ASUS ROG Matrix GTX 580 Platinum 1.5GB Graphics Card Review - Best of the best?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hotkey settings are nice as well and allow you to quickly switch between profiles and even move the clock rate up or down.
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.
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