ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780 Video Card Review

The new ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780 launches today! We have a full evaluation today of this new hybrid air and liquid cooled video card. Will liquid cooling take the GeForce GTX 780 to performance that rivals the GTX 780 Ti and AMD R9 290X? We've got the full scoop on this unique video card.

Introduction

Last week, when we evaluated the ASUS ROG MARS 760 and we were discussing ASUS' ROG / Republic of Gamers branding. The ROG branding from ASUS classifies a certain level of enthusiast gaming quality, performance and custom engineering from ASUS. When we talk about the ROG series of ASUS' video cards, we are talking about the best of the best. We are talking about uniquely customized products that don't necessarily exist with any other card builder. Such was the case with the ASUS ROG MARS 760, and such is the case today with what we have to show you.

ASUS has added a new series under the ROG umbrella. Say hello to the POSEIDON series, which right now consists of two video cards. This follows the other series under the ROG branding including the MARS, MATRIX and ARES; names we have all come to know when evaluating the best ASUS has to offer in the form of a video card.

The ASUS ROG POSEIDON, is as the name suggests, a liquid cooled video card. However, instead of a liquid cooled-only video card, ASUS has designed a hybrid. Today's POSEIDON is a hybrid air cooled and/or liquid cooled video card. You actually have a choice, you can run the video card strictly on air, no liquid cooling at all, and the fans do the work of cooling the video card. Or, you can add your own liquid cooling system and give this card a huge boost to overclocking potential.

ASUS' tagline for this card is: "Air or Liquid - Your Choice to Chill."


ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780

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There are actually two editions of the ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780. There is the "GTX780-P-3GD5" and the "GTX780-3GD5" models. Note the "P." The model with the "P" carries with it a factory overclock, while the one without does not. The non-overclocked model runs at 863MHz GPU Base Clock and 902MHz Boost Clock, which is the reference clock speed for a GeForce GTX 780 GPU. The overclocked model (P stands for "Platinum") runs at 954MHz Base Clock and 1006MHz Boost Clock. The Platinum version also has binned GPUs chosen for overclock potential. The model we are evaluating is the "Platinum" version, the "GTX780-P-3GD5."

The ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780 is based on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 780 GPU, not the GTX 780 Ti. The GeForce GTX 780 has 2,304 CUDA Cores, 48 ROPs and 192 Texture Units. There is 3GB of 6GHz memory on a 384-bit memory bus.

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Naturally, what makes the ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780 unique, besides the H2O component, is the customized PCB and hardware components ASUS has designed this video card around. The ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780 is built with a 10-phase power delivery system. ASUS' DIGI+ VRM 10-phase Super Alloy Power delivers 30% cleaner power noise and 2.5X greater durability. DIGI+ VRM leads to lower power noise, from 239mV to 159mV. DIGI+ VRM intelligently transfers current among phases, this can bring power consumption from the original 34.4W down to 28.7W. There is a dedicated SAP CAP to maximize overclocking headroom at the back of the GPU.

The Super Alloy Chokes to eliminate buzzing noise are found with concrete alloy chokes. Super Alloy MOS allows 30% higher voltage threshold for enhanced OC capability. Japan-made 10K black metallic capacitors offer 20% better temperature endurance and 5X longer lifetime usage. The caps can handle a wider temperature range of -70-125c.

ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780 Layout

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ASUS has been smart once again with the power connectors, positioning these so that the thumb release is on the outside and easy to get to. Beyond that, you can see the break-out slides above about this video card is layered into its components. On the top are the dust-proof fans, however this video card is not using the new ASUS "CoolTech" fan, which is a hybrid axial and blower fan. The fans on this card are simple axial fans. Below the cover is the extended cooling fins with 3 heat-pipe setup, for the air cooling. Below the "air cooling" heatsink is the custom ASUS DirectCU H2O vapor chamber and water channel. It should be noted that the GPU and all the memory make direct contact with this piece. On the back of the video card is an aluminum back plate for stability and extra cooling.

ASUS ROG POSEIDON GTX 780 DirectCU H2O

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The ASUS DirectCU H2O module consists of a water channel with standard G1/4-inch threaded fittings. The custom vapor chamber makes direct contact with the GPU. At the end of the vapor chamber is the die-cast thermal armor, which does make direct contact with the MOSFETs and memory and further aids in cooling and stability. On top of the DirectCU H2O is the "air cooling" heatsink, which does use copper heat-pipes. When you are running under liquid, the fans still spin, but these don't have to ramp up as high under liquid cooling.