Review: Asus GeForce ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II

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While there are gamers that are willing to shell out big bucks for the very best, even big spenders have limits. And as enticing as it is to drop almost $500 on a video card, most of us have more pressing concerns. NVDIA’s GeForce GTX 570 is aimed at enthusiasts that want a better than average card without maxing out their credit cards, and as such is aimed squarely at the $350 price range. Today we’ll be diving into Asus’ rendition, the GeForce ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II.

Right off the bat, the GeForce GTX 570 Direct Cu II has managed to shame Asus’ other video cards when it comes to sheer size. Aside from being 11 inches long, it also consumes not two, but three PCI-E slots in your system. To power it, you’ll need a one 6-pin and one 8-pin power plug.

A powerful GPU usually means a lot of heat, and NVIDIA’s GF110 isn’t an exception to that. To help disperse heat, Asus used a gigantic heatsink with five DirectTouch heatpipes that draw the heat away from the GPU when it’s running. The whole system is topped off with two fans to completely take away the heat.

The specs of the ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II are pretty impressive. It uses a slightly nerfed version of the GPU that powers its more powerful brother, the GF110. A smaller memory size, reduced clock speed and smaller bus width is all that separates it from the GTX 580. Like most high end cards that Asus creates, the ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II is already factory overclocked out of the box, running at 742 MHz as opposed to the stock 570s that only run at 732 MHz.

To gauge the performance of the card, we ran it through 2 benchmarks and a couple of games. Since the ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II is more or less an enthusiast card, we’ll be running the benchmarks at high resolutions and graphical settings (1920 x 1280, AA set to max, etc.). We’ll also be playing a couple of games on similar settings to gauge what the card can do in real world, gaming applications.

First on the benchmark pile is 3D Mark Vantage. The benchmark was run using the high preset, with the resolution set to 1920 x 1280 and all the settings maxed out. We did not include the CPU tests and as it was a custom setting run, we didn’t get 3D Mark scores. We did get a GPU score, which was 12605.

Next benchmark is Unigine’s Heaven benchmark. Just like 3D Mark Vantage, we ran it with the resolution set to 1920 x 1280 and all the settings maxed out. We got a nice score of 869, with an average FPS of 34.5.

Of course, all those benchies don’t mean squat if the card couldn’t perform in games, and we’re happy to say that the ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II performed well in three of the games we tested it with – the multiplayer centric Battlefield Bad Company 2, the beautiful RPG The Witcher 2, and Epic Game’s gore-tastic FPS Bulletstorm. Our frame counter fraps decided to crap out during test day, but gauging from the smooth transitions and overall smooth gameplay from all three titles, it’s safe to say that the ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II will be able to handle almost all the games that will come out this year without any problems.

The only issue that I have with it is that it won’t be able to handle a 3 monitor setup. This actually is more of a complaint leveraged against NVIDIA than Asus (since they can only work with what the manufacturer gives them), and you’ll only be able to use a three monitor setup once you use the card in SLI configuration (two cards linked via a SLI connection). While not a total deal breaker for some, there are some enthusiasts out there that are raring to play with a 3 screen setup.

 

What’s Hot:

Powerful, able to play almost any game currently out in high settings

Silent, you can barely hear the fan even in high loads

 

What’s Not:

Takes up 3 PCI-E slots, pretty big

No support for 3 screens

 

Bottomline:

Retailing at about Php 18,170, it’s not the cheapest card around but the performance of the

Asus GeForce ENGTX 570 Direct Cu II is well worth its price.

 

Buymeter: 8.6