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ASUS RoG GTX 580 Matrix Platinum Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: July 25, 2011
Product Name: GTX 580 Matrix Platinum
Part Number: MATRIXGTX580P2DIS1536MD
Warranty: 3 Years
Purchase at NCIX:
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An Even Closer Look at the ASUS GTX 580 Matrix



Below the heatsink lies a massive 19-phase PWM (16 phases for the GPU, 2 phases for the GDDR5 and a single phase for the PCI-E bus) which incorporates ASUS’ Super Alloy Power design. Much like Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable technology and MSI’s Military Class components, Super Alloy Power (SAP for short) is just a fancy way of saying that the Matrix’s components have been significantly upgraded over those found on the reference design. In this case ASUS has implemented chokes which increase efficiency while decreasing electrical noise output, long life capacitors and MOSFETS that allow for a higher current threshold and thus should improve overclocking potential.


The last piece of the Super Alloy Power puzzle is a single NEC/Tokin Proadlizer “supercapacitor” which is instlled directly behind the GPU core. We’re used to seeing a number of these placed directly below the PWM sections of some other custom cards but ASUS claims that longer distances between these capacitors and the core propagates voltage loss and higher amounts of EMI.



As we already mentioned, ASUS has added some very unique features to this card which are supposed to appeal to overclockers. Alongside the pre-requisite dual 8-pin PCI-E power connectors there are ProbeIt voltage read points for the GPU, memory and PLL along with areas for measuring the stability of incoming voltages from the power supply and motherboard.

The TweakIt buttons on the other hand are something we really came to appreciate during overclocking. The “+” and “-“ buttons allow for on the fly GPU core voltage adjustments in 0.0125V increments up to a maximum of 0.125V. We suggest being careful with this setting since temperatures could spiral out of control when too much voltage is applied. Meanwhile, large the red button jacks up the fan speed to 100% which should allow for some very high clock speeds to be achieved under air cooling.



The final section on our overclocking tour of this card is the so called Mod Zone which really should only be used by professional overclockers. Instead of playing Where’s Waldo with possible solder locations, this section has convenient access to the points necessary for disabling the OCP, doubling the Super Hybrid Engine’s clock to increase overclocking stability and PLL / Memory voltage modifications. Since solder is involved and using this section WILL throw your warranty out the window, we suggest avoiding it unless you are well versed in GPU hard mods.


While surge protectors and most UPS units will protect your computer from harmful surges, there are plenty of people out there that don’t have one of these units installed between their PC and the wall outlet. In order to add another layer of protection between the sensitive components on a graphics card and harmful power surges, ASUS has begun implementing Fuse Protection. This means a pair of fuses have been installed on the card just in case your power supply’s Over Current Protection fails as well. Let’s call this a last line of defence when all else fails.


The backplate of the Matrix is certainly unique since it takes up a full three slots and it incorporates full sized connectors for both HDMI and DisplayPort. For those of you wondering, NVIDIA Surround is not supported in a single card configuration regardless of the DisplayPort’s presence.

The Safe Mode button allows you to clear the card’s clock frequencies and voltage modifications by resetting everything back to the ASUS defaults. Think of this as an onboard Clear CMOS button and it is especially important on the Matrix since ASUS’ revamped GPU Tweak utility allows for overclocks, voltage increases and other items to be written directly to the card’s BIOS (more on this in the next section).


In comparison to the reference version, ASUS’ Matrix looks absolutely massive from a vertical perspective but the PCB retains a similar length. As such, this card should have no issue fitting into most ATX-sized chassis.
 
 
 

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