ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP
We were suitably impressed by the release of the Nvidia GTX 560 Ti just a few short months ago, as it packed some excellent horsepower and overclocking prowess, beating the AMD cards in the mid-range market segment. Upon hearing of the GTX 560 in the mix, we had to admit to being a bit apprehensive, wondering what differences would show up, and what price range this new card would occupy. As it turns out, we needn’t have worried, as Nvidia has expanded their lineup and made a very strong showing with the GTX 560.
In terms of performance, we saw the ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP easily beat the Radeon 6870 in just about every facet. Perhaps more significant is the fact that the factory overclock here essentially makes it perform the same as the GTX 560 Ti on average, while costing about $35 less. Further, the GTX 560 laid the smackdown on the Radeon competition. As for overclocking, the DirectCU II TOP really flies. That is an outstanding combination, as Nvidia is now offering what appears be a better graphics card for the mid-range market and gamers on a more modest budget.
This ASUS DirectCU II card is only $20 more than Nvidia’s reference MSRP, but you get a whole lot of bang for your buck. The custom heatsink design is a distinct improvement over its predecessor in terms of aesthetics and functionality, lowering load temperatures considerably. The Super Alloy Power design is clearly a big bonus, and this card is built like a tank. And the Voltage Tweaking feature is a boon to overclocking enthusiasts. So, are there any downsides here? None that we can find.
We loved the GTX 560 Ti, and we love the new GTX 560 even more. With a strong factory overclock, this ASUS TOP version performs essentially the same as its sibling while costing considerably less. Toss in the beefy heatsink, lower temperatures, distinctive aesthetics, and great overclocking headroom, and this card simply owns the mid-range gaming card segment.
The Pure Point: For gamers looking for fantastic value and horsepower, the ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP is the new king of the mid-range market.