Date: August 3rd, 2010
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Asus
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Although the VPU is cooled well, the GDDR5 memory has no cooling at all and in most cases, it is covered which does hinder the ability of airflow to reach where it is needed. Through testing I will see if this oversight will affect the overclock which you will see in the upcoming pages and benchmarking. GDDR5 memory is known to run very hot (60-80c) and the lack of cooling might not affect the performance during standard testing, but it might hinder the memory overclock.
The back of the card is completely void of any obstruction to interfere with any sort of upper motherboard components and facilitated an easy install. As you can see, this cooling solution was securely held in place with 4 screws and insures that there won't be anyway that this cooler will be separating away from any of the components it is cooling even during rough handling.
Last but not least in this section is the main connection panel. You have three choices which consist of one digital DVI, one analog VGA and one HDMI video connection. Dual Display user's need not apply unless they can purchase a separate HDMI-DVI adapter. But for most single display user's, there should be a connection to meet their needs.
Although the cooler might cool the VPU very well, the memory is left on its own and let's see if it actually affected the overclocking ceiling.
With a stock value of 775Mhz core and 1000Mhz memory set, I pushed this card to its 100% stable ceiling. Through several hours of testing and benchmarking, I finally found a 100% stable overclock at an excellent 900Mhz core and a not so impressive 1075Mhz memory which resulted in a 125Mhz core and 75Mhz DDR5 clock rate over stock values. This pushed the Pixel Fillrate from 12.4 Gpixels/s to 14.4, the Texture Fillrate from 31.0GTexels/s to 36 while the memory bandwidth jumped only from 64.0Gb/s to 68.8.
Please note that I could have potentially gone further with the core overclock but was limited by the videocard's BIOS. Any effort to push the core clock past 900Mhz had it immediately reset back to 900 once the new clock was applied.
As noted previously, the VPU cooler does an excellent job keeping the VPU cool during overclocking load at 59c with very minimal fan speed increase which resulted in an excellent core overclock, but the DDR5 memory overclock was limited more than I have seen on other cards with the same memory. With the HIS Silence HD 5570 reviewed here earlier, I was able to easily ramp the speeds up to 1100Mhz and could have gone further if the videocard's BIOS hadn't limited the maximum clock rate I could set.
I am pretty sure if the covered memory was allowed some airflow that I could have squeezed out at least an additional 25Mhz before and stability problems occurred.