Asus has once again decided that the GPU market is short of yet another piece of iconic kit and instead of delivering some dual core monster card that will drain Koeberg it has instead opted to toy with the GF110, otherwise known as the GTX580.
The Asus Matrix GTX580 Platinum is a monster card. Occupying three back-plate slots and measuring 28.96cm the Matrix GTX580 Platinum is hardly small in stature and even less so when you factor in its 700W PSU requirement. This is 100W higher than NVIDIA recommends so it is should serve as an indication of how serious this card is.
A reference GTX580 has a core clock speed of 772MHz and its 1.5GB GDDR5 clocks in at 1002MHz (effectively 4008MHz due to quad pumping). The Asus Matrix GTX580 Platinum has a mild overclock of 44MHz on the core. At these speeds the Platinum barely surpasses the stock card which is not good when it costs R1,000 more than the Asus ENGTX580 DirectCU II. The standard GTX580 is no slouch and with the DirectCU cooler it is easy to achieve the stock speeds of the Matrix Platinum. However the Matrix GTX580 platinum is intended to be overclocked; this is Asus’ answer to the MSI GTX580 Lightning.
The Asus GPU Tweak software is comparable to MSI’s Afterburner and allows adjustments to the core clock speed, core voltage, memory clock speed, memory voltage, as well as control of both fans. This software is integral to overclocking the Matrix GTX580 Platinum. When a stable clock speed has been found the overclocking profile can be saved and also flashed to the card’s BIOS, thus the overclock can be implemented from start-up and is not reliant on software. Should this flash fail or the overclock makes the card unstable the card can be flashed back to factory settings using the Safe Mode button found on the back plate. An interesting aspect of the GPU Tweak software is the ability to manually tweak the timings of the card’s GDDR5 memory.
Asus’ DirectCU cooling is still one of the best in the business and at stock speeds with the fan speed set to Auto the GPU temperature sat at 27 degrees C. However at full load the GPU hits 85 degrees C without the fans climbing past the 20% mark. Manual intervention seems to be required if you like your card to remain cool. There are three buttons directly soldered onto the PCB which allow control over the fans and voltages. The fan button raises the fan speed to 100%; bringing the GPU to 65 degrees C when at full load.
The voltage buttons on the board allow the voltage to be adjusted further than what GPU Tweak allows. The maximum voltage allowed on the GPU by GPU Tweak is 1150mV but raising the voltage using the TweakIt adjustment buttons sees the GPU voltage climbing to 1280mV. The memory voltage gets a boost of 25mV when the TweakIt feature is used.
Overclocking the Matrix GTX580 Platinum returned a mixed bag of results. Stability tests (MSI Kombustor) showed that the card could easily reach a core clock speed of 1000MHz with a memory clock speed of 1,100MHz but attempting to run benchmarks at these speeds was fruitless. Instability forced us to dropped the card down to 940MHz on the core and 1125MHz. This resulted in a considerable performance boost of 9 fps in Heaven 2.1.
The Asus Matrix GTX580 Platinum is an amazing card specifically for its overclocking capabilities. 124MHz on top of the Platinum’s stock speeds and 168MHz above the reference GTX580 card as well as 123MHz on the reference memory clock speed is hardly meagre. For those who want to get their hands dirty, overclocking the Matrix GTX580 Platinum is worth every cent. Technomancers who dabble in the dark arts of sub-zero overclocking will likely find that even more megahertz can be squeezed out of this card. However if the idea of overclocking sends a chill down your spine then the Matrix GTX580 Platinum is best left for the more adventurous of users.
Interface PCI-E 2.1
Fabrication process 40nm
Transistor count 3 billion
Core clock 816MHz
CUDA Cores 512
Texture Units 64
Memory 1.5GB GDDR5
Memory clock 1002MHz (4008MHz effective)
Memory Interface 384-bit
DirectX 9 performance
DirectX 10 performance
DirectX 11 performance
Futuremark 3Dmark Vantage