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ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU OC Edition Review

Price: $199


The HD 6850 from AMD and its partners has been shown to deliver performance that falls just under the level of its older cousins the HD 58XX series for a nice price discount. The factory overclocked versions of the HD 6850 have been pouring out of the doors of AMD's partners. You have cards that look like reference cards with big clocks all the way up to cards that are complete redesigns of AMD's handiwork. That is what I have for you today in the form of the latest HD 6850 to roll out of ASUS's doors. The EAH6850 DirectCU. This card comes factory overclocked with speeds of 790Mhz on the core and 1000Mhz on the memory in a bid to compete with the latest factory overclocked GTX 460 cards from NVIDIA. The EAH6850 DirectCU gets its name from the enhanced cooling solution used to keep this card from overheating. Namely, a dual heat pipe cooler that utilizes Heatpipe Direct Contact technology to get the heat from the GPU into the heat sink assembly and dissipated into the airflow around the card as quickly as possible. This cooling solution is said to be 20% more efficient than the reference-based cooling solution. Hmm, equipped with better cooling and an improved build process - let's see how well the EAH6850 performs against the competition.

Closer Look:

The front panel of the box is designed to deliver a big visual impact when you see it on the store shelves with the medieval theme on the front. Just under the ASUS name branding are their slogans "Inspiring Innovation" and "Persistent Perfection". This card features ASUS Voltage Tweak option that allows you to increase the voltage to the card using the ASUS SmartDoctor overclocking suite to increase performance. In this case, the claim is 50% faster. Underneath, you have the list of technologies and build attributes that the EAH6850 DirectCU is equipped with and able to use including AMD's Eyefinity technology, HDMI 1.4a interface and 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The rear of the package illustrates the benefits of the DirectCU cooling solutions design, the connectivity options that deviate slightly from the reference design and the mention of the Voltage Tweak technology for up to 50% faster performance.













The inner packaging consists of a black box with the ASUS logo embossed in gold. Inside this box the black and gold theme is continued on all of the containers inside. On the right you have the power adapter, DVI adapter and Crossfire bridge connection. In the center box is the driver disk, manual and a disk wallet to hold your game or music disks. Underneath and encased in dense foam is the EAH6850 DIrectCU video card in all its glory.




ASUS is always generous when it comes to the accessory bundle by making sure the consumer has all the tools to make the hardware work to its fullest. The contents included are the driver disk, manual, setup guide, disk wallet, Crossfire bridge connection, DVI to VGA adapter and a dual four pin molex to six pin PCIe power adapter.


Let's dig a little deeper and see what else separates the EAH6850 from the norm.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Video Card
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Far Cry 2
  6. Testing: Metro 2033
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  9. Testing: Just Cause 2
  10. Testing: Unigine 2.1
  11. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  12. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  13. Testing: 3DMark 06
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Testing: Temperatures
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion
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