At the end of last year, the ASUS ROG team released the GTX 780 Poseidon graphics card that offered a unique hybrid of air and watercooling. That particular card was the first time ASUS ROG launched a graphics card under the Poseidon name which today gets the Maxwell GPU architecture update.
The ASUS Poseidon GeForce GTX 980 delivers the same combination of air and liquid cooling as its predecessor to give a great deal of end-user flexibility. On air the Poseidon GTX 980 makes use of a pair of dustproof fans blowing down onto a custom, direct-contact vapour chamber. On water the Poseidon uses a copper contact plate and a pair of G ¼-in fittings to integrate into an existing watercooling setup easily.
ASUS claims watercooled load temperatures are 27 degrees Celsius lower than the reference design which our review determined to be 80 degrees Celsius. That prospective load temperature of 53 degrees Celsius is also an impressive 20 degrees cooler than the air-cooled STRIX GTX 980.
A non-reference power delivery system supplements the advanced cooling offered by the GTX 980 Poseidon. ASUS makes use of 10-phase VRM, black solid-state capacitors, hardened Mosfetss and so-called “concrete-core” chokes. To finish off the classy looks a full backplate is fitted which also provides additional cooling and rigidity.
As you might expect, the GTX 980 Poseidon gets a factory overclock to 1,279MHz boost, representing a 63MHz hike from the reference design. We note that other air-cooled card are clocked in higher. The memory clockspeed, meanwhile, is unchanged at 7GHz across the 4GB of GDDR5 memory. ASUS decided to maintain the same rear I/O of triple DisplayPort, single HDMI and single DVI.
Pricing details have yet to be disclosed by ASUS, but expect a premium over base GTX 980 pricing. UK availability is touted for December 2014.