ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II Overview
The first thing you notice when you take the HD 7970 DirectCU II is that it is heavy! Probably one of the heaviest video cards I have taken a look at! The entire card is covered in a large shroud that houses the DirectCU II cooling system. The shroud is black and you have red accents, pretty much the same color scheme we have seen on all new ASUS video cards. This card runs are the reference speed of the HD 7970 which has a core clock of 925MHz and memory clock of 5500MHz (1375MHz effective).
The DirectCU II cooling system is made up of two large heatsinks connected by large copper heatpipes. These heatpipes make direct contact with the GPU for optimal cooling. To aid in cooling you have 2 large cooling fans on the top of the card. ASUS claims this system is 20% cooler and 14dB quieter than the reference design.
On the side of the card that will most likely be showing if you have a case window there is both an ASUS logo and a DirectCU II logo. Towards the end of the card you have your power connections which are two 8-pin PCI-E connectors. According to the official specifications the power consumption of this card is up to 300W. On the same side of the card you have the CrossFire connections.
Flipping the card over ASUS has installed a nice metal backplate. On the backplate are very large ASUS, HD7970 and DirectCU II logos. The backplate keeps the card nice and sturdy so you do not experience any drooping as that tends to happen with larger and heavy cards that are installed in a system for a long period of time. The VGA hotwire points are on the back of the card as well. Using wires you can connect these point to ASUS’s ROG motherboards to accurately read and control Vcore, Vmem, and PLL voltages. This is a tri-slot card, so there is a lot going on at the back of the card. The top slot is just for ventilation, moving down you have two DVI ports and below that four DisplayPort’s. The HD 7970 DirectCU II can power up to 6 displays!