Friday, July 16th 2010

ASUS Working on MARS II Dual GTX 480 Graphics Accelerator

After treating the enthusiast community to the Republic of Gamers (ROG) ARES Dual HD 5870 graphics accelerator, ASUS isn't wasting any time is designing its successor, referred to (for now) as "MARS II". This graphics accelerator uses two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 (GF100) GPUs on one board, that's right, the first dual-GPU accelerator based on GF100, which is dreaded for its thermal and electrical characteristics so much, that NVIDIA is content with having the second-fastest graphics card in the market (GTX 480), with no immediate plans of working on a dual-GPU accelerator.

ASUS' ambitious attempt is in the design stage deep inside its R&D, where the design is in an evaluation state. The R&D gave us some exclusive pictures of the MARS II PCB to treat you with. To begin with, the card's basic design is consistent with almost every other dual-GPU NVIDIA card in recent past. There are two independent GPU systems, each with its own VRM and memory, which are interconnected by an internal SLI, and connected to the system bus by an nForce 200 bridge chip. On this card, two GF100 GPUs with the same configuration as GeForce GTX 480 (GF100-375-A3) are used, each having 480 CUDA cores, and connecting to 1536 MB of GDDR5 memory across a 384-bit wide memory interface.

ASUS' innovations kick in right from the PCB, since it takes a lot of effort to keep such a design electrically stable, as well form an overclockers' product. MARS II uses a PCB with 3 oz copper layers to increase electrical stability, and used a strong VRM. Each GPU system is fed by an 8+2 phase VRM of its own, which use a new Super Alloy choke that reduces core energy loss. The card takes its power input from three 8-pin power inputs, which are fused.

The card is quad SLI capable, and can pair with another of its kind (and probably single GTX 480s). To cool this monstrosity, ASUS is coming up with a beefier than ever cooling solution. With the product being still at an evaluation stage, how long it will take to reach production, or whether it will in the first place, remains to be seen.
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87 Comments on ASUS Working on MARS II Dual GTX 480 Graphics Accelerator

#2
evillman
by: CDdude55
Whats he gonna use to power two of those damn things?(maybe a solid 1600w im thinking)
The same thing that he used on GTX 480 SLI.

What we really want to know is what he's going to use on "GTX 495" Quad-SLI.
Dual 1500W PSUs?
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Although ASUS didn't mention this, I expect this card to have 6 GB of memory (3 GB per GPU). Crank everything up in GTA 4 at 2560 x 1600, and V-synced frame-rates.
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#4
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
by: evillman
The same thing that he used on GTX 480 SLI.

What we really want to know is what he's going to use on "GTX 495" Quad-SLI.
Dual 1500W PSUs?
Thats what i'm talking about, if he used a 1600w PSU on two 480's(tho you could run those on a solid 1200w) then two of these which equals 4 fermi's in one rig will be mind blowing.

Then again, i've seen a rig use 4x GTX 480's in 4-Way SLI and a 980x CPU with a Silverstone 1600w that only hit about 60% load(the PSU) running 3Dmark.
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#5
(FIH) The Don
i do hope they put on 4 or more display connections so people can run 3 screen with 3d without having to buy 2 of those monsters
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#6
AphexDreamer
by: (FIH) The Don
i do hope they put on 4 or more display connections so people can run 3 screen with 3d without having to buy 2 of those monsters
I'm sure they would much rather like it if you bought two. Just sayin.
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#7
Salsoolo
by: CDdude55
Ya, they're really gonna have to pull something out there ass in terms of cooling it. Don't think they could just do water cooling as of course, it's not the standard like air is. But really, most people who are actually gonna buy this card, will probably be running a water setup anyways.(and a PSU touched by god)

Cause it's gonna take them forever to find a sufficent enough air cooler to keep that card within reasonable temps.
+1
i also think that only the h2o crowd should buy this >][
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#8
fatguy1992
I hate the heatsink mounting holes, unlikely i'd be able to put my SS on it.
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#9
popswala
That's gonna be a beast. It's gonna cost a heck of a lot like there last limited edition cards that looked cool but cost 1K. That's ridiculous. Why do manufactures insist on putting the connectors on the far side near a window or something? Why not on the short side so cables can head straight into a hole for hiding them. JMO. I like to hide every inch of cable as I can.

By the time they release this if they do. ATI will have something to surpass this like 6xxx. Come on nvidia. Just jump to 6xx and get it over with. lol.
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#10
Perseid
by: popswala
By the time they release this if they do. ATI will have something to surpass this like 6xxx. Come on nvidia. Just jump to 6xx and get it over with. lol.
As someone else said, you have to remember that this isn't nVidia doing this. This is ASUS's doing, and personally I think they're doing it for bragging rights. They know they're not going to sell very many of these.

And as for speculation on the power supply, maybe it'll come with a big flaming hole you have to occasionally feed small rodents into.
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#11
983264
Holy Crap WTF FTW

Woah, there's another microwave producing card coming right up, bet it's going to eat more than 600W of power, then in quad SLI it will be 1000w+ of power consumption, and it's goin to weigh 3kg, 'cause it's cooling system is going to be more heavier... ^^ :laugh:
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#12
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
i think a 3 slot copper heat pipe based cooling solution would cool these cards just fine the heat output is not more than a quad core AMD CPU i think a heatpipe cooler that resembles that will be used with twin 60mm fans.
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#13
1nf3rn0x
Anyone up for a BBQ? :laugh:
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#14
cauby
Oh God.Are they trying to substitute the LHC as the most terrifying thing on Earth?Really,the ARES uses 8+8+6 pin already,so i guess this card will use 4x8 pin?And for the potential buyers,I don't see any value on a card like that:it'll be ungodly hot,noisy and power-hungry,so why not just wait till Nvidia brings their own dual-chip card based on GF104?Two GTX460 in SLI come really close to the 5970,so why not just use the full GF104 chip and create a better card?
ASUS is really greedy.
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#15
Reeves-81
by: [I.R.A]_FBi
pointless card is pointless
Lol, well said.
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#16

My Arc Generator is standing by for the SLI interface. :wtf:

by: arroyo
Meh... few months from now the new generation of GPU will come and this card would be on the same performance level as new mainstream one. Why they build such a monster? There always be enthisiasts for this ... but what is the point?

Let's see history of mainstream beating pefromence kings:
7800GX2 = 8800GTS
9800GX2 = GTX260
HD3870X2 = HD4850
HD4870X2 = HD5850

I don't know about nvidia, but the last two from ATI are completely WRONG!!
For example, and don't take my word just check some benches, the ATI HD 4870X2 is 15% FASTER than HD5870, not HD5850. I'm guessing the same is for HD3870X2...
#17
Wile E
Power User
Throw in a single slot full coverage block, and I'd buy one if I had the money.
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#18
remixedcat
Yes cooling would be an issue, but I am like OMG OMG about this still LOL>
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#20
AsRock
TPU addict
That fan connector i see 5 pin could they be planning to run 2 fans on that ?. Or maybe just one in the middle so the heat leaves the card from either side.
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#21

Wonder what the PSU requirements are for one of those..
#22
Per Hansson
Cards like these make me wonder...
I mean you could buy 4x normal fermis several weeks ago if you bribed the company so you could have their whole stock that is

Why pay extra for something like this which will be old by the time you can buy it in stores?
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#23
Animalpak
I'm tired of reading comments "pointless" is useless "... This is a product for enthusiast ...



Asus at least not like other companies that only think about profit and sales, there's passion and dedication in what they do and these graphics cards is shown.

These cards are just experiments made by true enthusiast people.
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#24
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
by: Animalpak
I'm tired of reading comments "pointless" is useless "... This is a product for enthusiast ...



Asus at least not like other companies that only think about profit and sales, there's passion and dedication in what they do and these graphics cards is shown.

These cards are just experiments made by true enthusiast people.
True

Ya, i really don't see how someone could call this card pointless or useless at all. Whats so pointless or useless about it?

Chances are the people who can afford to buy this card can afford to buy a great case with great cooling(perhaps watercooling), and a nice powerful PSU to go with it. Of course the power consumption is gonna be high and chances are it's gonna run hot, where's the mystery?. These cards are for full frontal power, and are meant for those with deep pockets and have the resources for cooling and powering these cards. It maybe pointless and stupid for the majority, but it has it's market, and they're gonna be damn happy to get there hands on one or even two of these if/when they are released.

Those that are able and willing to spend around $1000 for a video card, should be able to have enough to cool and power the damn thing.
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