ASUS GeForce GTX 680 Direct CU II 2 GB Review 56

ASUS GeForce GTX 680 Direct CU II 2 GB Review

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NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680 was introduced just weeks ago and has taken the enthusiast market by storm. It offers great performance at significantly reduced power consumption. NVIDIA's dynamic overclocking algorithm works well and provides a nice speed boost for the card. We are now seeing the first custom GTX 680 board designs pop up, the ASUS GTX 680 Direct CU II is the first to reach our labs.

ASUS has chosen to go triple slot with their GTX 680 Direct CU II TOP. The triple slot DirectCU concept has been introduced a while ago and has been very successful with users who have large cases and want to focus on better thermal performance and reduced noise levels.

In addition to the new cooling solution, ASUS has increased the clock speeds of the card significantly. Base clock is now at 1058 MHz, and the card will ramp up to 1280 MHz when conditions allow. Pricing is increased by a reasonable amount, ASUS is asking $520 for their card.

ASUS GTX 680 DCII TOP Market Segment Analysis
HD 6970
HD 7850
HD 7870
GTX 580
HD 7950
HD 7970
GTX 680
HD 6990
GTX 590
Shader Units15361024128051217922048153615362x 15362x 512
ROPs32323248323232322x 322x 48
Graphics ProcessorCaymanPitcairnPitcairnGF110TahitiTahitiGK104GK1042x Cayman2x GF110
Transistors2640M2800M2800M3000M4310M4310M3500M3500M2x 2640M2x 3000M
Memory Size2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB1536 MB3072 MB3072 MB2048 MB2048 MB2x 2048 MB2x 1536 MB
Memory Bus Width256 bit256 bit256 bit384 bit384 bit384 bit256 bit256 bit2x 256 bit2x 384 bit
Core Clock880 MHz860 MHz1000 MHz772 MHz800 MHz925 MHz1006 MHz+1058 MHz+830 MHz607 MHz
Memory Clock1375 MHz1200 MHz1200 MHz1002 MHz1250 MHz1375 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz1250 MHz855 MHz


Package Front
Package Back


You will receive:
  • Graphics card
  • Driver CD (not pictured) + Documentation
  • Long SLI Bridge
  • PCI-E power cable

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

ASUS is using their famous Direct CU cooler on their card. We have seen this design on my other cards from the company. Total length of the card (including the cooler) is 30 cm.

The back of the card is covered by a protective foil, which can't be easily removed due to it being stuck below the slot metal piece. ASUS has informed us that this will be fixed in the retail version of the card.

Graphics Card Height

The card requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one full size HDMI port and one full size DisplayPort. You may use all the outputs at the same time, thanks to NVIDIA Kepler's new display output controller.

An HDMI sound device is included in the GPU, too. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible which includes HD audio and support for Blu-ray 3D movies. The DisplayPort outputs are version 1.2 which enables the use of hubs and Multi-Stream transport.

You may combine up to four GTX 680 cards from any vendor in a multi-GPU SLI configuration for higher framerates or better image quality settings.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Pictured above are photos of the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc., please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.
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