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Graphics card ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980: review and testing

Graphics card of series ASUS ROG have always attracted the users due to its high performance, innovation, quality and originality. So it is not surprising that ASUS has decided to expand this lineup of models based on the new flagship adapter NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980. The key features you can find in a separate article.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Version ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5 will be discussed in this review. It has quite an impressive list of advantages compared with the reference graphics card, which will be appreciated not only by gamers, but also fans will get maximum productivity through manual overclocking using extreme cooling methods.

Recall that the new product is based on the microarchitecture NVIDIA Maxwell, which we have dedicated a separate and fairly volume article for the revealing of all its advantages. Therefore, let’s start from the specification.

The specs:


ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980


Graphics core

NVIDIA GM204-400-A1 (Maxwell)

Q-ty of shader processors (CUDA-core)


Support of technologies and API

DirectX 12 (Shader Model 5.0), OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic graphics core frequency, MHz

1241 / 1342

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1753 (7010)

Memory capacity, GB


Memory type


Memory bus size, bit


Memory carrying capacity, GB/s


Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening  interfaces

1 x DVI-I

1 x HDMI

3 x DisplayPort

Support of HDCP and decoding of HD-video


Minimal power supply capacity, W


Additional power sockets PCIe

2 x 8-pin

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

297 х 152 x 41 (309 x 155)


Drivers can be downloaded here:ASUS or  GPU

Producer website


Since we have almost completely modified NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, we cannot talk about the compliance of the product with the reference model. We can only compare the operating frequencies. In this case, the graphics core boasts of a notable level of factory overclocking up to 1241 MHz (increase of 10.2% compared to recommended 1126 MHz), and taking into account the work of technology NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 the average value is 1342 MHz (1216 MHz for the reference sample). Video memory operates on recommended effective frequency at the level of 7010 MHz.

Packaging and content

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Graphics card ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 is shipped in a large high quality cardboard box, decorated in the corporate red color. The front side in addition to logos of the manufacturer and a series of ASUS ROG, contains the name of the graphics card.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Under a flip-up lid you can find a description of the key advantages of the adapter:

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • DIGI+ VRM with 14 Phase Super Alloy Power - digital power system and quality components, made according to the original concept of Super Alloy Power are applied. It includes a series of Japanese solid capacitors Nichicon GT with lifespan five times higher and an increased by 20% endurance at high temperatures, improved MOS transistors, inductors and chokes with ferrite core. In case of daily use, the advantages described above allow to reduce the noise of power components by 30% and 5 times increase the life of the graphics card.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • DirectCU II - a proprietary cooling system includes five heat pipes, one of which is characterized by a diameter of 10 mm. They have direct contact with the graphics core. In general, the whole structure can reduce the GPU temperature by 25% and noise by three times compared to the reference cooler model NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • CoolTech Fan Technology - one of the two fans of the cooler is made by hybrid technology, combining internal and external radial axis (with the classic design of the blades). This design, according to the manufacturer, provides omni directional air flow and promotes the accelerated heat removal.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • Ultimate performance - according to the company ASUS, new product provides up to 13% better performance in some popular games than NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 with reference design, we'll check in the testing process.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • ROG Color-coded Load Indicator - modding fans should appreciate the logo of series ASUS ROG on the side of the card, which is equipped with LED-backlit, changes color depending on the load from blue (low level) to yellow (medium level) and red (high level).

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • GPU Tweak and GPU Tweak Streaming – there is proprietary software, which can be used not only for monitoring the performance and overclocking graphics cards, but also for the organization of direct online broadcasts of gameplay via the Internet.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • Memory Defroster - after activation of the technology by a separate switch, the area of the PCB with video memory chips is further warming, avoiding problems with their work in negative temperatures when overclocking by liquid nitrogen.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

  • Safe Mode – if you need to fix the consequences of a failed overclocking, use the button that will return to the original BIOS settings. Also note that the above-mentioned LED-backlight in this mode will turn green.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

The back of the box shows a schematic picture of the product, a brief technical specification and configuration of the interface panel.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

In the box with the test model we found a CD with drivers and utilities, as well as two power adapters, which is quite sufficient set of accessories. The graphics card is securely packaged, so you should not worry about safety during transportation.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

To display an image the novelty has slightly different set of interfaces from the standard:

  • 1 x DL DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0;
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.2.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Analog up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Graphics card ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 is made on the original black PCB with a matte finish. Despite the large width, the logic of key components location remained the same: all memory chips are soldered on the face panel around the GPU, and power system components are located on the right side of it.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Power supplying is realized via enhanced 14-phase scheme. Let’s recall that the reference design uses only five phases (four phases for GPU power and one for video memory). As we’ve mentioned, the circuitry corresponds to the concept of proprietary Super Alloy Power. It is composed of only the highest quality components: Japanese solid capacitors of series Nichicon GT, advanced MOSFETs and inductors with a ferrite core, which can significantly extend the life of the graphics card.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

The power subsystem is implemented on digital PWM Controller DIGI+ VRM ASP1212 manufactured by International Rectifier. It has several protective technologies: OVP (overvoltage), UVP (undervoltage), OCP (overcurrent) and OTP (elevated temperature). It provides support for up to eight phases, so to realize the full potential a doubling phase is required.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

In addition to slot PCI Express x16, power supplying of the product is realized via two additional 8-pin sockets. Don’t forget that a reference card has two 6-pin sockets.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

In order to provide the operation of technology NVIDIA SLI for ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5) there are two connectors for the appropriate bridge. They allow to combine two-four graphics accelerators for joint calculation of graphical effects.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

The reverse side of the printed circuit board, which was originally protected by a metal plate, includes tantalum-polymer solid capacitors POSCAP and other electrical components.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Overclockers will appreciate the contact pad for the measurement of voltage on the key components of the graphics adapter using a multimeter.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

In order to activate mentioned earlier technology Memory Defroster you need to connect an additional power cable. Also note the button «Safe Mode», which allows you to restore the factory default values of the frequencies and voltages.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

The heart of new item is the graphics chip NVIDIA GM204-400-A1, which is produced by 28-nm manufacturing technology. It consists of 2048 CUDA cores, 128 texture units and 64 ROP units. In nominal mode the base frequency of the graphics core has been increased from reference 1126 to 1241 MHz, and thanks to the support of the technology NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 in turbo mode its speed was averaged 1342 MHz instead of 1216 MHz as a reference sample.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Total capacity of memory is 4 GB. It is designed using eight chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 with capacity of 512 MB each. According to the documentation, their nominal effective frequency is 7000 MHz. Data exchange between the graphics core and memory is realized through a 256-bit bus, which can pass 224.4 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Accelerator including installed proprietary cooling system DirectCU II takes up two expansion slots and has a total length of 309 mm (as measured in our lab).

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

The cooler consists of a sufficiently large heatsink which applied 53 aluminum plates, two fans with a diameter of 95 mm and a plastic case, which covers the entire structure above.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

The fans are produced by FirstDo and and have labeling of «FD9015U12S». According to the letter «S» in the title, they are built on sleeve bearing. Their performance rated voltage is 12 V and the amperage - 0.55 A, which results in a power of 6.6 W.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

In order to provide a uniform heat distribution over the entire area of the radiator there are five copper heat pipes with diameter of 6-8-8-10-6 mm. The coolers DirectCU II use the scheme of their direct contact with the surface of the GPU through a small layer of thermal paste.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

To improve the efficiency of heat transfer the heat pipes are securely soldered to the aluminum radiator and copper base. In addition, they are covered with a protective layer to prevent oxidation and to give a more stylish look.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

For cooling FETs of subsystem power there is a single element in the type of low radiator with thermal interface on the rear side, but the memory chips on the front side of the board, unfortunately, do not have any additional cooling.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

Reinforcement plate on the back of the graphics card is devoid of any thermal interface, but it is warmed highly during operation, therefore it is used not only to support the massive cooling system, preventing damage to the circuit board, but also serves as an additional heat sink.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

In case of automatic fan speed control, under the maximum load, graphics core was warmed up to 64 degrees and cooler was working with the 52% of its maximum capacity. Subjectively, the noise was below average.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

After forced increase of the fan speed to the maximum level, the GPU temperature dropped to 54 degrees. Obtained noise can be described as average. In this case it was quite comfortable for extended use, especially for daytime.

ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 (MATRIX-GTX980-P-4GD5)

In case of absence of load the frequencies of the graphics core and memory were automatically reduced, resulting in lower power consumption and heat dissipation. In this mode the GPU temperature did not exceed 34 degrees and the graphics card was totally silent.

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