Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II Review by James
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Asus GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II Review

August 5th, 2011 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

 

What we have here is the Asus GTX 570 Direct CU II; This version features a heavily modified heatsink/fan setup and also supports “Voltage Tweak Technology”, giving the card potential for some serious overclocking.

The packaging suggests that this card runs 20% cooler than a standard Nvidia GTX 570 and that the “Voltage Tweak Technology” may yield a speed increase of up to 50%.

 

 

The card features a base clock of 742MHz (up 10MHz from a standard card) and the memory is clocked at the standard 3800MHz. There are no additions to the standard bundle that features a manual and a driver/manual CD.

 

Features

 

Super Alloy Power Super Alloy Power technology uses special alloy formula in critical power delivery components for a 15% performance boost, 35°C cooler operation and 2.5 times longer lifespan.

 

Based on ASUS DirectCU architecture, which uses copper heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU to speed up heat dissipation for over 20% cooler performance, DirectCU II takes cooling further with twin 80mm fans for 600% airflow. Direct CU II - 20% cooler

 

Voltage Tweak Technology Full throttle overclocking with exclusive ASUS Voltage Tweak via Smart Doctor – boosting 50%* more speed, performance and satisfaction!

 

Specifications

Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
Bus Standard PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory GDDR5 1280MB
Engine Clock 742 MHz
CUDA Core 480
Memory Clock 3800 MHz ( 950 MHz GDDR5 )
RAMDAC 400 MHz
Memory Interface 320-bit
Resolution D-Sub Max Resolution : 2048×1536
DVI Max Resolution : 2560×1600
Interface D-Sub Output : Yes x 1
DVI Output : Yes x 2 (DVI-I)
HDMI Output : Yes x 1
Display Port : Yes x 1 (Regular DP)
Accessories 1 x Power cable
1 x DVI to D-Sub adaptor
1 x Extended SLI cable
ASUS Features DirectCU Series
Super Alloy Power
Dimensions 11.5 ” x 5 ” Inch
Note To have the best cooling performance ASUS ENGTX570 DCII/2DIS/1280MD5 extends the Fansink to 2.5 slot , please check your motherboard slot space before SLI

 

First Impressions

 

Asus GTX 570 DirectCUII-card-front

 

The NVIDIA GTX 570 is the little brother of the mighty GTX 580, two of which can be found in my rig. So the question was how well would one of these cards perform against a single GTX 580 and even more interesting was to see how an SLI pair would compare to a pair of GTX 580s. Read on to see what was discovered (I’ll give you a clue and say that the journey was most interesting!).

 

Asus GTX 570 DirectCUII-card-back Asus GTX 570 DirectCUII-card-backplate

 

The card looks great and sure looks like it’s going to run cool, with the additional slot being used to make room for a larger heatsink, can the card live up to the claims on the box (20% cooler and up to 50% faster)?

I’m convinced that nothing is going to perform 50% faster (that IMHO is just stupid!), although it is caveated by an * Overclocking capability may be varied by different cards and platform. Extreme cooling is required to achieve 50% faster. “extreme cooling”, you’re not bloody kidding…

20% cooler with that heatsink/fan setup seems wholly possible though, let’s see…

 

Hardware Installation

 

Installation was easy enough (but then I do have a Silverstone FT02B case (more detail here)), although I immediately thought that if I were to SLI these cards they would end up being very close to one another (see SLI with triple slot cards) for more info on that…

 

Asus GTX 570 DirectCUII-fitted Asus GTX 570 DirectCUII-fitted-side

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

Once the card was in place and working, a fresh installation of Windows 7 Home Premium (service pack 1) was installed with all necessary drivers (see below).

Drivers installed:

Intel Chipset (INF driver ver:9.2.0.1021)
NVIDIA Graphics (275.33)
Realtek high definition audio driver ver:R2.55
Lan driver ver:14.6.4.2
ROCCAT Kone[+] driver (drv 1.45 / fw 1.40)

also

Asus Smart Doctor (version: 5.80)
Asus Gamer OSD (didn’t seem to work, but don’t really care!)

 

Hardware Performance

 

Once in Windows it was time see how the card performed in our normal set of benchmarks:

 

  • Stock GPU Performance Results – Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II (Core Clock: 742MHz / Memory Clock: 3800MHz (Effective))
Benchmark Score Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temperature
3DMark 11 5632 26.0 60.0 34.0
Unigine Heaven 621 26.0 59.0 33.0
Metro 2033 23 FPS 26.0 59.0 33.0

 

Ok, now it was time to see how far I could push the card before instability set in. By using the maximum voltage (1.1v) via the Asus Smart Doctor software I was able to push the card’s core to 861MHz and the memory to 3996MHz.

 

Asus Smart Doctor - settings

 

Was it stable? Well some may say yes but no it wasn’t. I was able to bench the machine without issue and I was even able to play games for hours, but I found that if I left the benchies running for 1/2 – 1hour they would fail. In particular 3DMark 11 would fail; the other two (Unigine Heavan & Metro 2033) seemed ok.

After a great deal of tweaking and testing I settled on a rock solid overclock of – Core Clock: 861MHz / Memory Clock: 3996MHz (Effective).

Let’s have a look at the benchmarks now:

 

  • Overclocked GPU Performance Results – Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II (Core Clock: 861MHz / Memory Clock: 3996MHz (Effective))
Benchmark Score Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temperature
3DMark 11 6353 26.0 70.0 44.0
Unigine Heaven 692 26.0 70.0 44.0
Metro 2033 25.33 FPS 26.0 68.0 42.0

 

Well that’s a pretty impressive overclock (gaining 721 points in 3DMark 11), although as you can see the card is not really getting that hot (which is great of course!), suggesting that I’m not being denied a further overclock due to thermal issues, looks like the chip’s just not gonna go any further!

Now let’s see how this overclocked card compares against the far more expensive NVIDIA GTX 580 as found in my rig (although I have 2, only 1 was used for this test).

 

  • Overclocked GPU Performance Results – Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II (Core Clock: 861MHz / Memory Clock: 3996MHz (Effective))

vs

  • Stock GPU Performance Results – Palit GTX 580 (from my rig)
GPU Benchmark Score Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temperature
GTX 570 3DMark 11 6353 26.0 70.0 44.0
GTX 580 3DMark 11 6381 26.0 76.0 50.0
GTX 570 Unigine Heaven 692 26.0 70.0 44.0
GTX 580 Unigine Heaven 754 26.0 76.0 50.0
GTX 570 Metro 2033 25.33 FPS 26.0 68.0 42.0
GTX 580 Metro 2033 27.33 FPS 26.0 75.0 49.0

 

Wow, the Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II runs it real close in the 3DMark 11 test coming within 28 points of my GTX 580. The other two tests (more real world gaming tests!) show the GTX 580s more advanced architecture is still a force to be reckoned with. But bear in mind the additional power of the GTX 580 costs considerably more…

 

  • A quick word about SLI

While reviewing the Asus GTX 580 DirectCU II I was lucky enough to get hold of a second to allow me to do some SLI testing, unfortuntley this didn’t go so well (click here for full story).

The SLI results have not been taken into acoount in this review and should not be of concern unless you are thinking of SLIing these cards.

 

Final Thoughts

 

As a single card the Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II is a great card, it offers a great 3 slot super cool design and has good overclocking headroom (although some way off the 50% possible claim on the box!).

The most impressive attribute of this card is its cooler, which really seems to do an excellent job keeping the card some 6-7 degrees below my GTX 580 even when over-volted and overclocked. It’s a shame then that with such a great cooler the card can’t overclock more, maybe better chip selection (binning) is the answer.

As far as value for money is concerned (the card is currently retailing for about £270) that’s around £70 less than its bigger brother the GTX 580, given its performance the card seems well priced (although it’s worth noting that the card is all you get, there is no bundle to speak of).

Overall I’m very impressed with the Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II and if I were in the market for a single card solution and couldn’t stretch to the cost of a GTX 580, this card would be close to the top of my list. Just remember that there is no guarantee of a massive overclock…

 

Verdict

 

  Design/Quality James awards the Asus GTX 570 DirectCU II a Silver
Performance
Value
Overall

 


  1. Sousuke
    December 5th, 2011 at 02:40 | #1

    Hi James,
    Would you recommend this card now as its going around for £240 @Scan.
    Was planning to get the GTX 560 448 core but that is more expansive then this one.
    I’m using a Silverstone TJ07 case so it should fit.
    Thanks.

  2. James
    December 5th, 2011 at 09:29 | #2

    That’s a good price, for a great card, just remember that triple slot cards are NOT so good for SLI. See here, if you’ve not seen it already -> http://www.pcgameware.co.uk/blogs/sli-triple-slot-cards-good-idea/

    ;-)

  3. steve
    April 10th, 2012 at 13:44 | #3

    James, I really like your reviews and due to your review I bought this card. I have a question about the need to OC though considering all I want to be able to do is play Skyrim on max settings. Right now my system is this:

    Coolermaster Elite 430 case w/3 fans
    ULTRA 750w PSU
    Asus Maximus II Formula Motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Extreme 3.0Ghz Q9650 Quad Core CPU
    Coolermaster Hyper N520 CPU Cooler
    8gb (4×2)G.Skill Ram Memory (PC2-8500) 1066
    2x Western Digital Raptor x 150gb 10000rpm HDD in RAID0
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD
    ASUS DVD Burner
    ASUS Nvidia Geforce GTX 570 DirectCUII OC 1280mb Video Card.

    I am not one to OC as it tends to shorten the life of your hardware. Being someone without an unlimited budget I need to make things last as long as possible. That said I also love the beauty of some of these new games and want to experience them with max settings. Is OCing necessary to get these max settings?

    • James
      April 10th, 2012 at 19:47 | #4

      Hi Steve, thanks for the kind words, they go a long way…

      There shouldn’t be too much need to overclock your GTX 570 DirectCUII card for Skyrim as it’s not that graphically intensive (although it does still look good!). While there is no need to overclock your card currently, there may come the time in the future, and of course with the card you have you should be able to eek out another 10%+ should you need it, which is good.

      I am also making an assumption that the resolution that you game in is less than or equal to 1920×1080 as the resolution has a significant impact on the performance of the graphics card.

      ATB J

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