ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP Video Card Review

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Video games have always gone through phases. There are rushes of games in specific genres that flood the market, seemingly all at once. Amazingly, they seem to capture the attention of the market all at once, also. For a while, it was all Mario/Sonic type games. Like it or not, they are basically the same, though Sonic’s quills are probably less coarse than Luigi’s beard. Then there were the racing games…followed by violent racing games (anyone besides me looking for a ROM of “Road Rash”?). Right now, it’s all about the war games. Not “War Games”, which was possibly the first popular movie about hacking, but actual games revolving around combat. If the kid from “War Games” ever did that today, he would probably wind up thrown in a North Korean prison camp, so he would pretty much wind up playing one with nVidia 3D Vision built in.

ASUS GTX 680 Angle View

 

So, I’ve tried Battlefield 3, COD 4, etc., and frankly they leave me flat. If I am going to be running around with a gun, at least give me some zombies to kill. I’m not looking for a “real combat” experience. If I wanted that, I’d simply enlist (and you have a better chance of hitting the lottery and splitting the prize with Elvis than that happening). If it has to be real war, at least give me a tank to drive. They’re big, incredibly powerful, built rock solid and fast. That’s right, I said “fast”. Even the WWII models were cruising through deserts at 65 mph. In a battle, that’s exactly what you want….probably exactly the same qualities you want in a video card.

ASUS GTX 680 Top Flat View

 

We have seen the mammoth performance of the new Kepler 104 GPU, and with the GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP, ASUS ups the ante on every front. Starting with the obvious, the ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP sports a 143MHz overclock on the boost to bring total boost clock up to 1201MHz. Since the GTX 680 uses dynamic boost with heat playing a large part of overall attainable speeds, ASUS combats this with a five direct touch heat pipe and dual fan cooling solution in the award winning DirectCU II. DirectCU II on the GTX 680 allows for 20% more effective cooling while remaining 14dB quieter than stock solutions, while the increased dissipation keeps temps significantly lower at higher speeds and voltages; hence, more headroom for your GPU. Large video cards are very susceptible to microfracturing due to their large size and nature of install, but ASUS combats this in several ways. The GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP features a metal backplate covering the entire back of the circuit board to almost completely nullify any possible flex. The board, itself, uses a process for higher strength with less flexibility, as well as a dual bracing system to reinforce even further around the GPU area and VRM, which is most critical. Reducing these microfractures prevents loss in conductivity along the circuit board, preserving optimum performance and preventing added heat build up (just like a light bulb, more resistance=more heat). A 10 phase PWM DIGI+ VRM with Super Alloy Power and Japanese made caps assures consistent, clean, precise power to the GPU. For hardcore gamers and tweakers, the GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP offers VGA hotwire, allowing the board to be hardwired to select ROG motherboards for complete control directly from the BIOS. For the average user, the included GPU Tweak software provides excellent OC flexibility and monitoring to tweak the GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP to your specific needs.

 

 

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