A Closer Look
ASUS has made big changes to their cooler. The most apparent is the use of new, larger heatpipes. Especially the one going upward in the picture is huge now, with a 10 mm diameter. In total, five heatpipes are present. They all make direct contact with the GPU core, hence the name "Direct" CU.
To prevent the card from bending under the cooler's weight, ASUS installed a metal bar that stabilizes the card.
Voltage regulation circuitry is cooled by a small heatsink.
The metal backplate protects the card against accidental damage during handling and makes it look like a much more complete product.
The card requires one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-Express power cable for operation. This power configuration is good for up to 300 W of power draw. Please note that the power connectors are flipped, which makes them easier to install.
ASUS is using a different voltage controller than the reference design. We are not exactly sure what model it is since it has been rebranded, but it looks like one from CHiL.
ASUS has placed three solder points for measuring and voltmodding on the back of the card.
The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Samsung and carry the model number K4G20325FD-FC03. They are specified to run at 1500 MHz (6000 MHz GDDR5 effective).
NVIDIA's GK110 graphics processor was first introduced as a Tesla-only product for powering demanding GPU compute applications. NVIDIA has now also released it as a GeForce GPU. It uses 7.1 billion transistors on a die size that we measured to be 561 mm². The GPU is produced on a 28 nanometer process at TSMC, Taiwan.