z sees the ASUS MARS II Dual GTX 580 card for exactly what it is:

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For our benchmarking evaluation of the MARS II, the competition is pretty straight forward.  NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 590 3GB and the AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB are the obvious choices and the single GTX 580 rounds out the pack.  How do the prices stack up though?

I included a few more cards as well just so you have an idea of where the competition stands in the high-end GPU market.  Obviously the MARS II stands alone with a price tag $650 MORE than the next highest option on the market.  Also, considering you can get a pair of GTX 580 cards from ASUS and other companies for under $1,000 many of you will question why getting a combo card like the MARS II makes any sense.  It's a fair question and all we can is that crazy enthusiasts with a lot of money want the best and the MARS II is without a doubt going to be the fastest single card on the planet.

Here is our testing configuration:

  • Testing Configuration
  • ASUS P6X58D Premium Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-965 @ 3.33 GHz Processor
  • 3 x 2GB Corsair DDR3-1333 MHz Memory
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB HDD
  • Corsair Professional Series 1200w PSU
  • Benchmarks used: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark11, Metro 2033, Lost Planet 2, Civilization V, F1 2010, Left 4 Dead 2, 3DMark11
  • NVIDIA Driver: 280.26
  • AMD Driver: 11.8

Now, on to the tests!!!

August 26, 2011 | 12:43 AM - Posted by Sharpe (not verified)

Interesting engineering exercise, but for economic and practical reasons, I'd rather run my triple monitor setup with two 3GB GTX 580s with waterblocks.

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August 26, 2011 | 06:40 AM - Posted by P1NZ (not verified)

then ill definitely break in your house and steal all two lol, i have to get me this card

August 26, 2011 | 08:21 AM - Posted by mark (not verified)

We want a SLI Mars II review, just tell nvidea you'll give em right back :-P

August 26, 2011 | 09:32 AM - Posted by Bro (not verified)

@mark: here you go.
http://www.sweclockers.com/recension/14358-asus-rog-mars-ii-i-sli/1

August 26, 2011 | 12:32 PM - Posted by mark (not verified)

thx a bunch BRO

August 26, 2011 | 12:32 PM - Posted by mark (not verified)

wait...its german

August 27, 2011 | 05:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's swedish, not german

August 26, 2011 | 05:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

use google translate :D

August 26, 2011 | 10:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

wtf, comparing benchmarks on the 6990 to a stock clocked 6990 with a retardedly high end dual 580? pathetic, flick the oc switch and throw those in too

August 27, 2011 | 07:15 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

You can of course check our results with the OC switch enabled here: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/AMD-Radeon-HD-6990-4GB-Dual-...

But we tested stock versus stock in this article...

September 1, 2011 | 04:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Honestly... for people who solely game... THE HECK YOU WANT 2 OF THESE FOR, spend it on tuition!
P.S. I'm in for 1, Thanks financial Aid!

September 1, 2011 | 10:13 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

+1

September 3, 2011 | 04:00 AM - Posted by Shawn heus (not verified)

This is a great card but not for the price. Seriously you can get 2 6990's for only around 200 more and it's only a small amount faster than one 6990. Save your money and go AMD for now.

September 5, 2011 | 04:27 PM - Posted by Kayden

What I don't understand is why the card does not have 3 DVI connections. I know you can use a converter for the HDMI to DVI for surround gaming but still, it's not something included with the unit nor is it a cost I would consider for almost $1500.

None the less good review. I currently have 2x EVGA 580 GTX FTW Hydro Copper 2 for SLI and I all ready paid that price for those two. I am thrilled to see that my synthetic benchmarks did a little better then that card, they are over clocked at 850mhz out of the box and I wonder if there maybe a bottle neck performance wise with that card. Here is my results

Extreme
http://3dmark.com/3dm11/1532760

Performance
http://3dmark.com/3dm11/1532773

November 3, 2011 | 12:44 AM - Posted by Gphish (not verified)

When two gtx580's reference boards are in SLI what is the estimated power consumption at full load? I see that one gtx580 at full throttle is around 395 (W). So am I to assume that in SLI the pair would hit at 790 (W)?

I have a x58 Sabertooth and a Corsair HX 1000 power supply.

December 7, 2011 | 11:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Normally we put aesthetics on the very furthest back burner for graphics cards but when you are shelling out $1300 for a card you might make more of it..."

you've GOT to be kidding me. this is like saying fancy set of ball bearings in a compressor need to be neon-lit. barring the moment you open the box, YOU WILL NEVER EVER EVER SEE THE GRAPHICS CARD AGAIN! EVER! who the hell cares what it looks like?!

January 15, 2012 | 05:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

100% agree. Hell if Hello Kitty had a fully branded card that had an performance advantage over this card at the same cost I would buy that and watercool it with pink fluid just to match.

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May 5, 2012 | 07:52 PM - Posted by Komander Maut (not verified)

i've my alienware aurora r4, can i use this grafic card ( MARS II Dual GTX 580 ) in my aurora... plzz comment urgent plzz...

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