As if AMD making the Radeon R9 295X2 wasn’t crazy enough for the graphics market, ASUS has revealed that it’s been working on something very similar behind the scenes. Behold their final efforts – the ASUS Republic of Gamers ARES III, custom-made from the bottom up and covered with ASUS’ own waterblock designed in conjunction with EKWB. It’s a single-slot dual-GPU monster, but it’s built only for water-cooling setups.
ASUS’ last ARES card was the water-cooled ARES II, which used two Radeon HD7970 GHz Edition GPUs on a single board powered by one 8-pin and two 6-pin PCI PEG power connectors. The all-in-one watercooling setup on that card inspired AMD to later take the same route for the Radeon R9 295X2, due to the ease of which the ARES II was able to fit into any chassis.
This time ASUS has decided that going the whole hog is necessary, slimming down the ARES III greatly and covering it completely with a water block. The ARES III has two radeon R9 290X GPUs under its copper block, clocked at 1030MHz for the GPU and 5000MHz for the GDDR5 memory. The board is completely custom, as ASUS wasn’t allowed to fiddle with the reference design from AMD to make their wild card. It also requires three 8-pin PCI PEG power connectors, so that means it’ll easily be capable of sucking up to 450W of power. If you’re thinking of running two of these, a 1300W power supply might be the base recommendation for such a monster machine.
The card is also pretty unique in itself. Not only will it cost more than a small second-hand car, it will also be produced in a limited run of just 500 cards. ASUS says their motivation for this is because it is the defining example of what AMD has achieved with their current generation of GPUs and it runs 25% cooler than the stock R9 295X2. Some of the enhancements that command such exclusivity is a 16-phase Digi+ VRM, the highest-quality materials and specially designed coils that reduce or eliminate coil whine.
Strangely enough, this might be the first ARES card that actually makes a lot of sense. Pity that there’ll only be 500 of the suckers out there. You might have to buy two if you want to use more than three monitors in a single setup anyway, seeing as the card only has one DVI, HDMI and Displayport connector. ASUS will be bundling in standard fittings for most water-cooling loops to make the card usable in a numeber of setups as well as a free 8GB flash drive, which, err… nope, doesn’t make sense.
Well ARES cards usually don’t make sense for most people. I guess the flash drive was the only place they could legitimately do something that isn’t sensible.