Today’s graphics cards priced at $300 and more are, as a rule, replicas of the reference samples developed by AMD or Nvidia. Such a sample is duplicated in many copies at contracted facilities, embellished with corporate stickers of AMD’s and Nvidia’s partners, packed into boxes and sold in retail shops. As a result, the customer has to choose from tens and hundreds of virtually identical graphics cards which differ only with their packaging and accessories and, occasionally, with the level of factory overclocking. There is nothing wrong about that, actually. Any top-end graphics card is a highly sophisticated product whose parameters would have seemed fantastic just a few years ago and this manufacturing approach helps ensure consistent quality.
But although it is justified from the manufacturers’ point of view, the lack of choice is rather boring for the end user. Moreover, some customers may need capabilities which are missing in the reference sample, for example a handy way of controlling the graphics card’s voltages for safe extreme overclocking. Others may want a quiet but effective cooler or beautiful highlighting which would look splendid in a windowed system case. There are many users with varying demands and the reference sample cannot embrace them all. Major manufacturers of computer components that have vast research & development resources are aware of this demand and often release unique components that have no analogues. Besides targeting the small but wealthy group of especially demanding users, they thus show their technological superiority over their opponents and chart out the possible ways of development for their future product series. This is absolutely true for top-end gaming graphics cards. Reviewing them is a real pleasure.
So today we are going to enjoy reviewing a Matrix series product from the world-famous ASUSTeK Computer. The slogan of the series reads “I Rule My Game!” suggesting an unprecedented level of control over the hardware no other manufacturer but ASUS can offer. Every Matrix series product features a custom-made PCB and cooler, high-quality components, and a number of overclocking tools and options. We reviewed one Matrix card before and were pleased with it despite some of its shortcomings (it was the ASUS Matrix GTX285 model) and now we are going to take a look at the new ASUS Matrix 5870 P/2DIS/2GD5 which is based on the ATI Radeon HD 5000 architecture.