Asus Reveals Over-Engineered GTX 980 Matrix

Silently, Asus' ROG division has posted some specifications and images of a new graphics card, the Matrix GTX 980.

The Matrix series of graphics cards from Asus are known to be the most extreme air-cooled cards the company makes, and you can probably see why. The Matrix GTX 980 comes with a massive custom PCB design which has a 14-phase VRM circuit. Considering that reference GTX 980 boards have four phases for the GPU and one for memory, a 14-phase circuit is just plain madness. It will ensure very stable power delivery, though, which should help when overclocking to levels far beyond what air-cooling can endure.

Asus didn't indicate a base frequency, but given the huge cooler, chances are it will be running at its 1342 MHz GPU Boost clock most of the time anyway. The 4 GB of GDDR5 memory remains at the reference 7.0 GHz frequency, and it runs over a 256-bit memory interface.

The cooler on the card is based on the DirectCU II design, but with a couple of changes. It is built with 10 mm thick matte-black heatpipes and features a custom shroud that follows the design of past Matrix cards. Air is pushed through the aluminum fin array by two fans, one of which features a CoolTech design. There's also an LED-lit ROG logo with a customizable lighting pattern. Despite the beefy cooler, the card also comes with an LN2 mode switch for overclocking under liquid nitrogen.

Display outputs consist of an HDMI 2.0 port, a dual-link DVI-I connection and three DisplayPort 1.2 interfaces.

Add everything together, and you're probably looking at one of the most powerful GTX 980 graphics cards. Thus on paper, this is one of the most powerful single-GPU graphics cards available.

While Asus didn't indicate pricing or availability yet, we don't imagine that these will come cheap, as the company charges a respectable premium for a premium product. This isn't the entire official announcement yet, so take this as little more than a teaser!

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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