Review: ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum


The ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum ships in a cherry red box which looks very similar to any ROG series of graphics card. The ROG and ASUS logos are located on the left and right side of the box, respectively. You can also see the product name is printed on the center left of the box along with the taglines of “Air or Liquid – Your Choice to Chill”. On bottom right of the box you can see some other features of the graphics card which are GameStream, GameWorks, G-Sync, and DirectX 12.


Opening up the flap reveals the ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum graphics card through the transparent window. Here you can also see ASUS’s explanations on the DIGI+ VRM with Black Metallic Capacitors and ROG LED Lighting features.


On the back of the box is a beautiful picture of the graphics card on the middle to shows you the ability of the ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum to chill the GPU by air cooling or water cooling. Here ASUS also give more details about the key features of the graphics card which include the G1/4” threaded fittings, dual dust-proof fans, and of course the hybrid DirectCU H2O cooler. You can also find the technical specifications of the graphics card at the bottom as well as a diagram showing the input and output interfaces located at the backpanel.


Unboxing reveals the accessories package which include a dual 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCie Y-adapter, a DVI-to-VGA adapter, the ROG metal case badge, a setup guide and the driver/utility CD.


Out of the box the DVI-I port, golden fingers and SLI connectors are well protected by rubbery covers to avoid any damage during transportation.


At first glance the Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum looks very similar to the Poseidon GTX 780 Platinum which is a dual-slot solution measuring 11.3″ x 5.4″ x 1.6″. The DirectCU H2O cooler carries two 90 mm dust-proof fans. ASUS claimed that this hybrid cooler provides 5°C cooler on air and 27°C cooler with water than reference GeForce GTX 980. The lower right corner of the cooler is imprinted with the “Poseidon” logo.


The graphics card draws power from flipped 8+6-pin power connectors as compared to 2x 6-pins on a reference GeForce GTX 980. If you do some simple math this means that the ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum will have a maximum power draw of 300W while the Reference GeForce GTX 980 will need around 225W. The PCI-Express motherboard slot offers up to 75W of power, 6-pin adds another 75W and 8-pin can pump 150W of power.


There is a pair of SLI connectors along the top of the PCB for multi-GPU setup up to 4-way SLI configurations. You can also see the ROG logo which pulsate to glory red when the graphics card is in operation.


Like the Strix GTX 980, the Poseidon GTX 980 also features a total of five video display interfaces which include a Dual-link DVI-I port, a native HDMI 2.0 port and three native DisplayPort 1.2.


The black anodized aluminum backplate dissipates the heat generated by the PWM and provides extra protection to some of the crucial components on the rear of the graphics card. You can also the “ASUS Poseidon” wording is printed on the backplate which looks very nice.


Let’s take a look at ASUS’s most advanced cooler, the hybrid DirectCU H2O cooler. On the front side of the hybrid cooler we have a pair of G1/4 inch threaded fittings for liquid cooling. This means that you‘re allowed to use your favourite barbs or compression fittings as long as there are G1/4.


Now we will get down to see the hybrid cooling solution. ASUS incorporated the DirectCU H2O cooler with a massive radiator which comes with three beefy heatpipes so that the heat can be dissipated efficiently. ASUS utilizes the Vapor Chamber technology which is known to have a better performance than regular cooling solutions. The Vapor Chamber heatsink is responsible to cool the GPU, memory and VRM of the graphics card.


Basically, there are three options of GDDR5 video memory chips available in the market, which are Elpida, Hynix and Samsung ICs. It is known that the Elpida chip really doesn’t seem to have a lot of potential for overclocking, and the Hynix IC has a good overclocking headroom but lacks of performance-per-clock efficiency. ASUS decided to use the Samsung ICs specifically K4G41325FC-HC28 for their Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum because it is the best performing IC among these three memories.


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OverClocker, Reviewer at
One of the most respected OverClockers here in Malaysia with vast knowledge in Motherboard, Graphics Card and Memory. The nick "owikh84" is not only well known in local tech sites but also international forums such as, and so on.