We also got a chance to see an upcoming Republic of Gamers video card that will make most peoples jaw drop. This card is a limited-edition ARES, which uses dual Radeon HD5870 GPUs and 4GB of GDDR5 RAM for up to a 23% performance improvement over the class leading Radeon HD5970. ASUS had the demo card above running at 850MHz core clock and 1200MHz on the memory, which is basically the same clock speeds as a Radeon HD 5870. With four GB of GDDR5 memory on the card each GPU has 2GB of frame buffer as well, so this is really two Radeon HD 5870’s on one card. The Radeon HD 5970 has a core clock of 725MHz with the memory clock set to 1000MHz, so you can see that the ASUS ARES gets a big boost in performance thanks to the higher clock frequencies.
The ASUS ARES has two 8-pin PCIe and a single 6-pin PCIe power connector to ensure the card has plenty of power for not only normal operation, but to also be overclocked further. We ran 3DMark Vantage on the ASUS ARES and got a score of ~28,000 in the Perfromance benchmark mode.
The ASUS ARES is hands down one of the coolest graphics cards around and it will be competing with other AMD ‘Petunia’ based cards like this one from XFX. The ‘Petunia’ reference card that AMD designed is pretty stout and it is interesting to see cards begin to come to market using this new design. We are guessing that these cards will retail for between $799 to $850 from what we have been told by the add-in-board (AIB) partners that are bringing these cards to market. NVIDIA really needs to get their GF100 dual-GPU board out the door in order to compete in the multi-GPU realm as ATI is leading the DX11 revolution for those with deep pockets.