One of the other displays at the ASUS Suite that caught our eyes was packed into the Cooler Master Cosmos II case pictured above. Little did we know that it was much more that just a cool looking desktop. Packed inside the Cosmos II was a previously unseen graphics card, the ARES II! The ARES II is part of the ROG (Republic of Gamers) series of products. What does that mean for the end user, well for starts you can count on some extreme performance. To hit the ROG standard of performance the ARES II features TWO (that’s right 2!) AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition GPU’s onboard, which are running at 1100MHz base clock and 1150 boost clock. ASUS didn’t skimp on the RAM either, the ARES II features 6Gb of GDDR5 RAM running at an effective clock of 6600MHz! This card is no slouch in any department! One of the features that ASUS did cut back on was the size of the card, many of the previous ROG graphics cards have taken up three PCIe slots. This allowed ASUS to install some pretty impressive air cooling on the ROG cards. ASUS has eliminated the three slot method for the ARES II.
Instead ASUS opted for a water cooling system plus air cooling for the VRM’s! This time we are getting the best of both worlds, the GPU is staying nice and cool with the water cooler, and the VRM and various other circuitry is cooled by the air flow. This hybrid cooler features an 80mm fan to drive the air. The water cooler portion of the ARES II was developed in partnership with ASETEK to create the custom cooler.
Here we can see a nice shot of the ASUS ARES II cooling system installed on the ASUS ROG Intel Z79 system.
The back of the ASUS ARES II features two DVI ports and four DisplayPort connectors. This gives the ASUS ARES the ability to drive six monitors at one time!
That wasn’t the only thing that ASUS had stuffed into the Cosmos II case. The RAIDR Express was hiding in plain sight just below the ARES II. This is ASUS’s first entry into the storage wars. We don’t know much about the RAIDR Express just yet, and ASUS is being tight lipped about it.
There are a couple of things that we can make what would probably be safe guesses on. We know that this is a ROG product so it is meant to standabove the rest. In order to do this ASUS has to deviate from the normal configuration. I would bet (don’t quote me on this) that the RAIDR Express is running in RAID so that it can hit the extreme speeds that ROG products demand. I would say this is an educated guess, after all it is named RAIDR Express. If it were running as a single SSD, it would be limited to the 500-550MB/s read and write speeds that we typically see on the top tier SSD’s. ASUS hasn’t released information on the sizes yet, but we are likely to see them range from the 120Gb area on up.