Final Thoughts & Conclusions
ASUS has been making top quality motherboards for years and that commitment to quality has continued through to their full line up of video cards. They are often listed on the short list of manufacturers when thinking about which version of any given series of graphics card to buy. This sample is no different with our testing showing the ASUS GTX560 DirectCU II Top performing between 1% and 30% better than the NVIDIA reference card across the benchmarks. In order to get this additional performance it will cost you and additional $34.00 based on the best pricing we could find on the day of this review.
We will comment that there seems to be a bit of confusion on the web when searching for this particular card as there is also a GTX560 Ti by ASUS that has similar part number and naming convention. The Ti version of this card was selling for $249.99 or an additional $30.00 over the $219.99 that this version is currently going for.
While we love the quality and performance of this card, it does make you wonder why ASUS priced this card so close to its big brother the GTX 560 Ti. You really have to think about how you want to spend your limited funds when you are looking at these models from ASUS as one sale could wipe out the cost difference.
We really liked the aluminum shroud and dual 80cm fans combined with the direct contact DirectCU II cooling solution. The textured black with raised red bars makes this card look like a race car and the factory overclocking makes it perform like one right out of the box. ASUS’s limited 3 year warranty gives you piece of mind and shows that they really did build this card to last with high quality components and a keen eye to minimizing the thermal signature. This card should be able to drive the most demanding games on a 30″ display at native 2560 x 1600 resolution as long as you were willing to dial back the eye candy to achieve playable frame rates. Our guess however is that if you are running a 30″ display for gaming you probably would not be looking to purchase a budget card and would instead be looking at the GTX570, GTX580, or even the GTX590 from ASUS. If you are running a display smaller than 30″ then you should be able to crank up the eye candy on all but the most demanding games and hit perfectly playable frame rates as shown by the 1920 x 1200 test results. The new GPU Tweak software is about as simple as it gets and can make even the most novice user an over clocker as we showed just by pushing everything to maximum. without a hitch. Also if you are someone who likes to monitor all aspects of your system the wealth of GPU information will satisfy your hunger. Finally the packaging and thoughtful covers for all the exposed contacts made us feel like our money was well spent on a quality solution.
Given everything we liked about this card from ASUS we would probably pass on this one and either save $20.00 by buying the little brother, ENGTX560 DCII OC/2DI/1GD5, and utilize the awesome GPU Tweak to crank up the overclock to be the same or more than this TOP model or spend another $34.00 and purchase the Ti version with an even better performing GPU.
We really like this card, it just seems to have an identity crisis between truly entry level and the mid range in the 500 series. It is great to have a card for every budget but $30.00 increments might be a bit too granular.
Legit Bottom Line: Very well built factory overclocked card that runs very cool and is almost silent at 100% load . While it is super easy to overclock even further with the new GPU Tweak software, the price means we would probably look at getting the GTX560 Ti edition from ASUS instead.