Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCu

DirectCu - Simply Cooler..?

Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU


DirectCu; simply cooler..?

 So you should have noticed that the Asus HD 6870 sports an interesting bespoke cooling design. While sometimes a manufacturer specific cooler may prove to be a cost cutting exercise, you can be assured that this is not the case for anything "DirectCu" branded. Moreover Asus claim the DirectCu unit to be as much as 20% more effective than AMD's reference counterpart. So what exactly is going on under the hood?

Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU      Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU

Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU

As the name suggested, there are two 8mm "Direct Contact" heatpipes presented as the central focus of the main heatsink module, which stretch to either side for optimal coverage. This is all immersed in a dense array of aluminium fins for a large usable surface area. The duct is specifically designed to exhaust air in multiple directions from the centrally positioned fan, also aiding airflow coverage.

However this is where the plot thickens. The Radeon HD EAH6870 DirectCu may well be poised to perform in a quieter and cooler fashion than its stable mates, but some of the reasons behind it have nothing to do with the cooling solution. That's right folks, Asus have implemented three further physical optimisations to their graphics card to keep it chilly.


Super Alloy Choke, Capacitor & MOS...

 Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU      Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU

Above is the missing piece of the puzzle. Asus have incorporated alloy based electrical components to the EAH6870 PCB, which offers a mix of higher voltage tolerances, lower operating temperatures and consequently a longer operational lifespan. As with any graphics card, a lot of early stage failures are the result of weak cores or memory, a better built circuit board is beneficial for the long run.

To add a context to this, the implementation of higher quality power regulation equipment is very similar to the reasons behind choosing higher end motherboards for example. Perhaps one could consider this the choice between a Gigabyte UD3 board and a UD5.

Aside system longevity, the uprated hardware is expected to offer greater levels of tolerance for graphics card overclocking, although it is likely that you would need exotic cooling solutions to really feel the difference. We will put this to the test on the next page.

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Most Recent Comments

28-01-2011, 04:30:55

No comparisons with the GTX 560 Ti? It's right in that price range.Quote

28-01-2011, 04:34:02

Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

No comparisons with the GTX 560 Ti? It's right in that price range.
Mul compared to the 460 as that is what he has tested on his system in the past. We are all aware that the 560 is better than the 6870 though Quote

28-01-2011, 05:01:08

That's right, the GTX 460 is the only other graphics card that has been permenently stationed on my testbed as of late.

I had thought about the 560 Ti, but without trying it I could not add it to my graphs. What you will see however is that the 560 will match and probably outpace the 6870, given that it has 48 more stream processors (over the 460), higher core/memory clocks and the scope to overclock further.

I maintain that the 6870 DirectCu is a nice enough product however it would need a RRP around the £175-180 mark to really make sense.Quote

28-01-2011, 06:20:06

The GF 560 makes this card look like a baby considering you are paying the same money, I think the GF 500 series has made anything coming out of AMD look like a baby even if it comes from a big name like ASUS and AMD have to pull something out quickly or reduce there prices seriously or face another period of losses and I really think it is ironic that NVIDIA can turn the tables around in just a few months and just shows us how unpredictable the pc component market has become because a lot of people were predicting that NVIDIA was going down a few months earlier when the 470 & 480 came out.


02-02-2011, 12:54:35

hey is it possible to run this in crossfire with a HD 6850?

Sorry im new to this, about to build my own!Quote

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