ASUS GTX 570 and GTX 580 DirectCU II
As we saw in testing, both the ASUS GTX 580 and GTX 570 DirectCU II models are extremely impressive gaming cards and will provide more than enough horsepower in modern game titles. The GTX 580 topped the framerate charts, soundly thrashing the competition in just about every facet, clearly reigning as the fastest single-GPU card on the market, while the GTX 570 wasn’t far off the pace. It would seem the only card in AMD’s stable that can top the GTX 580 is their dual-GPU 6990, which costs a couple hundred dollars more.
In terms of features, voltage tweaking ability is an important selling point to many enthusiasts when deciding which manufacturer’s card to choose. The overclocking ability here is respectable but nothing spectacular without the voltage tweak. However, when the juice is turned up with a voltage bump, then both cards really fly, with the GTX 570 gaining an astounding 26%.
Likely more important, however, are the impressively low temperatures and noise levels which are a significant improvement over the reference design. ASUS has really nailed a winner with the DirectCU II heatsink; the GTX 580 had a modest drop of 6°C, but the 570 utterly killed the stress test by dropping 18°C off the reference design. However, the tradeoff is these cards are HUGE. Truly massive, really, as they’re the biggest single-GPU heatsink we’ve ever seen. You’ll certainly need a spacious case to fit these behemoths inside. And if you decide to go with two? Well then, you are our hero and we salute you.
Lastly, that brings us to value. What’s perhaps the most impressive aspect of all is that the ASUS DirectCU II cards are about the same price as the competing reference designs from other manufacturers. With the 570 D2 priced at $350 and the 580 D2 listing at $500, you’re getting a boatload of improvement for essentially nothing extra out of your pocket. We don’t care if you’re an Nvidia fanboy or not, that is some outstanding value no matter how you slice it. The 580 is the card to get if you need the fastest thoroughbred in the stable, but at $150 less for what is still some serious horsepower, the 570 is perhaps even more attractive.
The ASUS GTX 580 and GTX 570 DirectCU II cards are big, brash, and bold in terms of size, cooling prowess, lower noise levels, and voltage tweaking capabilities. We love that ASUS is making a strong statement with these cards, but what is perhaps the best selling point is their price.
The Pure Point: Killer graphics cards that are the bullies in the playground without taking your extra lunch money.
ASUS GTX 570 DirectCU II