March 13, 2015

Unboxing & Review: ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum

NVIDIA's latest Maxwell GM204 based GTX 980 is currently the highest end offering of the GTX 900 series. With it's Its impressive performance and power efficiency, the GTX 980 quickly took the enthusiast market by storm as soon as it's launched.  

In collaboration with ASUS Malaysia, we will be taking a close look at the latest GTX 980 under ROG brand in today's review, the ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum. ASUS's Republic of Gamers (ROG) Matrix Platinum graphics card is known for its striking appearance and outstanding overclocked performance, but premium stuff does comes with a price - A hefty price tag will burn a hole in your wallet if you're planning to own one.

*The SRP of the ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum is approximately RM2,799.

Model Name
Graphics Engine
 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
Bus Standard           
PCI Express 3.0
Video Memory
Engine Clock
GPU Boost Clock: 1342 MHz
GPU Base Clock: 1241 MHz
Memory Clock          
7010 MHz
Memory Interface
DVI Output : Yes x 1 (DVI-I)
HDMI Output : Yes x 1 (HDMI 2.0)
Display Port : Yes x 3 (Regular DP)
HDCP Support : Yes
 2 x Power cable
1 x ROG Metal Sticker
ASUS GPU Tweak & Driver
 297.2mm x 152mm x 40.6mm


ASUS has taken the usual approach to keep things as simple as possible without losing the premium and elegant touch of ROG.

A brief but detailed description on the construction of the graphics card can be found at the back of the packaging.


The accessories included: 2 piece of dual 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCIe adapter, quick setup guide, Driver CD and a piece of ASUS ROG sticker.

The shroud design is identical (basically the same) to the ROG GTX 780 Ti Matrix Platinum and R9 290X Matrix Platinum.

The same fan design from the latest DirectCU II cooler is used on the ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum - CoolTech fan's design is made up of inner radial blower and outer flower-type blades to provide multi-directional airflow to ensure effective heat dissipation.

The iconic Matrix Platinum indicator LED to indicate the GPU load state.

The picture above shows the color of each GPU load state. 

As nickel plated heat pipes oxidizes overtime and looks rather unpleasant, heat pipes on the Matrix Platinum cards is painted in black to end that misery (not to mention that it looks great too).

Being aesthetically pleasing isn't the only benefit of the pre-installed backplate, it does add rigidity to the PCB of the graphics card to reduce sagging, or PCB bending.

SLI fingers to allow up SLI configuration up to 4 GPU aka 4-way SLI. 

The 4-pin molex connector at the rear end of the ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum helps to supply power to the Memory Defroster to unfreeze your the memory chips during extreme overclocking session that involves the use of LN2 (liquid nitrogen).

Hidden under the shroud is a huge chunk of heatsink with a total of 5 heat pipes running through the fins and the exposed flat copper pipe as the base of the cooler.

The custom design PCB features DIGI+ VRM with 14-phase Super Alloy Power’s Japanese-made 10K Black Metallic Capacitors, concrete-core chokes and hardened MOSFETs to deliver a precise digital power for superior efficiency, stability, and performance.

The heart of the ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum, the NVIDIA GM204 GPU. 

The Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 memory chip that are known to have a great overclock ability, known to be the best among the 3 commonly used memory chips (Elpida, Hynix, Samsung).

The 10k black metallic capacitors, Super Alloy Power (SAP) chokes and capacitors which ASUS boasts to have higher lifespan and increases the overclocking headroom of the graphics card itself.

The ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum has 5 display outputs to satisfy your need for multiple display monitors - 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-I.

Performance Test
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H100i
Intel Core i7 4790K
ASUS Maximus VII Hero
G.Skill TridentX @2400MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Vector Benchcase

We've conducted our test by installing the ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum to our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room with 30C° ambient temperature.

Performance, Overclocking

We ran a few graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmark in our possession at the resolution of 1920 x 1080, 4x Anti-aliasing. Due limited voltage adjustment, we've only managed to push the ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum to its highest stable clock that is able to complete each game benchmark with the following values:
  • Maximum boost clock of 1512 MHz (170 MHz gain from the stock boost clock of 1342 MHz)
  • 8128 MHz on the memory clock
  • 1.2V on the voltage for GPU
Games Benchmark

With its already above the average clockspeed, the ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum is able to achieve a pretty good FPS on majority of the games that we've tested (a lot higher compared to the GTX 980 that we've reviewed in the past)and the FPS gain after the card is overclocked pretty much blew away all the GTX 980 we have reviewed up to date.

3DMark: Fire Strike

The Fire Strike score without any overclocking done to the card.

After a minor 170 MHz and 1118 MHz boost to the GPU clock and memory clock, we're able gain an extra 1939 to the score.


We've ran a 15 minute burn-in test on the FurMark GPU stress test utility with the fan operate under normal mode and maximum fan speed mode and the temperature for both test is recorded and populated in the graph above.

The ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum comes out of the box with 1342 MHz on the GPU clock, which is a pretty high clock speed among the GTX 980 that we've reviewed in the past. We're able to stretch the performance a little more with a minor 170 MHz and 1118 MHz gain to the GPU clock and memory clock - the result is still pretty impressive.

Temperature wise, the DirectCU II is doing quite well; with operating at normal speed, idle temperature hovers around 41°C and peaked at 72°C on full load. By sacrificing a little of the acoustic performance and turn up the fan speed to maximum, we're able to achieve a lower temperature reading; with idle temperature dropped to 36°C and load temperature dropped to 67°C. 

Price wise, it's very obvious that the RM2,799 priced ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum isn't everyone's cup of tea when it comes to building a high end gaming rig, especially for those who has a limited budget. With the ASUS STRIX GTX 980 priced at RM2,499 now, if you have that extra RM350 to upgrade your choice, the ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum's is something you could consider to go for (given that it has a decent overclocking capability and high quality components used).   


  • Aesthetic appearance
  • Factory Overclocked
  • Comes with rich overclocking features
  • Comes with a metal plate to strengthen the PCB


  • Hefty price tag
  • Shroud is made of plastic instead of metal
  • Might have compatibility issue with smaller chassis due to the massive shroud
  • Overclocking is limited by NVIDIA's Green Light Program