ASUS EAH6870 DirectCU ReviewRHKCommander959 -
Category: Video Cards
Price: $ 239
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AMD has been expanding their 6000 series offerings with a growing list of high and midrange cards, the same can be said for their partners. ASUS has released several versions of the 6870 with a new high performance model dubbed DirectCU. This is a custom direct-contact heat pipe cooler for better heat dissipation combined with ASUS Super Alloy Power components that provide a 15% performance increase and longer life/cooler operation. The components include MOS, chokes, capacitors, and a hybrid engine. The fan design is dust- and particle-proof thus expanding its lifespan by a claimed 25%. This card design also comes equipped with GPU Guard, a full length backplate that stiffens and protects the video card from awkward pressures caused by the cooling system and sagging caused by installation, and also increases damage resistance to drops and shocks. Another safeguard are thermal fuses designed to protect the card from damage if the temperatures get out of hand. GPU core voltage is also adjustable which should allow end users to achieve a solid overclock. With all of these features, it is no surprise that this 6870 is already factory overclocked as well!
The front of the box is definitely AMD colored. A knight with golden wings riding a horse in front of a castle adorns the imagery along with lightning and red clouds. Along with Voltage Tweak as an option for changing the GPU voltage through ASUS SmartDoctor, four more features show up underneath: 915 MHz core overclock, 1GB GDDR5, Full Microsoft DirectX 11 support, and Eyefinity Multi-Display technology. The back of the box lists several of the features in many languages, with four images underneath highlighting some of the important information. DirectCU is shown with the heat sink installed and a shot of it off the card with the heat pipe base. Super Alloy Power is also explained as to how it works and where it applies: MOS, chokes and capacitors all use the SAP fine metal designs. The card is able to overclock higher with voltage modification being readily supported through the ASUS SmartDoctor software. Two DVI ports and two DisplayPorts allow this card to be hooked up to a multitude of display devices.
The top of the box carries the cloud/lightning from the front, the design is the same as most other boxes as the top slips inside with a flap to keep it shut. The main features are boldly listed so there is no missing that this box contains a 6870 with 1GB of GDDR5. The side has a list of recommended system requirements, which sounds a bit counter-intuitive. The requirements are translated into several languages to help the package sell globally, placed nearby is the barcode label that has the serial/part numbers and UPC.
Since the text can be hard to read, a closer view of the recommended system requirements is added. The other side is very similar to the top with things just moved around mostly. With the outside of the box examined it is time to open it up.
The contents are encased inside a folding black cardboard box with the ASUS logo stamped in the center. Opening it shows a small folded cardboard flap sitting next to a piece of foam, the two work together to protect the graphics card underneath that sits surrounded by a form-fitting foam shell. A standard antistatic bag is the last line of defense for the card.
Time to get a look at the card!