Monday, November 3, 2014


The Asus Ares III is not only the fastest graphic card in our test, also this product sets a new optimum value regarding the volume thanks to its passive cooling. Yet, there is one thing that hinders this device to get an absolute top grade and that is its high electricity consumption.

The Asus Ares III is a so called dual GPU graphic card. The manufacturer solders up two complete chipsets inclusive the double VRAM on one board. The basis of this product is the AMD chipset Radeon R9 290X, who does exist twice entirely. Players have access on 2x 2816 shader units, 4 GB of graphic memory and 512 bit wide interfaces. The clock frequency of the GPU amounts to 1030 MHz, while the memory clock lies at 5000 MHz. A specially manufactured cool block from EK Water Blocks takes care of temperature control and what's even better it is completely noiseless. The card is being connected to an existing water cooling. The graphic card at cost of about $1500 is limited according to Asus world-wide on 500 pieces.

With such an high price you can expect graphic power without end. In our benchmarks the Ares III turns on his turbo and accelerates every game with maximal details and high resolution pretty much perfectly. Tomb Raider runs in full HD resolution with 236 frames per second (fps) over our screen. Bioshock Infinite with the same settings reaches 149 fps and even the very demanding Hitman Absolution lies with 66 fps still in the safe zone. Even with this magnificent numbers the Ares III can't really  show what its capable of in a system with full HD monitor. Only by 2560 x 1600 pixel or even 4k the graphic card can show what a beast it really is! One example: DiRT Showdown reaches with 2560 x 1600 pixel and activated antialiasing (AA) a fps of 110, Sleeping Dogs reaches 76 fps and Crysis Warhead 55 fps. All in all excellent results.

Silent Power Eater

Next to potential strong cooling the "EK water blocks solution" has another advantage: it makes it possible to build a narrow construction. Actually the Ares III uses up only one slot in the system and therefor it doesn't block any adjacent slots who could be used for other components. With air cooling alone such a construction isn't possible considering the power class. Nonetheless, the working of this card depends a lot of the water cooling. Asus doesn't put a complete solution in the metal case, rather there is only the card and the cooling block. The enormous performance has its price in the electricity consumption. Under heavy load the whole system uses up to 723 watt. In the idling mode the consumption with 146 watt is still pretty high. 

With a price of $1500 the Ares III is unaffordable for most players. Besides, it is only needed in some special cases like playing with two or more monitors. If you don't want to spend this much money then we could recommend you the Zotac Geforce GTX 980 AMP another high-end  graphic card that costs only one third compared to the Ares III. The Zotac from Nvidias latest Maxwell GPU series is not only extremely fast but it's also highly efficient. Albeit you won't get the water cooling with this model, the air cooling is more than enough with the build in GPU.

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