ASUS GTX580 MATRIX ReviewGeekspeak411 - August 25, 2011
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What ASUS has done here is taken the enthusiasts out here under its wing and given them everything that they could possibly think of wanting in the ideal graphics card. With all the insanely tweaker-friendly MATRIX/Republic of Gamers features, the purchase of this card triggers an irrevocable mutalistic relationship between the card and the buyer. The abilities of this card go above and beyond ANYTHING that has ever been attempted in the consumer domain before. It would be a rare occasion that a consumer does not learn something new about the graphics card and how it operates if they just look at the card and play with the included utilities. Unlike most computer parts, this chip is all about the hands on, from the hardware voltage modding to the ProbeIt zone, to the individually controllable fans in the heatsink. This card gives users the ability to discover what is happening on the PCB level; to make the connection between some setting somewhere and the literal hardware it is affecting. Do not call me a fanboy, call me an enthusiast, but these kinds of connections are exactly what I would love to see make PC gaming and modding soar to the forefront of electronics, not some spray paint on an Xbox or a modified controller. Don't get me wrong, any kind of boost we get from a larger following is great, but this card drops the difficulty through the basement.
But you have to pay to play. The age old saying holds true today — while the features of this card blow it out of the water, the price anchors it right back down. Although competitive in the chip range, the entry price of this card is still too high for my hopes of a PC-elite takeover to see the light of day. For us enthusiasts out there that budget this kind of money for hardware, the offer is definitely there. You get a premium, hand-picked GPU, a brand new software suite that is full of potential, Clear CMOS-like functionality, hardware monitoring and modding, the cooling to make it happen, and the glorious silence of the huge cooler when you're not tweaking. Not to mention this thing is built like a rock — there's nothing like a premium part actually feeling, you know, premium.
Finally, I don't really feel I need to mention this, but the performance, of course, was great. Although my chip 'only' matched the other GTX580 GPU ASUS sent through OCC, the Matrix series has hit 1015MHz stable and has the potential to go even further with extreme cooling. The factory overclock pushes this card ahead of the reference GPUs, and the speed to be gained post factory clocks is all there. If I were picking out some new hardware for a serious build, consider this card on my dream team.
- Great Cooling
- Great Chance of a Superb Chip
- Build Quality
- Noise Level
- ASUS Matrix Features
- Three-Slot Design
- Requires an 8-pin + 8-pin PCI-E Power Connection