GIGABYTE R9 290X OC and ASUS GTX 780 Ti DCUII Review

Today we look at the GIGABYTE R9 290X 4GB OC and ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC video cards. Each of these video cards features a custom cooling system, and a factory overclock. We will push the overclock farther and put these two video cards head-to-head for a high-end performance comparison.

continued...

Introduction

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. is one of the largest and most successful computer hardware manufacturers in the world. A Taiwan-based company, it manufactures a wide variety of computer hardware, including motherboards, video cards, optical drives, notebooks, networking equipment, barebones desktop, and server systems, among many others. In 2008, it sold over 24 million motherboards, grossed 8.1 billion U.S., and won 3,056 awards from various enthusiasts and IT related outlets.

The second video card in our testing lineup is the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC (GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5) video card.

Article Image


ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC

ASUS offers two GeForce GTX 780 Ti video cards, a reference model and a custom cooled and overclocked model. The one we are looking at in this evaluation is the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC. A reference GeForce GTX 780 Ti's boost clock by default is 928MHz. The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC or DC II for short, has a boost clock of 1020MHz. This is 92Mhz faster than the standard clock. The 3GB of GDDR5 memory will run at the standard 7GHz.

The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC features the DirectCU II cooling system outfitted on nearly all of ASUS gaming video cards. It is a two-slot, two fan design. The fan directly over the GPU is the CoolTech fan engineered by ASUS. This is a hybrid fan with a radial-blower section in the middle, and flower fans at the end. This creates extreme airflow at an angle that rolls right off the video card. The second fan is a dust-free axial fan, it allows for low turbulence when used with the CoolTech fan.

The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC's DirectCU II cooling system also features 5 copper heat pipes that directly contact the GPU, including one that is 10mm. This provides 220% more dissipation area than a reference model, allowing it to perform 20% cooler and 3X quieter.

ASUS also equipped the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC with the DIGI+ VRM, a 10-phase power design that enhances power efficiency up to 15% and reduces power noise by up to 30%. .The Super Alloy Power components are all built for performance and longevity, and can provide up to 2.5X greater durability than the reference model's components.

The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC can be yours for $710. The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC video card includes a free 3 year limited parts and labor warranty. You can read more about the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC's specifications and features here.


ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC Pictures

Article Image Article Image Article Image

The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC's box talks about the DirectCU II cooling system, the DIGI+ VRM and Super Alloy Components, as well as other key features on the video card. The accessory package will generally includ a speed setup guide, a driver CD, dual 6 pin to 8 pin PCI-E connector, and a choose your color package. As you notice in all of these pictures the video card is just black, but there is an option of red or gold stickers. Or you can mix and match or make your own.

Article Image Article Image Article Image Article Image

The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC has solid build quality, with the metal backing supporting all rear mounted components and keeping them safe. Four of the heatpipes run underneath the video card, while the 10mm heatpipe runs along the top. The ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC measures 11.25 inches in length, 1.5 inches wide, and 5.75 inches in height.

Article Image Article Image Article Image Article Image

The rear I/O panel houses a dual-link DVI-I connector and a dual-link DVI-D connector. There is also a display port and an HDMI connector. On the end opposite the I/O panel are 6 small areas where users directly monitor voltage to the board. Along the top are the two 8 pin PCI-e power connectors, which ASUS recommends a 600W minimum power supply to function correctly.

Article Image Article Image Article Image


Overclocking the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC

To overclock the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC we are using ASUS GPU Tweak version 2.5.4.2. This overclocking utility has a wide range of adjustable settings, and always has exceptional support for its products.

Article Image Article Image Article Image

The default clock on the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC II OC is 954MHz, with boost up to 1020MHzMHz. This provided an actual in-game frequency of 1111MHz. The memory runs at 7GHz GDDR5. ASUS GPU Tweak allowed us to increase our max GPU voltage to 1212mV. We also increased Power Target to 110% which was the highest level. Then we increased GPU Temp Target up to 95 degrees Celsius. We set our fan to run at 80% during initial overclocking, however we let it run automatically during our testing.

Article Image Article Image Article Image

When we began adjust the GPU Boost clock we found an additonal 100MHz of performance. This increased GPU Boost to 1120MHz. In-game the video cards operated at 1211MHz. The memory was already running at an extremely high frequency, but we managed an additional 200MHz, increasing our memory operating speed to 7.2GHz GDDR5.

Article Image