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ASUS ENGTX580 DirectCU II Review

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Testing of the ASUS ENGTX580 DirectCU II will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where they fall on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing, with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the cards at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see the effects of any increases in clock speed. The cards are placed in order from highest to lowest performing in the graphs to show where the cards fall by comparison. The drivers used are the 11.5 Catalyst drivers for the AMD-based cards and the 275.27 for NVIDIA-based cards


Comparison Video Cards:



  • ASUS ENGTX580 DirectCU II 979/1958/1152MHz

Just the overclocking street cred alone puts this card into the upper crust of GTX 580 video cards for good reason. The overclocking results achieved with the GTX 580 DCII are the highest I have reached out of the five-odd GTX 580 cards I have tested. No small feat when you look at it. ASUS has this card equipped to run the numbers with its exclusive SAP power circuit. Run the numbers it did on the GF110 core. I was able to reach a stable core clock of 979MHz, or almost 200MHz over the as-delivered 782MHz. In benchmarks that loaded the card less heavily, 1000MHz was not out of the question by really squeezing the voltage to the core. Even so, it took 1.15v to reach the maximum stable clock speeds delivered in my testing. Not all cards will reach this high, but ASUS has the cards binned pretty well it seems. The memory was a bit less forgiving, but really the only cooling on the memory comes from the heated air discharged by the pair of 100mm fans. The results come in as increases of 25% on the core and 15% on the 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory. Both respectable numbers, but the memory leaves some performance on the table. Then again, when many of these cards are pushed under LN2, this really is a moot point. ASUS has a pair of utilities that can be used for overclocking the ENGTX580 DCII. First is the old standby in ASUS SmartDoctor. This utility is a little bit less flashy than GPU Tweak, but is just as capable of getting an overclock from the card. I used SmartDoctor to manage the overclocking of this card in my testing as that is what comes with the card on the driver/utility disk, although you can get GPU Tweak directly from ASUS.


Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consists of looping Crysis Warhead and Unigine 2.5 for 30 minutes each to see where the clock speeds will fail when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment fails, then the clock speeds and tests are rerun until they pass the full hour of testing.


  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Civilization V
  4. HAWX 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.5
  7. Mafia II
  8. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  9. Lost Planet 2
  10. 3DMark 11
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption

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