ASUS HD 5870 2GB Matrix Platinum Edition Review

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: May 25, 2010
Product Name: ASUS HD 5870 2GB RoG Matrix Platinum Edition
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Considering the number of HD 5000 series reviews we have done here at Hardware Canucks, most of you should be well versed in the positioning of ATI’s current lineup. Not only are the able to offer cost conscious DX11 solutions to a large cross-section of the most lucrative markets but the performance of their offerings is without a doubt impressive as well. When it comes to single GPU cards, the HD 5870 sits atop ATI’s current offerings and actually performs quite well when compared to the GTX 480 competition as well. However, with NVIDIA still having some serious supply issues with their Fermi-based cards, ATI and their board partners have a chance to scoop up even more of the graphics card market. To do this, many have been releasing highly overclocked and custom cooled versions

Now that ASUS has officially launched their HD 5870 Matrix Edition, they join the ranks of MSI, Gigabyte, HIS, Powercolor and Sapphire who have all released their flagship HD 5870 cards with varying degrees of success over the last few months. In past reviews we have looked at the Gigabyte’s Super Overclock and Sapphire’s Toxic and found that both were full-featured cards that did somewhat justify their price premiums . ASUS on the other hand is taking a somewhat different approach since they have decided to release the Matrix in two different flavors: a “standard” version that includes 2GB of memory and all of the unique Matrix-specific features and a “Platinum” edition that incorporates a pre-overclocked core as well. It will also come as a disappointment to many that even on the Platinum, memory clock speeds stay at the reference speed.

According to ASUS, what makes the HD 5870 Matrix stand out from the crowd is not clock speeds but rather its long list of features. This includes iTracker software that can monitor and modify nearly every aspect of VGA performance, a unique cooler that is able to exhaust all of the hot air outside your case the ability to adjust not only clok speeds but also memory timings and many other additional features. We will be going into all of these items a bit later in the review but let’s just say that the HD 5870 Matrix is one of the most fully-featured cards on the market.

Naturally, high end features, 2GB of GDDR5 memory wrapped up into a limited edition card doesn’t come cheap and the Matrix demands a high price indeed. For the standard version pricing will start at around $450 while the Platinum edition will likely be priced at or slightly above $500. This is a high premium considering most reference-based cards are currently retailing for under the $400 mark,

In this review we will be looking at the ASUS HD 5870 Platinum and will determine if its features, 2GB of memory and higher clock speeds are worth its asking price. So hold on tight because we will be getting into literally every facet of this card in the next twenty or so pages.


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