• Chipset: AMD Radeon HD 7970
  • Core Clock: 1050MHz
  • Memory Size: 6GB DDR5
  • Pros:
  • Insane performances
  • Variety of video output
  • Hassle-free liquid cooling system
  • Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Requires a powerful power supply
  • Loud during gaming sessions

Beyond Overkill

The ASUS ROG lineup of computer hardware are made with one sole purpose in mind: to push the boundaries of computing to bring out its highest potential (at a cost, of course). Pushing the concept to and beyond its limits, the bright minds at ASUS has somehow combined two AMD Radeon HD7970 to create the ultimate gaming graphics card in the form of the ASUS ROG ARES 2.

Much like its predecessor, the ROG ARES, the ARES 2 is packaged in a metal briefcase; aptly so, considering its price. The card even comes with its own hybrid air-liquid cooling system. As mentioned earlier, the card is a combination of two AMD Radeon HD 7970, along with a major upgrade in the form of the 6GB DDR5RAM.

We highly recommend that you first invest in a mid or full tower casing if you haven’t already as the ARES 2 is one of the biggest cards that we’ve seen, and that’s not including the attached cooling system. The length of the card goes all the way to almost 12 inches, and takes up two expansion slots at the back. Another thing to note is that ASUS recommends that you use an 850W power supply unit at least with the ARES 2, as the dual processor card, combined with the cooling system, requires a significant amount of power to operate.

Performance-wise, we’d wager that there are not enough superlatives to describe how the ARES 2 performs. The dual HD 7970 6GB DDR5 card devours any and all games with relative ease, recording FPS counts of above 60, with some in the 100 region, even on the highest settings. Also thanks to the hybrid air-liquid cooling system, our testbed was only slightly warm at most, even when playing the most intensive games. The card also has a high overclocking overhead, as we managed to get the GPU to 1200MHz from its original 1050MHz without too much trouble.

A downside, besides the price and size, is that the card does get very loud during gaming sessions, and is very much audible even with the speakers set at a relatively loud level.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Make no mistake, the ASUS ARES 2 is an incredibly powerful card. It is also very expensive, and the components that need to be paired with it don’t come cheap either. Regardless, if money is of no issue, this card and your eventual setup will last you a good four to five years easy.

(previously published in issue May 2012)