Asus GTX 560 DirectCU II TOPFor this test, Asus supplied us with its highest performance GeForce GTX 560 model:
For its most overclocked GeForce GTX 560s, Asus obviously goes for its DirectCU II cooling system. This is what they've done for the OC (850 MHz) model and the TOP (925 MHz) that we tested here, but not for the more basic model, clocked at the reference clocks and using a DirectCU type cooler with one single fan. Note moreover that the PCB + DirectCU II cooler are entirely identical to the versions of the DirectCU II cooler used on the GeForce GTX 560 Ti.
As is often the case with Asus, the manufacturing quality of this GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II is better than average. The PCB is matte black and there’s a metallic bar to ensure rigidity as well as a metal casing that gives the card a high end overall feel. It looks quite different to the plastics used on low end cards that you’ll often find on competitor models.
Nevertheless as you’ll see in the tests which follow, it does seem that Asus has prioritised the look over noise level control when designing the Direct CU II casing.
Under the casing, the cooler is made up of a wide aluminium base from which three copper heatpipes lead to link up to a small radiator. There are two 75mm fans for cooling, one of which is placed above the base and the other above the radiator. There’s also a small radiator in aluminium for the sensitive power stage components.
The power stage has 6 phases to supply the GPU and an additional phase for the memory. Two 6-pin power connectors are required and the small diodes at the back of the PCB indicate whether they are correctly linked up when the system is off. While the PCB is only 23cm long, the cooler sticks 2cm out the back of the card.
In pushing the GPU clock up from 810 to 925 MHz, Asus has of course used most of the overclocking potential. We therefore had to make do with a very slight overclocking, only able to take it up to 950 MHz, or a gain of a little under 3%.
Asus delivers its card with an installation guide, a CD with drivers, a DVI to VGA adaptor, a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor and 2 double molex to 6-pin PCI Express power supply cable convertors.
The OC and TOP models come in at €203 and €213 respectively with a three year guarantee.