Review: ASUS ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
The Fastest Graphics Card In The World Is Here
When you are making an in-depth investment in building a high-end PC, you're definitely heading straight for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. But then, you still have choices to make which comes to: Which brand? Air cooling, or water cooling?
Both have advantages and disadvantages, but ASUS now comes with a solution to relieve you of that choice. And here at Ideal Tech PC, we have our hands on the fastest and the most unique design consumer graphics card, the ASUS GeForce RTX 2080Ti Matrix Platinum.
The ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Matrix Platinum is the first video card with fully integrated water cooling while taking up no more space than a regular three-slot air-cooled card like all high-end cards do. It costs a sweet penny, but the result is extremely satisfying. So here at Ideal Tech PC, building such PC armed with this particular beast is going to be expected so we had to test it for ourselves.
ASUS ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 2080Ti
ASUS are well known with its high-end graphics cards portfolio, filled with superior gaming lineup such as the ARES, MARS and POSEIDON.
These cards offer more cooling potential than even the thickest air cooler, both literally and figuratively. Alas, they either require that you;
1. Install a radiator (and/or).
2. Bending and messing with tubes.
Especially if you already have an all-in-one (AIO) cooler for your processor, that can be a challenge. It won't look nice and neat. Of course, the die-hard tech enthusiast (AKA Bangsawan) has the option of building their own custom loop that keeps both CPU and CPU cool - but not only it requires a really large investment, it is also a fairly high threshold.
However, for the less experienced enthusiast, it won't be a cakewalk for them remove the standard cooling block from their expensive video card to mount a specialized waterblock on it, not to mention the filling and leakproofing of the system.
Anyhow, let's go ahead and take a closer look at this beauty.
Back in the days of R9 295x2 reign, I have once thought, couldn't they simply slap the radiator and fan on top of the GPU block? I was laughed and mocked as being "smartass" and "Mr Computer" and some other bad name calling that I don't want to remember.
Well, guess what? ASUS have done it, thanks to the company's deep R&D war chest although it came about a half-decade later. But hey! Who said it was impossible to do so?
AMD Radeon R9 295x2 was one of the earliest card that comes with an AIO cooling straight out of the box compared to the ASUS RTX 2080Ti Matrix unique AIO design that pump, tubing, and radiator integrated seamlessly under the shroud directly on top of the board.
It is measured about 12.2 inches long and 5.3 inches thick, which is slightly, teeny-weeny longer and thicker than its STRIX siblings, which could be a tight squeeze in some of the smaller mid-towers.
Okay, moving on from that, I would like to address that underneath this majestic cooler, is a PCB that is actually identical to the PCB from the STRIX siblings. ASUS explains that this gives them the opportunity to do binning from a large sample size.
From all STRIX PCB/GPU combos that are tested, less than 5% make it on to the Matrix cards. This actually caused some outcry in the community. However, the 16+3 phase power design on the board is actually sufficient enough, which matches all other competitors.
The test setup:
Intel Core i9 9900K, 16GB G.Skill TridentZ Royal 3600MHz, ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme, FSP Aurum 850W Platinum
Cooling: ASUS ROG Ryujin 360 AIO
The Matrix RTX 2080Ti sports only two 8-pin power connector which is quite surprising, well, considering the fact that MSI's RTX 2080Ti Lightning Z and the EVGA RTX 2080Ti King required three of them. The card is specified to consume for up to 375 watts of power.
Benchmarks: DirectX 12
Benchmarks: DirectX 11
Benchmarks: 3DMark & V-Ray
For all we know, the ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Matrix is probably their only flagship for this generation with the Poseidon nowhere to be found. This particular beast is the fastest (consumer) graphics card I have ever tested. It smoked the Lightning Z with no remorse. Not only it features the world's first watercooling loop with footprints of standard air-cooler on a graphics card, ASUS managed to squeeze every single drop of performance due to its significantly increased board power limit whilst only requiring two 8-pin power which is very energy efficient in gaming with zero compromises.
Unlike most RTX 2080 Ti cards on the market, ASUS is using Samsung memories on their Matrix cards, which overclock better than the Micron chips. We typically see about 100 MHz higher OC potential, which is significant. GPU Boost is set to 1800 MHz, which is higher than all RTX 2080 Ti models on the market with the exception for three cards which offer 15 MHz higher boost. However, thanks to the former, the Matrix tops all of its competitors with its highest memory clock out of the box at 1850 MHz, which is significantly higher than the 1800 MHz you see on competing high-end cards.
ASUS slaps RM7999 on the pricetag amid the community arguing that the watercooling unit definitely does not costs that much, if we factor in the cost of R&D and the GPU binning which only 5% made the cut, the premium price tag is definitely justified. Hey, like people have been saying, "If you got the cash, just fork over the dough".
I would say the ASUS RTX 2080 Ti Matrix is the ideal (pun intended) choice for those who just want the fastest graphics card out of the box and can actually afford it. If you're looking for something with better value, try the STRIX variation. Hands down, one of the best and the most demanded card RTX 2080Ti.
If you wish to get the Matrix, feel free to contact us at our Official Facebook although it needs to be pre-order first. (We only got ours hands on 2 units so far, how limited is that?!)
ASUS knows they won't sell a lot of these, but still went ahead and invested money to release this grand product anyway. I'd say, it deserves the best hardware award and I thank them for producing such an outstanding product.