Graphics - Published on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 12:51 Written by Anton Karmehed
ASUS is working on a custom version of NVIDIA's flagship GeForce GTX 580 and it promises something out of the ordinary. ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II uses a custom made circuit board, which will result in a more powerful voltage compartment for the GF110 GPU and a manly cooler with two 100mm fans.
ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II will make the fastest single-GPU evern more powerful and it all starts with a custom made circuit board. This was a must to fit the new power circuitry that bless the board with 8 separate GPU phases, which is two more than NVIDIA's reference design. Besides more phases, each phase will be capable of delivering more power than before and offer a lot higher max capacity.
ASUS has also pampered the memory compartment where it unlike the reference design doesn't draw power from the PCIe port but directly from the 8-pin power connectors hidden behind the large cooler. At extreme overclocking it is not uncommon for the graphics cards to stress the motherboard through the PCIe slots, which is minimized with the ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II where only one of the two dedicated power phase pulls power from the PCIe slot.
To use the more powerful power circuitry and increase the clock frequencies without heat-related problems ASUS has developed a specially designed cooler for the DirectCU II family. A full-cover design with five copper heatpipes with large aluminum fins and two sturdy fans. The 100x20mm fans have been developed specifically for the DirectCU 2 cooler that will be used by all of ASUS' top models.
An interesting reference would be MSI's Twin Frozr II cooler found on the Lightning cards where all fans measure 80x10mm. The idea is to create a powerful yet quiet performance card, which ASUS' own testing confirms. The base design of the cooler comes from ASUS' work with the dual -GPU card ARES.
|ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II||80 °C||31 dBA|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 reference||92 °C||42 dBA|
If there are any drawbacks of this big cooler it is that extra thick fans requires three expansion slots, which does sound like a pretty reasonable compromise if ASUS' internal, although subjective, tests are correct.
One of the big questions that remains is the clock frequencies ASUS will be shipping with the card. It is often pretty conservative from factory, and instead lets the users push the cards using ASUS Voltage Tweak and similar solutions, but we of course hope for a big increase from the reference.
The launch date and price was not revealed, but we will return when we learn more about ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II.