Nothing says glorious excess like a liquid-cooled graphics card with dual GPUs. That's just what Asus has created with the ROG Ares II, which packs dual Radeon HD 7970 graphics processors in additon to 6GB of memory. Despite being crammed onto the same circuit board, those parts are all clocked a smidgen faster than stock. The GPU base and boost clocks are both up 50MHz, to 1050MHz and 1100MHz, respectively. Asus has also turned up the memory speed from 6 GT/s to 6.6 GT/s.
The Ares II's specifications are even more impresive when one notices that the card is a dual- rather than triple-slot design. Of course, the dual-slot cooler does have a rather large radiatior attached via 13" coolant tubes. The radiator is sandwiched between dual 120-mm cooling fans, and it should be easy to attach to the inside of most cases. A third, 80-mm fan sits on the card and cools components like the memory and power regulation circuitry. There are no fewer than 20 power phases feeding this beast, and higher-grade electrical components are used throughout.
Speaking of power, you'll need a beefy PSU to supply the Ares II. The card has three eight-pin PCIe connectors and requires at least 42A of 12V power. Asus recommends a PSU rated for at least 850W.
The ROG Ares II is about as extreme as graphics cards get, and it's priced to match. Expect to pay about $1,500 for this monster. Our own Scott Wasson has seen the card, and he tells us it's due to hit the market very shortly. If you're interested, you'll want to get in on the action as early as possible. This is a limited-editon model with a production run of just 1,000 units. Indeed, Asus says each card features "a laser-etched serial number on the aluminum backplate to denote its collectible status." Let's hope no one tries to keep one of these puppies mint in box.