ASUS ENGTX570 DirectCU II Video Card Review

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Closer Look at the GTX 570 DirectCU II

The ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II ENGTX570 is a big card and much bigger than many other versions of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 platform.  It is also a fairly heavy card mainly due to the use of aluminum for the fan shroud instead of the typical plastic which gives it a really solid feel.  ASUS did not simply tweak the reference GTX 570, they came up with a totally custom solution.  

ASUS GTX 570 Front

The front of the card follows in ASUS’s current theme of a flat black textured aluminum fan shroud with three sharp red bands.  The massive heat sinks and heat pipes can be seen behind the dual 92mm fans.
ASUS GTX 570 back
On the back of the card, ASUS is nice enough to include a full back plate with a few graphics oriented to show through a typical windowed case.  Back plates serve two purposes, first they make the backs of these GPU’s look great and second they provide additional cooling performance as a large passive aluminum cooling surface to wick that heat away.
ASUS GTX 570 Ports
In this image you can see how large this triple slot cooler is.  The actual cooling solution is only 2.5 slots but the mounting plate takes three.  You can also see the dual DVI-D ports with protective caps on them, the HDMI port, and the display port.  Even though this card has four ports, be aware only two of them can be active at any time.
ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II 
ASUS GTX 570 top no heatsink
In this top shot we took off the fan shroud so you could get a better look at the card.  You can see the 6 pin + 8 pin PCI-E power ports on the back edge.  More interesting is that there is no heatsink contact with the memory chips in this design.  Between the 92mm fan and the use of that back plate it must cool the memory enough that it negates the need for more.
ASUS heatsink
ASUS’s DirectCU heat sink uses heat pipes to make direct contact with the GPU.  You can see the five heat pipes in this shot and how they are flattened to lay flush with the top of the IHS.  If you want to move a lot of heat, this is the way to get it done.

ASUS GTX 560 vs 570 DirectCU II
ASUS GTX 560 vs 570 DirectCU II
To give you an idea of just how big this cooling solution is on the ASUS GTX 570 we grabbed the ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II Top we reviewed awhile back and set them side by side.  This card is a total monster with thick cooling fins off those five heat pipes and an overall package that just dwarfs its little brother.
ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II Custom PCB
ASUS GTX 570 ENGTX570 board
We pulled the cooling solution off the card so you can see the custom black PCB ASUS designed for this card.  They moved most of the capacitors around and added a nice heatsink over the VRM’s  The only thing reference about this card is where the GPU and memory chips are placed.  We happen to have a GTX 570/580 water block and check to see if there was a chance it would fit, not even close.
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