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Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 Review

Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 3GB Review

Manufacturer: Asus
UK price (as reviewed): £479.75 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A
Preferred Partner Price: 477.34 (inc VAT)

While the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 has been with us for a while now, it usually takes a while for graphics partners to begin churning out custom-designed and pre water-cooled models. Even by these standards, though, Asus' latest offering is decidely late to the party. It does have an excuse though, as this isn't just any old graphics card with a waterblock slapped onto it; the Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 has a hybrid cooler that can use either air cooling or water cooling. Oh, and the card is pre-overclocked too.

Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 Review Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 Review
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To be clear, then, the Poseidon GTX 780 doesn't use an all-in-one liquid cooler but literally has a waterblock with G1/4in threads waiting to be hooked up to a full water-cooling loop. This waterblock also doubles as the heatsink for the air-cooler, which also takes advantage of three heat-pipes and an extra array of fins. Two 90mm dust-proof fans take care of the air supply and they (hopefully) spin right down if you add some H20 into the equation.

As well as all this custom cooling there are plenty of other additions to the PCB too. There's a row of enhanced power circuitry at the rear of the PCB with 10-phase power, super alloy chokes, hardended MOSFETs plus black metallic solid-state capacitors. Combined, Asus claims these offer 20 per cent better temperature endurance, longer lifespan, 30 per cent less power noise and increased overclocking potential as a result.

Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 Review
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The Poseidon sports a fairly typical overclock for the GTX 780 out of the box, with a 954MHz core speed, boosting up to 1,006MHz, and a memory clock of 1,502MHz (6.008GHz effective).

Thankfully, the additional power circuitry and larger cooler means that the Poseidon is only 20mm longer than a reference GTX 780 at 287mm, plus it keeps its dual-slot status too. However, as with many custom coolers, it's the width you'll mostly likely have issues with - at 137mm it's pretty large, and that's not including the addition of water-cooling barbs. Even using 90-degree fittings will likely add another 30mm or so on to this. This is something to be aware of particularly if you're not sporting a large tower case, although it fits fine in vertically GPU-mounted cases such as BitFenix's Prodigy and the like.

Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 Review
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As far as price goes, the cheapest GTX 780 we could find at the time of writing was around £370. The asking price for the Poseidon is £485, which is clearly rather expensive in comparison, especially as, looking around, pretty much all the GTX 780 examples we could find were overclocked and came with custom coolers too.

Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 Review
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However, when you consider that your average full cover GPU waterblock retails for anywhere between £80 and £120, the price starts to make more sense. Furthermore, it stands to reason that Poseidon will likely appeal to those that can't be doing with the hassle of fitting their own waterblocks. But to even stand a chance of recommendation, it needs to perform at least close to as well as a custom waterblock. We shall see.

Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 780 Review
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Specifications

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB, 954GHz
  • Pipeline 2,304 stream processors, 194 texture units, 48 ROPs
  • Memory 3GB GDDR5, 6GHz effective
  • Bandwidth 288GB/sec, 384-bit interface
  • Compatibility Direct X 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, Mantle
  • Outputs/Inputs Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Power connections 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin PCI-E, side-mounted
  • Size 287mm, dual slot
  • Warranty Three years