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Asus Radeon HD 6970 DirectCU II review

Asus adds some serious cooling to AMD's 6970 graphics card

Our Verdict

The design of the Direct CU II is impressive, and should allow a decent overclock. Unfortunately, if your chip can't do it, you can't do it.

For

  • Incredible cooling
  • Great potential

Against

  • Bloody big
  • Can't guarantee the OC

There's more to an overclocked graphics card than plain and simple GPU bin-sorting, and Asus' Radeon HD 6970 Direct CU II shows us exactly what that is: cooling.

After the graphics processor itself, the cooling design of a graphics card is the single biggest threat to overclocking performance. Your GPU may be able to crank out stupidly fast core speeds, but if your cooler can't displace the extra heat generated by an over-stressed chip, then it's all for nothing.

Even worse, your GPU may stop being friends with you and withdraw your pixel-pushing privileges for good.

You'll also need to keep your graphics processor fed with enough juice to help it go the extra mile, so a good power design is also vital if you want to get the most out of your card.

Asus has taken all this into account and produced the Direct CU II series of cards. There's already been an Nvidia GTX 580 version, and here we've got the AMD balance in the shape of the HD 6970 Direct CU II.

This series is all about the overclocking headroom.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerATI
Chipset ModelHD 6970
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 6000
DisplayPortYes
Brand NameAsus
Standard Memory2 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.1
HDCP SupportedYes
Bus Width256 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFireX
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
DVIYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs4
Number of DVI Outputs2
Height127 mm
Cooler TypeFan Cooler
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Length297.2 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Memory Speed5500 MHz
Product ModelEAH6970 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5
Product NameEAH6970 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6970 Graphics Card
Manufacturer Part NumberEAH6970 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

With the demand of current applications and software, the addition of a graphics card can help improve the computing process and application time.

API SupportedDirectX 11.0