ASUS is working on its second Republic of Gamers (ROG) ARES graphics card, the ARES 2 dual-HD 7870. Its first ARES was dual-HD 5870. ASUS' decision to go with a pair of Radeon HD 7870 GPUs, instead of the premium HD 7970, certainly comes as a surprise. With it, one could deduce the target market-segment ASUS is aiming at: US $650-750, providing a solution that outperforms even the fastest HD 7970 GHz Edition and GTX 680 graphics cards, while being cheaper than Radeon HD 7990 (which is MIA), dual-HD 7970 X2, and of course, the GTX 690.
ASUS ARES 2 will back two 28 nm "Pitcairn" GPUs with all components unlocked; likely factory-overclocked speeds beyond those of the HD 7870 GHz Edition; and a total of 4 GB of GDDR5 memory (2 GB per GPU system). The card will draw power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and will have a TDP of around 300W. It will take advantage of AMD ZeroCore CrossFire, with which it powers down the second GPU when not gaming, or with light 3D loads that the first GPU can munch on. With the monitor idling for a set amount of time, both GPUs power down. It's likely that ASUS will use a triple-slot cooling solution, despite the fact that the HD 7870 is a generally cool GPU. Pictured below is the first-generation ROG ARES (dual-HD 5870).