by Anton Shilov
06/16/2009 | 05:40 PM
At least some partners of Asustek Computer, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of components for personal computers, have started to take pre-orders on Asus “Republic of Gamers” Mars limited edition graphics card. The board carries two Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 graphics processors and is faster than the dual-chip model GTX 295. But at what price!
Asus ROG Mars Limited Edition graphics card is powered by two fully features Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 (G200b) graphics processing units (GPUs) as well as 4GB of GDDR3 memory (2GB per chip) clocked at 2484MHz with 512-bit memory bus width. Each of the graphics processors operates at 648MHz with 480 stream processors in total functioning at 1476MHz, which means that Asus ROG Mars 295 is as fast at two GeForce GTX 285 graphics boards in SLI mode and is faster compared to Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 graphics solution that “only” features graphics chips with lowered clock-speed and “just” 1792MB of GDDR3 with 448-bit memory bus width.
Asustek estimates that its Mars graphics card that belongs to the Republic of Gamers family of premium products offers 23% higher performance compared to the reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 295. An owner of two Asus ROG Mars graphics cards will also be able to built a 4-way SLI graphics sub-system running four GTX 285 GPUs using them, something not technically possible to do using four GeForce GTX 285-based graphics cards or two GeForce GTX 295 boards.
There will be only one thousand of Asus ROG Mars graphics boards ever built, each will be marked with its own unique number, which emphasizes exclusive design of this engineering masterpiece.
But the state-of-the-art graphics card comes at a price: the UK-based Scan.co.uk online store is taking pre-orders onto the board now and charges £1030.98 with value added tax included, which is approximately $1700 or €1222. The United Kingdom is not known for low prices, but even for the UK and even for the potentially highest-performance graphics card on the planet the cost of Asus ROG Mars seems to be too high, especially considering the fact that the GeForce GTX 295 costs about £330 ($540, €391), whereas the GeForce GTX 285 can be obtained for below £300 ($491, €355).