Thursday, May 28th 2009

ASUS Designs Own Monster Dual-GTX 285 4 GB Graphics Card

ASUS has just designed a new monster graphics card that breaks the mold for reference design GeForce GTX 295, called the ASUS MARS 295 Limited Edition. The card, although retains the name "GeForce GTX 295", same device ID, and is compatible with existing NVIDIA drivers, has two huge innovations put in by ASUS, which go far beyond being yet another overclocked GeForce GTX 295: the company used two G200-350-B3 graphics processors, the same ones that make the GeForce GTX 285. The GPUs have all the 240 shader processors enabled, and also have the complete 512-bit GDDR3 memory interface enabled. This dual-PCB monstrosity holds 32 memory chips, and 4 GB of total memory (each GPU accesses 2 GB of it). Apart from these, each GPU system uses the same exact clock speeds as the GeForce GTX 285: 648/1476/2400 MHz (core/shader/memory).

Each PCB holds 16 memory chips, a 6-phase digital PWM power circuit, drawing auxiliary power from an 8-pin PCI-E power connector, the GeForce GTX 285-class GPU, and its companion NVIO2 processor. The PCB holding the PCI-Express bus interface, also holds the bridge chip. ASUS broke away with using the nForce 200 chip, and instead is using a yet to be disclosed third-party bridge chip. Currently, PLX and IDT are two likely sources for such a chip. The memory consists of high-density 0.77 ns memory chips made by Hynix.
The electrical-management on each PCB is care of a Volterra VRM controller, which supports the I2C interface, which means that the card supports software voltage control, perhaps a big plus for ASUS' Voltage Tweak feature that is gaining in popularity. Fused power circuit provides Over Current Protection while also facilitating extreme overclocking.

The cooler internally has the same basic construction as the reference cooler, it uses a single leaf-blower. The card spans across two expansion slots and is slightly higher than the reference design card. ASUS also used slightly longer internal bridges that make more room for third-party coolers, and the likes. Our source from ASUS EMEA conducted a quick 3DMark Vantage test proving the card's seamless compatibility with existing drivers, while also providing a significant boost in performance over existing GTX 295 cards. Being Quad-SLI capable, this card finally makes GeForce GTX 285 (effective) quad-SLI possible, and makes for the most powerful desktop multi-GPU setup ever conceived. ASUS designed this card despite pressure from NVIDIA enforcing its rigid policy of restricting its partners from custom-designing GeForce GTX 295. If everything goes smooth throughout the development process, the card might make it for a gala launch at Computex.
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179 Comments on ASUS Designs Own Monster Dual-GTX 285 4 GB Graphics Card

#1

Is it just me or did this seem to happen "over night"? No prior warning, nothing?!
#2
Jizzler
Bout time we saw something unique. Go Asus!

nVidia, know your place! Get back to the fab and cook me more GPUs!
Posted on Reply
#3
El_Mayo
what's the point?
will the extra... 2-ish GB ram actually give any performance increase?
Posted on Reply
#4
Cheeseball
ASUS has created a god among video cards.
Posted on Reply
#5

Imagine the trouble 32bit users would have running this.
#6
El_Mayo
by: kyle2020
Imagine the trouble 32bit users would have running this.
how come you say that?
Posted on Reply
#7
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: El_Mayo
what's the point?
will the extra... 2-ish GB ram actually give any performance increase?
Crank up the texture quality in GTA4, and watch that GTX 285 1GB cry.
Posted on Reply
#8
El_Mayo
by: btarunr
Crank up the texture quality in GTA4, and watch that GTX 285 1GB cry.
oh.. amount of memory directly relates to texture quality?
Posted on Reply
#9

by: El_Mayo
how come you say that?
32bit OS's use a max of 3.2GB (I think?) of ram, and that includes GPU ram, so if you have 2GB of ram and then a 4GB card in, it may cause conflicts.

Anyone feel free to correct me if Im wrong.
#10
Necrofire
by: El_Mayo
how come you say that?
32-bit OS = 4GB max of memory address space. If you had, say, 2GB of ram, then there's only 2 left for addressing, which means that your shiny gpu can use a max of 2GB of ram.
If you had 4GB of ram, then to fit all that vram in, it takes away from system ram, leaving you with way less than 3GB most people get from a 32-bit OS with 4GB of ram.

Typed in a hurry, does it make sense though?
Posted on Reply
#11
El_Mayo
by: kyle2020
32bit OS's use a max of 3.2GB (I think?) of ram, and that includes GPU ram, so if you have 2GB of ram and then a 4GB card in, it may cause conflicts.

Anyone feel free to correct me if Im wrong.
ahh right yeah
i didn't know video RAM counted you see
(i'm noobish)

by: Necrofire

Typed in a hurry, does it make sense though?
yes.. indeed it does.
Posted on Reply
#12
alexp999
Staff
by: btarunr
Crank up the texture quality in GTA4, and watch that GTX 285 1GB cry.
I have run GTA IV maxed out (turned restrictions off) on my old GTX 260, it run fine for while :p

lol.

I want to know where this came from, TPU rarely is the one breaking the news.
Posted on Reply
#13
El_Mayo
by: alexp999

TPU rarely is the one breaking the news.
oh no he di-int! :p
Posted on Reply
#14
h3llb3nd4
and the cost?
lets hope that it is not $600....
Posted on Reply
#15
laszlo
i think is a collector's edition
Posted on Reply
#17
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: alexp999
I have run GTA IV maxed out (turned restrictions off) on my old GTX 260, it run fine for while :p

lol.

I want to know where this came from, TPU rarely is the one breaking the news.
Yeah, your card is awesome. Especially when an app is asking for 1.5 GB of video memory.

by: alexp999
I want to know where this came from, TPU rarely is the one breaking the news.
Straight from ASUS EMEA.
Posted on Reply
#18

by: btarunr
Yeah, your card is awesome. Especially when an app is asking for 1.5 GB of video memory.
I dont think that was the point of his post?
#19
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: kyle2020
I dont think that was the point of his post?
I don't think you got the point of my post either.

App requiring 1.5 GB of video memory, on a card with 896 MB = at least 100% more read-backs, can't play the game beyond a point. Hence he said "for a while".
Posted on Reply
#20
alexp999
Staff
You dont have to be so arrogant bta. I wasnt being.

All my point was that my GTX 260 didnt scream, and just because the game settings say thats how much its using doesnt mean thats what it uses. Also drivers assign around 2Gb of shared system memory as an overflow to the on board memory.

When I said a while it went for about an hour before crashing and that was with tons of vehicles and explosions, no popp-ins, crazy textures nothing.
Posted on Reply
#21
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: alexp999
You dont have to be so arrogant bta. I wasnt being.
I wasn't being either. Maybe I should decorate my posts with more smilies now on.
Posted on Reply
#22
El_Mayo
by: btarunr
I wasn't being either. Maybe I should decorate my posts with more smilies now on.
good idea :toast:
Posted on Reply
#23
werez
by: El_Mayo
what's the point?
will the extra... 2-ish GB ram actually give any performance increase?
In games NO ! since it`s GDDR3 , the performance might actually drop in some games .Take HD4870 for example . The card uses GDDR5 , and you barely see any difference between the 512 and 1024 version , just in really high resolutions when you run out of buffer . But again , no big difference .
This card is made just to satisfy the "need for more" , a syndrome common in our days . I want to buy a Ferrari too , i don`t like the car , but it`s expensive , and there are not many who own it , so i must be some kind of god if i have it . This is actually just a "stock" card , but tuned on the outside . I don`t think the cooling is better because i see the same blower in there , and it`s just like the reference design . BIG ? yes , POWERFUL ? not really ... Expensive ? YOU BET ! If you want to have something special , design your own card and use the original PCB . Save money :)
Posted on Reply
#24
El_Mayo
by: werez
In games NO ! since it`s GDDR3 , the performance might actually drop in some games .Take HD4870 for example . The card uses GDDR5 , and you barely see any difference between the 512 and 1024 version , just in really high resolutions when you run out of buffer . But again , no big difference .
This card is made just to satisfy the "need for more" , a syndrome common in our days . I want to buy a Ferrari too , i don`t like the car , but it`s expensive , and there are not many who own it , so i must be some kind of god if i have it . This is actually just a "stock" card , but tuned on the outside . I don`t think the cooling is better because i see the same blower in there , and it`s just like the reference design . BIG ? yes , POWERFUL ? not really ... Expensive ? YOU BET ! If you want to have something special , design your own card and use the original PCB . Save money :)
that's a damn fine first post :p
Posted on Reply
#25
Scrizz
Holy $h1zzz
Unstoppable
Posted on Reply
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