COMPUTEX — Can you play Far Cry 2 on an eight-megapixel display with a current-gen graphics card? You can, as we found out today at Asus' Computex booth. The company showed us its new GeForce GTX 295 Mars graphics card, which has higher-than-normal clock speeds (648MHz for the core) and 4GB of total memory.
The dual-GPU card was driving a massive display with a resolution of 3840x2160—four times as many pixels as standard 1080p. The generous memory size was probably helping things along, because the game ran quite smoothly. And yes, Asus did show us the game was set up to use that actual resolution before loading up a level.
Asus claims the GeForce GTX 295 Mars is 23% faster in its synthetic testing than stock GTX 295s. You can expect to see it hit stores in late July. We couldn't find out exact pricing, but Asus told us it's not aiming to grab too high a margin—it might even even sell this card at a loss to promote its other products—so the premium over plain GTX 295s may not be too high.
At the other end of the booth, Asus showed the P6X58 Premium, a Core i7 motherboard that's purportedly the first to have 6Gbps Serial ATA ports (the current standard has a top speed of 3Gbps, which translates to 300MB/s after 8b/10b encoding).
Asus was running a looping benchmark comparing a plain old SATA hard drive with a prototype 6Gbps SATA hard drive from Seagate. As you might see above (or, more likely, if you look at high-res images in our photo gallery), HD Tach reported a 337.5MB/s sequential read speed for the 6Gbps drive. The 3Gbps model was trailing behind at 200.5MB/s.