Value and Conclusion
|9.5||The ASUS GeForce GTX 580 MATRIX is at the very top tier of graphics cards, that let you play any PC game, and any resolution, with high-thru-extreme visual settings. In even the most taxing of today's games such as Metro: 2033, the card is able to churn about borderline playable frame-rates at the highest resolution. At full-HD resolutions such as 1920x1200 and 1920x1080, the card should have no problems running any game with extreme settings.|
Although the card uses a dual-fan cooling solution, its designers have deftly traded fan speed translating into noise, for a larger heatsink, with greater surface area for dissipation of heat. The result is a card that's instead quieter than NVIDIA reference-design GTX 580 cards. The GTX 580 MATRIX comes overclocked out of the box, but the factory overclock speeds aren't spectacular, so to say. Perhaps ASUS is trying to leave most of the card's overclocking headroom for its target audience: overclockers and enthusiasts.
Even then, we're not exactly taken aback by the overclocking potential at the voltages the card ships with. The bundled GPU Tweak software can only take GPU voltage up to 1.15 V, the same as generic software, coupled with the voltage control buttons were able to drive that up to 1.275 V though.
To please just that crowd, ASUS dumped in a plethora of features that help in manual voltage control and monitoring, manual fan speed throttle, redundant BIOS for when you fail at NVflash, and a suite of software to make things easier. The card itself looks massive with its aesthetics, it is sure to complement an ASUS ROG motherboard, and give your rig look badass on the inside. One gripe here is the three-slot cooler. It may block adjacent PCI-Express x16 slots. This may not affect overclockers who get rid of the stock cooler for a LN2 pot.
Overall, the ASUS ROG GTX 580 MATRIX is part boutique, part badass, with the potential of being a great card for overclockers that take advantage of its voltage control and monitoring features. For gamers who like having just a single graphics card, preferably single-GPU at that, this is the ultimate buy. At US $530, it is reasonably priced for what's on offer.