Date: August 23rd, 2010
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Asus
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
The VPU is cooled well and in part, the DDR5 modules surrounding the graphics processor will be cooled partially by aiflow passing through the large cooler. I would still like to see some sort of heatsink on these modules especially when a card is targeted towards the overclocker. These memory modules can reach temperatures up to 80c when under full load.
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.
The power supplied through the PCI Express slot alone will not power this videocard. You will have to use one 8 pin and one 6 pin molex connector from your power supply. Make sure you have around 360 extra watts of power for this card during full load and around 165 watts during idle.
Last but not least in this section is the main connection panel. You have three choices which consist of one digital DVI, one DisplayPort 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, let's see how the memory overclocks when under load.
With a stock value of 800Mhz core and 1000Mhz memory set at 1.168v, I pushed this card to its 100% stable ceiling. Through several hours of testing, voltage tweaking and benchmarking, I finally found a 100% stable overclock at an astounding 1027Mhz core at 1.218v and a not so impressive 1150Mhz memory which resulted in a 227Mhz core and 150Mhz DDR5 clock rate over stock values. This pushed the Pixel Fillrate from 12.8 Gpixels/s to 16.4, the Texture Fillrate from 44.8GTexels/s to 57.5 while the memory bandwidth jumped only from 128.0Gb/s to 147.2.
As noted previously, the VPU cooler does an excellent job keeping the VPU cool during overclocking load at 85c with a very considerable 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 XFX HD 5830 reviewed here earlier, I was able to easily ramp the speeds up to 1300Mhz.
Now whether it was because of the DDR5 temperatures or whether the insane core overclock wouldn't play nice with the overclocked memory, I was able to squeeze a couple benchmarks out with a higher memory overclock by the performance difference was next to nothing.