ASUS did away with the brick-like NVIDIA design to use their own cooler shroud which looks mighty good. Those little bulges on the silverish part of the cooler are probably to look like an engine? or six-pack ? Even though it is ultra powerful, ASUS has decided to go with a dual-slot design, probably to allow a large number of users to run this card in an SLI configuration.
The card has two DVI ports and one HDMI port. Two DVI ports are standard on a high-end card today, the additional HDMI port is realized by using a display output from the second card and routing it to a HDMI output.
For HDMI Audio, NVIDIA requires you to feed an external audio source, for example from your motherboard's on-board audio, to the card via SPDIF cable. AMD on the other hand has integrated a sound device inside their GPUs which is the easier solution for most users.
Being able to combine this card in SLI is one of the most important features for the majority of ASUS MARS customers.
Internally both PCBs are connected with two flexible cables that act as a SLI bridge between those two cards. When disassembling the cards, please note that those cables are pin sensitive, you can't rotate them 180°. Look for the triangle on PCB and cable, which is the place where pin 1 goes. It would have been better if ASUS had designed the cable in a way that allows only one orientation to be plugged in. When it happened to me, I disassembled my card four times and thought I broke it. Please also note that the cable is quite long, long enough to fit LN2 cooling or similar without a major headache.
As we all know, the ASUS MARS is a limited edition product. With only 1000 made, some going to the press and most people buying two for SLI, the available supply is going to be quite limited.
Here are the front and the back of the cards, high-res versions are also available (card 1 front, card 1 back, card 2 front, card 2 back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc, please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.