Gale Force Graphics: Unboxing the ASUS GTX 580 DirectCU II

January 27th, 2011 in .PC Components .Products
Suds McSoapdish
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Gale Force Graphics: Unboxing the ASUS GTX 580 DirectCU II

The GeForce GTX 580 graphics card has been out for a while now, leading the ‘Fermi’ range from NVIDIA in sheer graphics grit. However ASUS decided it could make it better, and has just sent us one of its own in-house takes on this behemoth. Yes, it’s unboxing time again!

This is the ASUS GTX 580 DirectCU II edition, which features a completely re-designed non-reference cooler sporting twin 100mm fans to tame the heat produced by this beastly piece of hardware.

You may recall we’ve covered ASUS DirectCU cards before. The DirectCU moniker reflects the fact that these cooling designs use copper heatpipes in direct contact with the GPU, removing the metal plate that usually sits between the core and the cooler. By doing this, ASUS has recorded a 20% drop in the temperature compared to reference cards. Now, the latest DirectCU II takes this further. It still has those copper pipes touching the GPU, but instead of just one fan, it uses dual-prop cooling. The fans ASUS has used on its GeForce GTX 580 aren’t your run of the mill, off-the-shelf blowers, either; these are acoustically-tuned, sound-dampened, high-quality fans that reportedly can push up to 600% more air than the standard reference cooler on non-DirectCU II GeForce GTX 580’s. More air means they can run slower, and quieter.

Also on board to make the most of this giant, is ASUS-exclusive Super Alloy Power technology: a unique alloy mixture that the company is using to fill power delivery components such as chokes, capacitors and MOSFETs. The improved materials of the Super Alloy Power design can handle more heat and stress than other common compounds, so you get a better combination of more overclocking potential (up to 15% over reference), increased power stability, lower temperatures (as much as 35C) and a 2.5x longer product lifespan. Don’t forget that included in the box is ASUS overvolting utility, Voltage Tweak, which can drive up to 50% faster clock speeds on the core and video memory, given the right amount of cooling.

As for some basic specs, well, we did cover this previously, but here’s a quick refresher. The GeForce GTX 580 is built using the ‘Fermi’ GF110 core and ships with all 512 CUDA cores enabled. ASUS overclocks the core slightly at the factory, running it at 782MHz instead of the stock 772MHz. It also uses a large 384-bit memory interface to address a huge 1,536MB of GDDR5 video memory too.

Now let’s take a look at the pics!

Unboxing the GTX 580 DirectCU II!

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II Box

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II Box

The mounted knight returns – this time with a green background, like all ASUS cards based on NVIDIA models. AMD-derived parts get the orange background.

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II: well packed inside the box

Well packed inside the box with plenty of foam

Plenty of tight packing to keep the card safe during shipping.

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II

The ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II

Top of the card showing off the twin 100mm DirectCU II fans. Keep in mind this is a full length, 12 inch card, so only recommended for bigger cases.

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II: triple SLI, dual 8-pin

Triple slot DirectCU II cooler and dual 8-pin power

Caveat emptor: this is a triple slot graphics card and it’s slightly wider than the reference GTX 580, so make sure you have enough room in your case!

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II

Dual 8-pin power connectors are required

You also need two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors to drive this card, so keep in mind your power supply should be quite beefy. ASUS recommends a minimum 600W power supply, but this is honestly more the kind of card you’ll find on an 850W setup.

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II: HDMI, DVI, Display Port

HDMI, two DVI and Displayport, plus a big gap for hot air exhaust

Full size HDMI (not mini), full size DisplayPort, and two DVI connectors (with protective covers, as standard). There’s also a generous gap for exhausting the hot air too.

ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II: card rear

The rear of the card houses an impressive grilled heatsink

The beautiful back plate has the model and ultra-high spec capacitor prominently displayed. Should look very nice in your case, no?

Let us know your thoughts on the ASUS GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II, in the comments below!

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  • Darith Yim

    I’ve been waiting forever for this card! Where can I purchase this right now?! I jumped the gun and just got my EVGA GTX580 SC (got rid of my MSI GTX 580 OC Edition Card), so I’ll be selling it for this beast! I’m surprised it’s only at 782 MHz for the core clock (I thought it would be higher, but I guess ASUS left it up to the user to overclock it more). Please post your benchmarks of it!!! =D *excited*

  • Anonymous

    I will be doing a break down, overclocking and performance numbers very soon. I’m also asking about availability too: where are you based?