|ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Monday, 14 February 2011|
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ENGTX560 Ti TOP Detailed Features
The first job is to uninstall the Direct CU II cooler to see everything below it. This cooler is quite easy to take off as it's retained by 4 little screws. As usual, ASUS put a lot of thermal paste between the GF114 core and the heatsink which I had to clean and re-apply after removing it. We'll check cooler performance in the next sections to see if 3 heat-pipes and a pair of fans are enough to keep the GTX 560 Ti at reasonable levels (even at overclocked conditions).
Take a closer look at the PCB. This is not the classic shiny PCB. Instead of that, ASUS opted for a black matted PCB with rounded edges. Also it's possible to see the end of the heatpipes from this point of view.
Once we get the heatsink uninstalled, we can see 3 direct-contact heatpipes with an Aluminum base at the side where the GPU core remains. There are small fins to allow air-flow through the memory circuits and the rest of the heatsink also helps cooling all the VRM and MOS-FETs. This design should work quite well, but looking it closely it doesn't look as impressive as the Twin Frozr design by MSI or other companies high-end cooling solutions.
Here's a closer look to the heatpipes which make direct contact with the GPU core to enhance cooling performance while transferring heat to the rest of the heatsink. By the way, those are 6mm heatpipes, not 8mm.
The memory choice for the ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP is consistent with the NVIDIA reference designs. The basic GTX 560 specs only require 1,000 MHz chips for the memory, but many cards have been using these Samsung K4G10325FE-HC04 GDDR5 parts, which are designed for up to 1250 MHz. The GTX 460 cards have shown some gains in gaming performance with increases in memory speed, much more so that the ATI HD 5xxx series has. These 1250 MHz versions of this chip have also been mediocre overclockers on the Radeon platform; obviously they work better here because ASUS already overclocked them to 1050MHz from factory.
I'm happy to see ASUS covered all the VRMs and MOS-FETs with little heatsinks and they get cool enough thanks to the 80mm fan. It was quite annoying to see such important components being forgotten there without any heatsink as it was common with many GTX 460 video cards. Oh, and do you notice that "power ranger" sign at the top of the chokes? That's the Super-Alloy-Power logo.
At the back side of the core there are lots of resistors, capacitors and ICs, which just re-affirm the excellent solder quality from ASUS products. Being one crowded section of a graphics card, they're still able to solder with good precision any component needed. This is one of the most critical sections of the PCB for build quality, as variations in stray capacitance here could impact the performance of the GPU, and certainly its overclocking ability. However it's important to notice that the ENGTX560 Ti is less crowded than any other GTX 560 Ti card I've seen before. They even have space to put their logo just below the center.
Now that we've had the grand tour of the ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP, inside and out, it's time to put it to the test. Before going to tests, let me show you the ASUS bundled software in the next section.