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Graphics cards Reviews
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Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP review

£179 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Asus

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP is a factory-overclocked graphics card with a mean-looking cooler.

The Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP is a factory-overclocked graphics card with a mean-looking cooler.

The nVidia GeForce GTX 560 is positioned to be slightly more affordable GPU than the nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

The "GTX" prefix on this card, according to nVidia, marks it out as a GPU meant for the gaming segment, albeit suitable for sub-1080p resolutions only, if you intend to max out on graphic effects in games. The primary difference compared to the GPU with a "Ti" suffix (GTX 560 Ti) is that the GeForce GTX 560 has fewer shaders. With this product branded "TOP" for performance, Asus has made sure the cooler and overclock compensate quite a bit for that handicap.

GamePro

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP: Specifications

As with GeForce 500 series GPUs earlier, this is also based on second-gen Fermi architecture. It has 1GB of GDDR5 video memory clocked at 1050 MHz (1001 MHz on stock) and a GPU core clocked at 925 MHz (versus 810 MHz on stock). The GPU has a 256bit memory interface and 336 unified shaders that support DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1, OpenCL, CUDA/PhysX and nVidia 3D Vision. For reference, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti variant has 384 unified shaders (48 more than on this card).

For more first-hand information, a GPU-Z screenshot below shows GPU specs in detail.

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP: Design

The cooler used on this graphics card looks similar to that seen on most "DirectCU II" branded cards. In brief, it is very capable.

Want to know more? It has two fans, of which only one is positioned above a heatsink directly above the GPU. The other fan cools off whatever heat reaches the second heatsink via the internal copper pipe. The dual-slot cooler is pretty long, and sturdy. The open body is made to be able to draw cool air from within the PC cabinet, and also exhaust heat into it if it has to.

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP

One SLI connector is available for pairing with a second Nvidia GPU. Power requirements are taken care of with its two 6-pin PCI-E power input slots positioned at the side.

Display outputs at the rear consisted of two DVI ports and one mini-HDMI - no DisplayPort connector.

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP: Package contents

The Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP (TOP/2DI/1GD5) graphics card's package contents included one DVI-to-VGA port adaptor, one mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor, two 6-pin PCI-E power input connectors (each connect to two 4-pin molex connectors), and the instruction manual (SpeedSetup).

The mandatory CD offered the Nvidia ForceWare drivers, manual, and two applications for overclockers: Asus GamerOSD and SmartDoctor.

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP: Heat dissipation

The cooler on this card was certainly good, as evidenced in the temperatures it managed to maintain. It sounded a bit "breezy" when tested at full load, but otherwise almost inaudible. The claimed TDP on the GTX 560 at default clock speeds is 150W, lower than the claimed 170W for a 560 Ti.

However, the card in question uses a custom cooler, is overclocked, and allows for increasing voltages to crank the clocks up even higher, so the TDP label is expected to trend higher than defaults.

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP temperature test

Temperature load tested using FurMark

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP: Performance

Our colleagues at PC World India tested the Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP in their labs. 

To eliminate bottlenecks to the extent possible, the test-bed consisted of an Intel Core i7 965 processor, Intel DX58SO motherboard, Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, 12GB of Silicon Power DDR3 RAM in triple channel, Tagan BZ-1300W PSU and Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit edition. We used the latest WHQL driver for the GeForce GTX 560 available at the time of testing. Note that PhysX was enabled wherever supported by the benchmark or game.

The graphs here show performance numbers selected from a wider set of tests conducted. To put the results in context and help you compare, we juxtapose the benchmark scores of the card being tested, against other graphics cards positioned relatively closely. This is useful to see its price/performance in context.

Below are graphs of how the Asus GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP graphics card fared in synthetic benchmarks:

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP benchmarks

Benchmarks: 3D Mark 2006 (DirectX 9.0c) and 3D Mark Vantage (DirectX 10)

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP benchmarks

Benchmark: 3D Mark 11 at all presets (DirectX 11)

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP benchmarks

Benchmark: Unigine Heaven 2.1 (DirectX 11) at Full-HD resolution

Below is a graph of gaming performance showing frame-rates, to reflect what you would see in real-world usage patterns:

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP gaming test

Benchmark: Crysis and Far Cry 2 (DirectX 10) and Metro 2033 (DirectX 11)

The performance numbers bear out the competitiveness of the overclocked GTX 560, versus the GTX 560 Ti. Keep in mind too, that the performance numbers of the Ti variant were obtained with a different driver version, which may account for its falling behind in some cases.

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP Expert Verdict »
1024 MB video memory
GDDR5
core clock 925MHz
memory clock 1050MHz
memory interface 256bit
DirectX 11
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The power of the GeForce GTX 560 GPU is brought out by this overclocked graphics card from Asus. It beats the stock-clocked Ti variant (GTX 560 Ti) in performance in many cases despite having lesser shader muscle. The cooler does a great job too. Mid-tier gamers won't regret buying this Asus card. But your purchase decision will likely depend upon retail pricing of the Ti and non-Ti variants of the GTX 560 card at your location. Understandably, a top tier overclocked GTX 560 like the one reviewed here will be priced quite close to a regular GTX 560 Ti. If you can afford it, buying the Ti variant seems to be the smarter decision for now, at least for a few weeks until the non-Ti variant costs significantly lesser.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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