ASUS GeForce GTX 570 Direct CU II Review 22

ASUS GeForce GTX 570 Direct CU II Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The ASUS GeForce GTX 570 Direct CU II is available online for $360.
  • Minimal price increase over the reference design
  • Very quiet in both idle and load
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • No NVIDIA power limiting system installed
  • Full size HDMI & DisplayPort output
  • Support for DirectX 11
  • Support for CUDA / PhysX
  • Limited overclocking potential (on our sample)
  • Out of the box overclock is minimal
  • Triple slot cooler might take up too much space for multi-GPU configurations
  • Still limited to two active display outputs per card
  • DirectX 11 relevance limited at this time
Visually the most important feature of the ASUS GTX 570 Direct CU II is its huge cooler that occupies three slots in your system. Yes, three slots. ASUS promises that this will add more cooling capability to their beast, so the card can run cooler and quieter. We have heard that promise in the past for triple slot cards and it didn't work out every time. First of all I have to praise ASUS for making the bold move of bringing a card to the market that requires three slots. In our testing the noise levels of the ASUS GTX 570 Direct CU II are simply amazing. After lots of complaints about the GTX 480's fan noise, NVIDIA already put a lot of effort into quietening their GTX 570 reference board, and they did well. However, the ASUS GTX 570 DCU2 is a lot quieter than that. Its idle fan noise is in the neighbourhood of other "quiet" cards from all performance ranges, so that's good already if you are planning on doing a lot of desktop work. Under load the card's fan noise is outstanding. It is quieter than most mid-range cards but can still deliver a massive performance punch being able to handle anything you can throw at any single monitor setup.
ASUS has applied a small factory overclock on their card, which is probably limited by NVIDIA policy. This increase results in about 1% extra performance, something you won't notice in every day gaming. Manual overclocking yielded a dissapointing 788 MHz, which seems to be caused by the low 3D voltage of 0.99 V, other GTX 570 cards run between 1.05 and 1.15 V which affects overclocking as well as power consumption as heat. Our voltage scaling testing supports that the card has really a lot more potential than what can be easily reached without extensive mods and complex cooling.
ASUS has also improved on the display connectivity options by providing full-size HDMI and DisplayPort connectors instead of the single mini-HDMI on the reference board. However, you are still limited to two active display outputs due to NVIDIA's GPU design.
Last but not least, the good news is that ASUS will only ask a $10 price premium for their GTX 570 Direct CU II over other NVIDIA reference design based boards. So the bottom line is, if you plan on investing into a single powerful GTX 570 card that will last you for a few years and don't plan on using SLI (or have a board with triple slot spacing between the PCI-E slots) then the ASUS GTX 580 Direct CU II is a great card, especially when low noise is something that matters to you. If you are willing to do some advanced overclocking, then this card could also be a good candidate as it has lots of temperature headroom for voltage increases.
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