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ASUS HD 6970 Direct CUII Review

By on April 14, 2011
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Mean looking card with a mild demeanor.

Good: Extremely quiet, Incredible overclocking headroom, Runs cool no matter the speeds
Bad: 3-slot card may make CrossFire difficult, Low factory overclock
Price: AED 1,650
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

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.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
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  • Luay

    Thanks as always Taimoor!

    First, despite the lazy 10mhz overclock, the Direct CUII has more overclocking room than the Twin Frzor III and is more quite. Right?

    Next, does this card really take up 3 slots or just 2 and chunk of the third? For SLI, even a high-end board such as the Sabertooth P67 can’t handle 3-slot coolers unless there is some space between the cards, and that leaves me with a more expensive P67 Revolution motherboard if I go ahead with this build.

    Finally, I’ll wait for the HIS IceQTurbo to make my final decision on which card to get.

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      Overclocking headroom depends on the card. I can’t guarantee that you will get the exact overclocking speeds I achieved on the ASUS card. Likewise it’s possible that the MSI Twin Frozr III will result in more or less speeds than what I got. You can take the numbers I have as a guideline.

      And ASUS lists this as taking 2.5 slots, but reular motherboards (and even cases) will make this card eat up 3 slots. Depending on the motherboard, of course, you maybe able to go for CrossFire…but just check the specs first. Liek you rightly said, you have better luck with the higher-end P67 boards.

  • Kakmoniak

    I bought it 2 days ago. I am still waiting for shipping. Overclocking gives 1 fps?

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