ASUS Matrix 5870 Platinum
The ASUS Matrix 5870 Platinum is a rather interesting animal as we’ve seen today. As part of the Republic of Gamer lineup, it is by definition an extreme product. The included accessories are extensive as we’ve come to expect from the ROG series (though, sadly, no game included), and the card itself features an aggressive design style, a cooler than keeps temperatures lower than the reference card, a safe mode button to remedy unstable overclocks, unique lighting effects that are especially extreme, and quality components to withstand the punishment of hardcore overclocking and voltage tweaking offered here. Clearly, ASUS is gunning for the enthusiast crowd that wants top performance and the quality that it brings.
In terms of functionality, ASUS has brought features to the table that are virtually unheard of, such as memory timing tweaks that can be done in conjunction with voltage adjustments as well, allowing users to overclock the snot out of this card. This works hand-in-hand with the beefed-up hardware components that can handle the extra punishment, maintaining better voltage regulation and lower temperatures. The heatsink does a better job than the reference card in lowering temperatures, but it can’t match the cooling prowess of the renowned Sapphire Vapor-X, though that card lacks the extensive features we see here on the Matrix.
In terms of performance, the Matrix 5870 Platinum really isn’t much faster out of the box than the reference card since the overclock here is rather mild. However, the features noted will let you push the envelope, so presumably if you purchase this card then you are someone who loves tweaking and pushing things. Clearly, the Radeon 5870 is already a monster in terms of performance, but ASUS has decided to go that extra mile by offering enthusiasts the opportunity to crank it up even higher. In fact, they encourage it through voltage tweaking in their iTracker 2 software, available exclusively to this ASUS card.
There are really only two downsides to this card. The first is that it can’t match the performance of Nvidia’s GTX 480. However, that card runs far hotter, louder, and draws more power as well for a minor performance increase. Unless you’re an Nvidia fan, the Matrix 5870 Platinum is a better card overall. The second issue is the cost of this card. At about $100 more expensive than the reference 5870, the Matrix doesn’t come cheap, but then again, top quality and performance rarely does. If you plan on getting a 5870 and dropping it into your rig out of the box, then don’t bother with the Matrix; it is a waste of horsepower and money. However, if you have any plans on pushing that horsepower, looking for bragging rights, or have a touch of narcissism and want to be the center of attention at a LAN party with your buddies, then this is the card for you.
The ASUS Radeon Matrix 5870 Platinum Edition is a very impressive graphics card, improving upon what is already an outstanding product in the ATI lineup. It kicks ass in just about every facet except for the price tag, but if you want the best then you have to fork out the cash for it. If you’re someone who believes Performance is King, then this card reigns as royalty and is one of the very best you’ll find on the market.
ASUS Radeon Matrix 5870 Platinum