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ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC Review

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
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12,857
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion


With the GTX 780 DirectCU II OC, ASUS has accomplished special. This may not be the fastest GTX 780 on the market, nor is it inexpensive but as a well-rounded high end gaming solution, it really doesn’t get any better than this.

ASUS’s approach to their current flagship GTX 780 may be bewildering for some who are used to the sky high clock speeds being offered by the likes of EVGA, Zotac and Galaxy. The approach here is a bit conservative with core frequencies hovering around the 1.03GHz mark. While that outstrips the reference card by some 100MHz and isn’t slow by any stretch of the imagination, from a perceptual standpoint, out of box performance may cause an issue for ASUS. Simply put, many expect a card of the DirectCU II’s pedigree and price point to offer leading edge performance without accessing its significant overclocking capabilities.

Pre-overclocking may have achieved TITAN-like performance in many instances but ASUS has an ace up their sleeves: the amount of clock speed overhead built into their card. It was by far the highest clocking GTX 780 we’ve come across thus far even though it dutifully adheres to NVIDIA’s restrictive limits.

We’d like to think this excess headroom is a byproduct of the Super Alloy Power PWM design and ASUS’ superior engineering but there’s just no way to tell without a larger sample size. However, taking our analytical hat off for a moment, it’s great to see a GTX 780 hitting such high frequencies regardless of what’s backstopping the achievements. And let’s be honest: the DirectCU II operating at 1.2GHz wipes the floor with pretty much everything on the market right now and will remain competitive long into the future.

One of the main reasons behind such an impressive showing in the overclocking category is the spectacular heatsink design. It allowed the core to remain blissfully cool, effectively reducing power consumption and ensuring the card doesn’t run headfirst into NVIDIA’s Power Limit roadblock. The Temperature Limit is also deftly avoided leading to voltage being the only thing holding the GTX 780 DirectCU II back from smashing through even more barriers.

So this leads us to our final question: is ASUS’ latest engineering marvel worth its premium over a reference card? Absolutely. Whether or not you want to access the DirectCU II OC’s significant overclocking powers or you are just someone that appreciates a whisper-quiet high end card, it should beckon. This GTX 780’s relatively low pre-overclock speeds are rendered insignificant by its other overwhelming benefits.

 

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