ASUS had launched a series of graphics cards with the DirectCU based technology; a few weeks back we reviewed the ASUS GTX 580 and it is one of the fastest cards around. Today, we see yet another one from NVIDIA’s stable – the ASUS GTX 570 DircetCU II.

Really really BIG!

Really, really BIG!

Many manufacturers of GPU’s work on the base design of an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card and incorporate their own tweaks and features in them. ASUS follows suit and has worked on the base design of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 570 and added features such as DirectCU with dual fan design, a voltage tweak, factory overclocked among other nifty additions.

This card is designed for people who are hard core gamers and are looking for a solution in the price range between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000. Let us see how the GTX 570 DirectCU II fared in comparison to its powerful bigger brother.

HDMI,DisplayPort and 2 DVI ports

HDMI,DisplayPort and 2 DVI ports

Design and Features
The reference design of the GTX 570 is quite different as compared to the ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II version. The most noticeable differences one sees when they look at the card are its size and dual fans. This is a big card and it takes up three slots on an average ATX motherboard. The design of this card is similar to other DirectCU II cards made by ASUS which can be seen in the form of the GTX 580, this design is not limited to NVIDIA cards; ASUS has used this similar design on AMD cards, as well. The major advantage of this design is that it offers immense cooling. With DirectCU II, this card may be a big card but cooling on this card works like a charm. ASUS has fitted five copper heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU to speed up heat dissipation. Further to this, DirectCU II takes cooling to the next level with the 80mm fans.

The ASUS  GTX 570 Direct CU II comes overclocked at 742MHz, while the base version was clocked at 732MHz. The very slight bump in the GPU is pretty much negligible. The video memory on this card is GDDR5 1280 MB which is the same on the stock version from NVIDIA. 

This card features the same ports found on the GTX 580 DirectCU II. These connectivity ports include a HDMI port, a DisplayPort and 2 DVI ports. This card like most of NVIDIA’s recent cards can support 3D content. Unlike AMD GPU’s which have Eyefinity and can support up to 6 video displays, this card can support a maximum of two displays at the same time. For more displays to be added an addition card is required.  Bundled up with the GTX 570 is a SLI cable. However, ASUS says that one must check the space of their motherboard slot before using SLI. Like the GTX 580, this card can support 3-way SLI.

The ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II requires 219W of power to run. It has 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors while the base version has two 6 pin power connectors. The GTX 580 has two 8 pin power connectors.

Test Rig Configuration

Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40 GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE P67A-UD3R
Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 6 GB DDR3 (3 x 2 GB)
Hard drive: WD Velociraptor  300 GB
GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 1000W

80mm fan offers great cooling solutions

80mm fan offers great cooling solutions

Performance
The card was run through a variety of benchmarks and it fared well, overall. We pitted its scores against those of the GTX 580 and it did not fare very badly in comparison, either. The standard 3D Mark test which we ran yielded a result of 21619 as opposed to the GTX 580’s 24240.

The scores of most of the games we tested the card on were good. Games such as Crysis 2 and Mafia 2 fared well with both averaging above 60 frames per second. Heavy games such as Just Cause 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 also performed well in comparison with the GTX 580. The Heaven Benchmark also brought about a decent performance from the GTX 570 with it having an average frame rate of 35.3 fps.

Average frames per second in various benchmarks

Average frames per second in various benchmarks

Each of the scores denoted above are with video settings at maximum, anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering as well, at maximum.  While running these tests we noticed that the fan was awfully silent. This was a really good attribute of the card that has fared well in its price range. The lack of noise from the twin 80mm fans as well as a fairly cool card even at GPU intensive benchmarks like 3D Mark is something that is quite remarkable. This performance of the cooling was tested in air conditioned as well as non air conditioned environments. The fan could not be heard in a completely silent room, this by far is the best part of this graphics card. Overall the card may not have performed at the same level as that of the GTX 580, but the scores were not too far off.

Quietness of the fans are a great feature

Quietness of the fans are a great feature

Verdict
The ASUS GTX 570 Direct CU II is priced at Rs. 25,000, and though it may be on the slightly pricier side, this card definitely does deliver some stellar performances. The performances are almost on par with the GTX 580, it has same cooler in comparison to the GTX 580 and the fan is quieter than its bigger brother. A notable mention is the AMD’s flagship GPU the HD 6970, the  MSI variant of this card offers slightly higher performance at a price of Rs. 21,250, which is worth purchasing. So if you are a high end gamer looking to overclock, the ASUS GTX 570 Direct CU II with its massive cooling solution, is the way to go.

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