Asus ENGTX260 Matrix Reviewccokeman - May 26, 2009
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Right from the start the Matrix looks to be a little something special. The Hybrid Cooling solution is the biggest tip-off externally. The Matrix is designed to be used in a 16x PCIe slot and is PCIe 2.0 compliant. The card comes in at 10.5 inches in length. The PCB used on the Matrix is black, which gives the card that sinister look. 2 fans are used on the Hybrid Cooler that uses 4 heatpipes dispersing heat into aluminum fin arrays to keep the card and component temperatures in check. The clock speeds read just like any run of the mill GTX 260, 576MHz on the GPU, 1000MHz on the GDDR3 memory and 1242MHz on the Shader processor cores. Surely this is more than just a software and cooler package?
The front end of the Matrix is pretty much standard fare with 2 dual link DVI ports and an HDTV out. The retention bracket is vented to allow airflow through the fin array for discharge outside the chassis. The rear end is dominated by one of the two cooling fans and sits right over the power regulation circuits.
Power to the ENGTX 260 Matrix is again pretty much standard on the GTX 260 216SP cards with two six pin PCIe power connections. Next to the power connections is the S\PDIF in connection for use when sending sound out via HDMI. The ASUS ENGTX 260 Matrix is Tri SLI capable as evidenced by the dual SLI bridge connectors.
The cooling solution used on the Matrix is a Hybrid copper aluminum piece that contains two YStech fans. The contact patch on the heatsink assembly really looks bad when you compare the cooling capacity it delivers. Just about everything on the PCB is passively cooled by the airflow coming through the cooler. This cooling solution uses four heatpipes that attach to two circular and one square fin array. The solution looks like it could be quite effective.
Once you remove the cooling solution you can see the revision of the GPU. When compared to the core on an ATI GPU the core is just massive. The GDDR3 memory used on the Matrix is from Samsung and carries part number K4J52324QH-HJ1A and are rated for use at 1000MHz. With that said, these modules have delivered speeeds in excess of 1200MHz many times. Surprisingly the power regulation circuits and memory are all passively cooled and do not have any heatsinks, so they rely on the air flowing past them to stay cool.
Enough looking - let's she what she can do when pushed.