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ASUS GTX680 Direct CU II TOP

Conclusion

When receiving the GTX680 DirectCU II TOP card, we were kind of wondering if all of the bells and whistles would be worth it but then we saw the price and realized it was actually quite a value. These cards are very popular and sell out almost instantly, but with the extra performance out of the box we can definitely see why especially since it is the highest card we have seen from browsing cards available on retailers websites.

The card has many cool factor points such as a massive cooler capable of keeping excellent overclocks within reasonable temps with little to no increase in temps. The fans are quiet even when pushed hard which is a very nice plus as a normal system load of fans will likely drown out any noise these fans may put out. The VGA Hotwire connectors opens the possibility to much easier volt modding of the card for those looking to push for the extreme. the GPU Tweak software is easy to use and has seemingly endless amounts of adjustability. Add to this that the GPU Tweak software also has GPUz integrated and it just gets better and better as every software needed for the most part is all within one utility. The SAP components along with the DIGI+ controller helps with reliability along with higher efficiency and performance potential to make a great card combo that should stand up to pretty much anything.

The only real bad thing we could think of would be that the card is triple slot which means as sold out of the box 4-Way SLI is going to be very difficuly without some flexible PCIe bridges and some SLI ribbon trickery.

This card plays most games damn well by itself so for anyone looking to put 2 of these together for some amazing performance potential, this card can do it and do it well. If looking for 3-4 card setup, you will need to swap brackets and coolers to make the magic happen.

For the extreme gamer (or even more so the extreme benchmarker) looking for a card built from the ground up to kick major ass should definitely be taking a close look at this thing as it has all the right parts in the right place to make it a world record breaker right out of the box.

 

OUR VERDICT: ASUS GTX680 DirectCU II TOP
Performance 10
Value 9
Quality 10
Features 10
Innovation 10
We are using a new addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.
Total 9.5
Pros Cons

Overclocks awesome

One of the if not the highest clocked card out of the box

Massive Triple slot cooler

Extra PCIe power gives more OC headroom

includes extended SLI ribbon to match extra width

SAP components enhance performance and reliability potential

DIGI+ VRM a proven performer

Dual quiet fans

Direct touch heatpipes work well

Card just looks beastly

GPU Tweak software is nice and easy to use

Non reference PCB is built to handle extreme usage

GPU Hotwire makes for much easier modding

Large full backplate stiffens up the card and helps avoid flexing

It just flat out kicks ass

Triple Slot cooler can cause issues with multi card configs

Tough to find one for sale

Large cooler exhausts heat into chassis

Summary: ASUS has been on a roll lately and the GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP is keeping the ball rolling with amazing performance, a nice price and a full feature set that is hard to beat. It earns the Bjorn3D Golden Bear Award.
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