Mean looking card with a mild demeanor.
The AMD HD 6970 has been on the market for quite a while now, so nowadays I’m usually looking forward to high-end cooling solutions on this card. I recently reviewed the MSI R6970 Lightning edition card which provided supreme performance out of the box, but surprisingly not much headroom for overclocking. Given ASUS’s reputation for pushing hardware beyond limits, I was quite looking forward to the overclocking ability of the EAH6970DCII.
Having not reviewed any of their previous cards with a Direct CUII cooling solution, I was surprised to see a 3-slot solution on this HD 6970 from ASUS. The DCUII heatsink sitting on top of the HD 6970 looks huge and, quite frankly, badass, given its matt black metal finish and red strips running the length of the card.
The architecture seems very impressive on the EAH6970DCII as you can clearly see the aluminum heatsink sitting atop the GPU and memory modules, with heat being distributed via the copper heat pipes and ultimately blown away by the two fans at the top.
Rolling off the production lines, ASUS ships the EAH6970DCII with clock speeds of 890MHz on Core and 5500MHz on Memory compared to reference AMD speeds of 880/5500MHz. So, hardly any overclock from the factory, especially considering the recently reviewed MSI R6970 Lightning ships with 940MHz Core speeds. However, the EAH6970DCII more than makes up for this in actual overclocking as I’ll get to later on in the review. Powering the whole thing requires a 600W PSU and two 8-pin power cables.