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ASUS ROG Matrix GTX 580 Platinum 1.5GB Graphics Card Review - Best of the best?

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: ASUS

ASUS GPU Tweak Software

So the hardware is sexy and the design is pretty sweet from an engineering perspective, but what has ASUS done with their own software overclocking in order to allow the average consumer to access that much power?  It turns out quite a lot - with a big and worthy upgrade to the GPUTweak suite.  

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The GPUTweak software consists of three semi-independent applications.  On the far left, the monitoring software will keep an eye on your temperatures, voltages, fan speeds and a lot more.  In the middle you will see the sliders for overclocking your system as well as buttons for things like updates and settings.  On the far right is the ASUS branded version of GPU-Z that gives us all the information you are used to seeing and should be used as a validation for what the software (in the middle) tells you.  

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Good news for all of us - ASUS isn't limiting this software to just be used by Matrix card owners or even just ASUS card owners - everyone will be able to download it and use it with a few differences.  The main variations will be the in ability to do the BIOS burn-in (hard coding your overclocked settings to the card) and the memory timing adjustments; both of these are limited to the ASUS ROG-versions of graphics cards.

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The above three images show us ALL of the items that the GPUTweak monitoring software can keep tabs on with the Matrix GTX 580.  This is a HUGE amount of information going from the GPU utilization to frame buffer usage to any and all voltage, fan speeds and percentages and of course various clock speeds.  If you can't find what you are looking for in this list, chances are you don't REALLY need it.  

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The unique ability to adjust memory voltages is found only with Republic of Gamers cards and can help users get that last little bit of performance from their GPU.  Since not a lot of people have experience with these timings and how they work on the GPU memory side of things I am guessing most users will leave this as-is but it is always good to have the flexibility to adjust things if you want.

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The ability to check for updated drivers and VBIOS right in the software is nice and you can tell the software to check periodically over time.

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Though not working in our version for this review, GPUTweak will even be integrating a custom game recording capability much like we have come to love on FRAPS.  We will see how capable this functionality is once it is enabled.

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Hotkey settings are nice as well and allow you to quickly switch between profiles and even move the clock rate up or down. 

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This settings page allows the user to decide what overclocking functionality will actually be displayed on the application and even will allow you to set an executable file to run when you hit the "benchmark" button the software's main screen.

Overall I would say that the ASUS GPUTweak software is the best we have used to date for overclocking and monitoring a graphics card.  I am glad to see them not locking it down for use only on ASUS card and the fostered good will should turn into tangible sales somewhere down the line.  Once we get things like the video recording functionality enabled GPUTweak might end up being the number one software for gaming junkies.  

August 25, 2011 | 03:06 AM - Posted by neliz (not verified)

I love how this card is not compared to a superior product, the N580GTX Lightning whihch you had on review 3 weeks ago :)

August 25, 2011 | 06:25 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

The lightning card was reviewed by another editor that lives faarrrr away from me. :)

August 25, 2011 | 05:05 AM - Posted by mark (not verified)

I read in another review that its potential overclock is higher then MSI's extreme lightning.

August 25, 2011 | 07:22 AM - Posted by neliz (not verified)

No, actual statistics from HWBOT.org show that the Average overclocks of Lightning cards is higher under both air and LN2 cooling.

If you take the average OC of the cards it's true and also the current rankings show it: http://hwbot.org/benchmark/3dmark11_-_performance/#cores=1

75% of the 3DMark11 580 scores are from MSI. (including the fastest card and the highest score)

So no, I don't know where you read it but it's false :p

August 25, 2011 | 01:02 PM - Posted by mark (not verified)

hardocp.com

"We managed to get the GPU frequency up to 891MHz, which is 75MHz faster than the out-of-box frequency, and 119MHz faster than a reference GTX 580. Also, because the shaders are locked to the GPU frequency, the shaders were running at 1782MHz, versus a stock GTX 580 of 1544MHz. Looking back at a couple of other evaluations, a MSI N580GTX Lightning video card achieved 893MHz GPU frequency, and an ASUS ENGTX580 DirectCU II video card achieved only 857MHz GPU frequency with no modification. So, this overclock is already better than ASUS's own GTX 580 DirectCU II version, and on par with another high-end custom video card. "

ASUS $530
MSI $600

August 25, 2011 | 11:40 PM - Posted by neliz (not verified)

Nice cherry picking Mark!

the $600 you mention is of the 3GB Lightning Xtreme Edition, the regular Lightning is $525 (oh! cheaper than the Asus!) :)

If you take a wider sample variance instead of just [H] you'll notice he averages are higher for the Lightning.

I was at a local event where they had 20 Lightnings and the average OC of those cards was over 1 GHz!

September 2, 2011 | 03:48 PM - Posted by Pale Rider (not verified)

I really wanted to enjoy this card. NewEgg sent me one that was used. I immediately RMA'd it for another and they sent me yet another used one! I eventually received a refund and bought the MSI Lightning GTX580 Xtreme. It's a monster overclocker, but I still want the ASUS Matrix. Since the ones I received were pre-used I never installed either one. I guess it isn't too early to be thinking about a Christmas present for myself. Especially since Ivy Bridge has been put off for at least another 3 months. Or never?

September 3, 2011 | 08:11 AM - Posted by Ubert3ch (not verified)

This is an awesome card, I picked up one of these, a ROG Crosshair V formula motherboard, and some Gskill 2133 ram, and the setup FAR exceeded my expectations.. (still using AMD Phenom II 955 Black Edition cpu until Zambezi releases)

averaging 50+ fps in Crysis2 DX11 with everything maxed at 1680 x 1050 + hi-res textures

Unigine Heaven demo in Open Suse Linux sees an avg of 66.4 frames with an overall score of 1673 with moderate tesselation setting

April 15, 2012 | 08:19 PM - Posted by alvares3 (not verified)

MATRIX GTX580 P/2DIS/1536MD5 Software – Driver Download
http://www.software-driver.com/asus/assus-matrix-gtx580-drivers-win7vist...

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