ASUS GTX570 DirectCU II EditionGeekspeak411 -
Category: Video Cards
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The 500 series from NVIDIA is not new by any means, but as cards go, a few months can lead to a lot of refinement when vendors are able to really set its cards apart from the reference design and get creative. Some apply massive factory overclocks, some offer passive cooling through massive heatsinks, and others even offer built-on waterblocks and additional RAM or some other goodies. The GTX570 DirectCU II Edition from ASUS brings a very awesome redesign to the table in the form of what could very well be a passive tri-slot cooler with five big heatpipes, but then goes ever further, strapping two gigantic fans on for the ride! What we have here, ladies and gentlegeeks, is a three slot GTX570 from ASUS, complete with dual 80mm fans, five direct contact heatpipes, and voltage tweak capability housed in a full metal casing that looks as beastly as the specs sound.
ASUS has a good reputation for pushing out quality products at every price level, from pure reference designs all the way to the wildly expensive ARES series cards, so my hopes are high for this new design, to say the least. I love PC gaming, as it is a great way for developers to really push their skills and a great way for enthusiasts to interactively push their systems. I do not, however, enjoy blasting the audio channels to neighborhood-waking levels just to drown out the awful whine of cooling fans. Now don't get me wrong, I love pushing my computers to the limits, but sometimes the fan levels required to do so consistently are just not worth it.
ASUS graphics card packaging is pretty uniform across the brand. In the top left corner, there's a big white ASUS logo with a big DirectCU II badge right underneath. On the right side, a huge, heavily clad knight dominates the atmosphere backed by ASUS-standard heavily saturated gradients. Along the bottom are badges promoting the GeForce classification of this card, its massive factory overclock of — wait for it — 10 MHz over the reference design, and other tech specs. Since this article is published by OverclockersClub.com, I will definitely push the card a bit further than ASUS has, but that has to wait until later on in the review. On the back of the packaging, the company decided to once more assault the eye with the usual few bullets printed in a plethora of languages, giving the faint hope of useful information, but instead offering trivial facts and marketing terms — in a multitude of dialects so diverse, ancient creators of the Rosetta Stone would be proud. It's not all lost hope on the back though — underneath that panel lie some more unique badges advertising the card's cooling system and other properietary technologies. Overall, a nice looking box, but that's not what I buy parts for anyways, so let's move on!
Next up is a matte black box with a subtle gold ASUS logo printed on the cover. Releasing the flaps and lifting the cover reveals a similarly-themed black envelope-type container that holds the manual and driver disc and is suspended in the middle of the packaging by a mediocre-grade black Styrofoam. Lifting the top piece of Styrofoam reveals the gold at the end of the rainbow, the GTX570 in its antistatic bag with a few accessories right below.
Only the basics are included here — you get a DVI to VGA adapter, a dual PCI-E 6-pin to PCI-E 8-pin, a CrossFire bridge, and the envelope with a quick start guide and driver disc inside. Nothing much to see here, but the envelope is nicely finished.
The packaging looks good, the card is well protected during shiping, and the accessory bundle is adequate, if not a little slim. No big issues here, so let's see the card itself!