ASUS MATRIX GTX285 Reviewccokeman - September 3, 2009
Category: Video Cards
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When a performance video card series comes out, the performance is great for the masses and is something that will not be upgraded before the computer is obsolete. On the other hand, the reference releases only serve as an appetizer for the main course of custom cooled and built cards that always follow the reference card's launch. Sometimes these cards show up right away and other times they come out a short while after the technology and yields are good enough to get cores that will run at higher levels. I have seen TOP models from ASUS include higher clock speeds and better cooling as well as just higher clock speeds. Going back to the ENGTX260 MATRIX, you had a card delivered with stock clocks and enhanced cooling that overclocked like mad. The MATRIX GTX285 is the next card to get the MATRIX moniker and is part of ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) series of products designed specifically for the needs of the gaming community. The MATRIX comes with a clock speed bump of 663MHz, a 15MHz bump over the reference clocks while maintaining the default 1242MHz on the memory and 1476MHz on the shaders. The card has rugged post apocalyptic looks that would mesh well with any of the myriad of industrial cases out on the market. Based on the performance of its little brother, I have a heightened set of expectations for this go around. Let's see if the MATRIX GTX285 delivers.
The packaging of the MATRIX GTX285 features a futuristic figure staring off into the stars. The phrase "I rule my game" is a bold statement, making reference to the capabilities of the card. The ROG (Republic of Gamers) logo is displayed prominently on the top left corner. The rear panel lists many of the features, innovations (such as Gamer OSD and iTracker) and the suggested system requirements for using this video card. The front panel flips up to go into greater depth on the features of the MATRIX such as the ASUS Super Hybrid Engine, the Extreme cooler and real time load monitoring through the branded LED. Kind of a bit o' bling for those who have a side panel window on their case. You can get an unobstructed view of the MATRIX through the window in the packaging.
The inner packaging slides out to reveal a black box that actually contains the card and bundle. The MATRIX is stored in a form fitting foam enclosure with a clear top to allow viewing through the outer packaging. To the right is another box that contains the connectivity part of the bundle while the documentation, driver disc, ROG sticker and disk wallet fit in the box under the card.
The bundle included with the MATRIX GTX285 includes the basics such as the user manual, software disc and a disc containing the manual. For connectivity you get a dual 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCI-E power adapter, HDTV to component dongle, DVI to D-Sub adapter, DVI to HDMI adapter and an S/PDIF digital sound connection. To make sure you don't hose up the discs, ASUS has included a disc wallet to keep the discs safe and sound from casual abuse.
If the packaging is any indication of things to come, getting a look at the MATRIX could prove interesting.