ASUS ENGTX570 DirectCU II Video Card Review

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Overclocking the ASUS GTX570 DirectCU II

This is always the part of the review I enjoy most, pushing perfectly good hardware to the breaking point.  We were a bit suspicious as to why ASUS would go to all the trouble of designing this great looking custom PCB, putting on this massive cooling solution, upgrading one power port to 8-pin PCI-e, and putting on that sweet looking back plate only to factory overclock this card by 10MHz.  It does run dead silent with that setup but there has to be more there, there!  Starting with the baseline of our GTX 570 Classified from EVGA we knew this chip could at least run 960MHz.  From there we just kept pushing.

 ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II Overclock
We did manually set the fans to 100% to extract the maximum cooling out of that monster solution before seeing how far we could push this card.  After playing with balancing the memory clock and core clock we hit an amazing 1006MHz for a 37% overclock.  Yes, we broke the 1GHz barrier on AIR!!   We actually got it to run as high as 1011MHz but it was very flaky where it could run one benchmark and then crash on the next.  We pulled it back until it was stable under all conditions and that was the 1006MHz level.  After checking a few popular overclocking forums this is better than several people running water cooled GPU’s showing just how well ASUS designed this card and cooling solution.      
We were amazed given that the EVGA GTX 570 Classified we reviewed here had so many power tweaks to help it overclock and it stopped at 960MHz before becoming unstable and this card just smoked it.  I can tell you that with out a doubt it has to be the cooling because that EVGA card still had a single fan vapor chamber design that was only slightly modified from stock against this three slot, direct heat pipe contact, dual fan cooling tornado.  We are going to have to go back to our Classified and see how it performs with a better cooling solution given these results.
ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II Overclock Performance
Alien vs Predator overclock
The first test we re-ran after this massive overclock was the Aliens vs Predators test.
Aliens vs Predator overclock graph
This represents a whopping 30% and 35% bump in performance beating out the mighty EVGA Classified at factory speeds AND our overclocked speeds.  The EVGA GTX 570 Classified posted 28.6FPS and 45.9FPS when we pushed it to 960MHz which this ASUS just passes on by.
Next we ran 3DMARK 11 to see how much our scores improved over the stock speeds.
3DMark11_Overclock.jpg (550×346)
3DMark 11 Overclock Chart
This card just blew away the competition once the hidden horsepower was unleashed.  I am not surprised by the 29%, 31%, and 32% gains given how weak of a factory overclock we started from.  Another trouncing of the competition as this card easily again beats the Classified both in factory overclock by 18%  and our extra overclock by 1%.  With our tweak the EVGA hit 2314 on extreme.
Paying for what you get
ASUS GTX 570 Power Consumption Overclocked
Here is a category that you don’t want to win and unfortunately this enormous overclock does.  The ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II went from the middle of the pack to the leader in power usage as quick as it overclocked.  Not that 42 watts is a crazy amount of power given the level of overclock but if you did this and were a Folding person it would probably make a nice dent in your budget.
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