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ASUS ROG Matrix 5870 Platinum Edition Print E-mail
Written by Michael Schuette   
Jun 07, 2010 at 11:23 PM

The graphics market has for the longest time pretty much been dominated by AMD's offerings in the 5700 and 5800 series. However, nVidia is not dead, in fact, the Fermi-based graphics cards are poised to rekindle some of the "brand loyalty" that was based on the superior performance and corporate marketing of nVidia. In other words, don't sit on your ass just because the competition has had an unlucky streak. The best thing to do in that case is to create internal competition or fragmentation of the market through the channel partners that take a reference design, re-spin it to their liking based on cost, performance, noise suppression, features or any combination of the four mentioned parameters. The result is a variety of offerings that was never achieved when ATI still had their iron grip on the RADEON series and, quite honestly, we don't miss those days where the main differentiator was the color of the heat sink anodizing.

Among all those offerings and brands, we have always had our best relationships with ASUS, quite honestly, in the motherboard sector, there is no comparison with respect to innovation and quality, at least not consistently and similar verdicts ring true for the graphics card offerings. Being the leader, of course adds the "Red Queen Paradigm: you have to run as fast as you can in order to stay where you are", that is, you simply have to be better in order to stay number 1. Better, of course is a relative term, the biggest issue is to find the best compromise of all parameters involved and spice up the result with a bit of engineering ingenuity. And that, again, is something that ASUS has not had a shortage of.

Of course, there is also the marketing aspect. Every year or maybe even every 6 months, the DIY builder community recreates itself, with first time system builders looking up to the printed and online magazines for guidance with respect to their first decision making. Mottos like "Rock Solid, Heart Touching" may sound a bit tacky but by the end of the day, they become an important messenger of the self-portrait of any company. For a graphics card, especially in the high-end sector, the message has to be, of course, somewhat different. So what about "I rule my game?" Sounds a lot better than heart-touching charity? I would whole-heartedly agree with that but of course, I must have read it somewhere... If I remember correctly, it was, indeed on the package sleeve of the ASUS Matrix 5870 Platinum that we are putting through its paces today.

Quick Overview

ATI Radeon 5850
ASUS Matrix
5870 Platinum
ATI Radeon 5870
GeForce GTX280 GeForce GTX285
Manufacturing Process
40 nm
65 nm 55 nm
Grapics Core Freq.
725 MHz
900 MHz
850 MHz
602 MHz 648 MHz
Stream Processor Freq.
725 MHz
900 MHz
850 MHz
1296 MHz 1476 MHz
No. of Stream Processors
240 240
Memory Technology
Memory Clock/Data Rate
1107/2214 1240/2480
Memory Bus Width
256 bit
512 bit
Memory Bandwidth
128 GB/sec
153.6 GB/sec
153.6 GB/sec
141.7 GB/sec 159 GB/sec
On-Board Memory
1 GB
2 GB
1 - 2 GB
1 GB
1 - 2 GB
Texture Units
Texture Rate
52.2 GT/s
72 GT/s
68 GT/s
48.2 GT/s 51.8 GT/s
Fill Rate
23.2 GP/s
28.8 GP/s
27.2 GP/s
19.3 GP/s 21.4 GP/s
Power Connectors
2*6 pin
2*8 pin
1*6/1*8 pin
1*6/1*8 pin 2*6 pin
Max Power
151 W
200 W
188 W
236 W 183 W

The main differentiator, when just looking at the tech specs are the 2 GB of onboard memory along with the GPU being overclocked out of the box to 900 MHz. In addition, the "Matrix" features two 8 pin auxiliary power connectors to make sure that there is enough supply power for any possible event or user setting dialed in through iTracker2, a brand new utility superseeding the former ASUS "SmartDoctor" and, to jump ahead of ourselves, it is not just a new skin, so bear with us here a bit longer.

Other Features and Specs

The general features and specs of AMD's RADEON lineup are essentially the same as those of any other offering.

  • PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
  • DirectX® 11 support
    • Shader Model 5.0
    • DirectCompute 11
    • Programmable hardware tessellation unit
    • Accelerated multi-threading
    • HDR texture compression
    • Order-independent transparency
  • OpenGL 3.2 support
  • Image quality enhancement technology
    • Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing modes
    • Adaptive anti-aliasing
    • 16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering
    • 128-bit floating point HDR rendering
  • ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
    • Three independent display controllers
      • Drive three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
    • Display grouping
      • Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
  • ATI Stream acceleration technology
      OpenCL support14
    • DirectCompute 11
    • Accelerated video encoding, transcoding, and upscaling
  • ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology
    • Dual GPU scaling
  • ATI Avivo™ HD Video & Display technology
    • UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
    • Advanced post-processing and scaling8
    • Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
    • Brighter whites processing (Blue Stretch)
    • Independent video gamma control
    • Dynamic video range control
    • Support for H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2
    • Dual-stream 1080p playback support9,10
    • DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
    • Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP
      • Max resolution: 2560x1600
    • Integrated DisplayPort output
      • Max resolution: 2560x1600
    • Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support and high bit-rate audio
      • Max resolution: 1920x1200
      • Integrated VGA output
      • Max resolution: 2048x1536
      • 3D stereoscopic display/glasses support
    • Integrated HD audio controller
        • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
        • Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats
  • ATI PowerPlay™ power management technology7
    • Dynamic power management with low power idle state
    • Ultra-low power state support for multi-GPU configurations

Last Updated ( Jun 22, 2010 at 09:53 AM )
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