A Closer Look at the GTX 770 DirectCU II OC
A Closer Look at the ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC
The GTX 770 version of ASUSí DirectCU II lineup has a lot in common with its larger sibling, the GTX 780 DirectCU II OC. It utilizes a very similar, distinctive heatsink (though slightly downsized) and measures about 10.7Ēlong so there wonít be any issues fitting into more compact chassis.
Some may be wondering about ASUSí lineup repetition but we happen to like this approach. Basically, theyíve found an excellent formula and are sticking to it.
This version of ASUSí DirectCU II heatsink utilizes a concept thatís been carried over from the previous generation since it works so well. It utilizes a pair of 80mm fans but unlike the GTX 780 version, the CoolTech fan has been left out of the equation, likely to allow this card to hit a lower price point. Weíve consistently found this design to be among the best around so there shouldnít be any performance loss without the CoolTech unit.
As with many other ASUS graphics cards, the DirectCU II uses dust proof fan technology which essentially seals the bearing area, preventing particulate matter from entering. This is supposed to help increase the fanís average life up to 10,000 hours (for a total MTBF of 50,000 hours) or approximately 25% longer than a typical axial design without this addition.
ASUSí DirectCU II heatsink is able to capitalize upon the fansí capabilities by giving them a fin array with minimal airflow restrictions and a surprisingly thin design. This last point is particularly important since not that long ago, these cards were critiqued for their overly large triple-slot layout. Now, additional cooling capacity has been built into a high density fin array. The GTX 770 version may be a bit smaller in stature but we canít forget the GK104 core produced significantly less heat than the GK110.
The approach taken here is an interesting one since ASUS has been able to dissect their custom heatsink into five distinct yet critical components. There is a pair of fans, a shroud to direct airflow, the main fin array with its core contact plate, a metal stiffener that prevents PCB flex and a rear heatsink for more efficient heat distribution.
Alongside the obvious high-end capabilities of the DirectCU II, ASUS has added some additional horsepower under its hood in the form of four large 8mm heatpipes that make direct contact with the core. The end result is cooling capability well above what an overclocked card would require even though, judging from its stance, this particular heatsink seems to have been designed for a much smaller card. That bit of PCB hanging free of the shroud may not look all that great but weíll forgive ASUS since it performs spectacularly.
Speaking of overbuilt, the heatsink also hides the DirectCU IIís PWM which is an all-digital affair made up of eight dedicated core phases and another two phases for the GDDR5 memory.
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