Author: Bob Buskirk
ASUS has always been a company that has expanded on reference designed cards and made them better and the HD 7970 DirectCU II card is no exception. From the 12-phase VRM that has super alloy caps and chokes to the very large and impressive DirectCU II cooler this card will blow many other HD 7970 cards out of the water! I love that ASUS has kept the same design and color scheme on all of their DirectCU II cards. This way you know when someone is rocking an ASUS DirectCU II card and the design is just awesome!
When it comes to performance the HD 7970 is a pretty impressive card. You will no doubt be able to play all of the latest games at very high resolutions with amazing quality. With this single card you can power up to 6 displays so for those who enjoy multi-display setups and gaming you will not have any issues doing any of that with this card. The 3GB of video memory will really help out with that. Now this card is set at the stock speed of the reference HD 7970, which is 925MHz for the GPU clock and 5500MHz (1375MHz effective) for the memory. If you are not too keen about overclocking the card then you may want to choose ASUS’s TOP version of this card.
Talking about overclocking I was easily able to overclock this card and it was actually the first time I had ever overclocked a video card! You can use ASUS’s own GPU Tweak utility to not only adjust your settings for overclocking, but it also will tracking temperatures and fan speeds as well. I was able to bump the GPU clock up to 1075MHz and the memory up to 5800MHz (1450MHz effective). Not bad for my first overclock! This card is really geared towards the overclocker as well. With the VGA hotwire points that allow you to connect to ASUS’s ROG motherboards (via wires) to accurately read and control Vcore, Vmem, and PLL voltages. ASUS also includes a VRM heatsink in the package for those wanting to do a little LN2 cooling.
The DirectCU II cooler on this card is very impressive! Not only in its size, but in how quiet it is as well. When gaming it does not sound like my system is about to take off! This happens with many reference cards. Even during our intense temperature test the fan speed did not go over 42%. If you want a cool and quiet video card choosing a DirectCU II card from ASUS is the way to go. The sheer size of the card might be the only thing that you may want to consider when purchasing this card. Because of the large cooling solution the card takes up 3 slots. This limits space inside of your case for other expansion cards and if you plan on rocking 2 of these you better make sure you have room!
Right now this card is selling for $434.99 at my favorite online retailer. If you are looking for a great HD 7970 this is one of the top choices in that category. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II 3GB Video Card a 9 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
- DirectCU II cooling
- Looks awesome in your case
- Quality power delivery components
- Good overclocking potential
- VGA hotwire
- Takes up 3 slots
- Clocked at the same speed as the reference card