Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC Review
Published on June 30th, 2014
Today let’s going to look at Asus high-end graphics card based on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti core – the Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC 3GB. Well, this isn’t exactly Asus’ highest end graphics card, since they still got the Asus ROG Matrix GTX 780 Ti, Titan Black and others. But for their non-ROG line, this is one of the fastest single GPU that the company has to offer. Asus’ GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC is said to offer 6% faster game performance compared to the reference card. It features the company’s award winning DirectCU II cooling system, offering 20% cooler and 3X quieter performance. This is basically the GTX 780’s bigger brother. If you want to find out if this card can satisfy your gaming needs, please continue reading my Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC review below.
Asus GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5 Review
The GeForce GTX 780 Ti features NVIDIA’s GK110 processor with 2880 CUDA Cores, 3GB GDDR5 memory with a clock speed of 7 Gbps running on a 384-bit memory interface, and supports most of the technology that NVIDIA has to offer.
Asus’ GeForce GTX 780 Ti (GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5) has a higher base and boost clock speeds compared to the reference card (954/1020 MHz vs 875/928 MHz). It features the DirectCU II cooler design offering a much better and quieter cooling solution. Aside from that, Asus also used the exclusive CoolTech fan which is said to drive wider airflow and performs better compared to a typical fan we see in most graphics cards.
The Asus GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5 is built with a 10 phase Super Alloy power with DIGI+ VRM enabling it to deliver 15% more enhanced power efficiency, 30% lesser power noise, wider voltage modulation tolerance, improved overall stability and longevity by 2.5 times compared to a reference GTX 780 Ti. This means that Asus’ GTX 780 Ti will not only perform better, but will also overclock better than a reference card.
Just like most GeForce GTX graphics card, the Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DC2 OC supports technologies such as: NVIDIA Adaptive V-Sync, G-Sync, PhysX, GPU Boost, 3D Vision, DirectX 11.2, PCIE Express 3.0 and SLI multi-GPU configurations.
I’ll discuss more of its features as we take a closer look at the card below, after its specifications table.
Asus GTX 780TI-DC2OC-3GD5 Specifications
[table id=116 /]
A Closer Look
The Asus GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC comes with a very familiar looking box. Asus has been using the same design for their non ROG graphics card. At the back of the box you’ll see some of the highlighted features of the graphics card.
Inside the box you’ll get a PCIE Power adapter, a Driver/Software CD, a quick installation guide, the GTX 780 Ti itself, and (surprise surprise) stickers!
Above are photos of the Asus GTX 780 Ti with its plain black metal shroud and at the back is a nice and stylish aluminum backplate supporting the PCB of the card.
Asus is giving its customers the option how they want their GTX 780 Ti to look like. You can choose from a Red sticker/decal or a Gold one. Use Red if you have a Black-Red themed motherboard, and probably the Gold one if you bought one of Asus legacy Z97 motherboards. Those are not ordinary paper stickers. They are basically aluminum cut-outs with adhesives on the other side.
The Asus GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5 features a reverse power connector making it easier for you to unlock and disconnect those two 8-pin power connector. There are also LED indicators on both PCIE power connectors. At the center rear, near the power connector, are voltage points for monitoring the card’s temperature and voltage directly. It has two SLI fingers, making it possible to do up to 4-way SLI multi-GPU configuration.
For connectivity, the card has two DVI ports, a full sized DisplayPort and an HDMI port. The aluminum fins are cooled by two different fans. The first one is the CoolTech fan that, according to Asus, performs better than a regular one. Meanwhile the other fan looks like a typical fan used in most of Asus graphics card.
Here we see the front shroud of the DirectCU II cooler, and that is made of metal (but not aluminum), and not plastic like what they use in their mid-range graphics cards. The stylish backplate is all aluminum, but it doesn’t really take away the heat from the card. Instead it helps in the stability and supports the PCB of the card, preventing it from flexing unnecessarily.
Removing the top metal shroud reveals the fairly large aluminum heatsink that is cooling the GPU, and five heatpipes that directly contacts with the GPU. The rest of the components (like the memory chips) are cooled by the two fans.
Above are photos of the front and back view of the Asus GTX 780TI-DC2OC-3GD5′ PCB. You can see at the center portion, directly behind the GPU core, are three Black POSCAPs that lowers power noise, enhances overclocking, and improves the stability of the card.
The card draws its power from two 8 pin power connector and those ports are placed in a reverse orientation where the lock is on the other side, making it easier for the user to connect and disconnect the PCIE power cable. Asus is using a DIGI+ VRM controller to manage and regulate the Super Alloy Power components in the graphics card.
Above are photos of the solid capacitors, SAP, and MOSFETs aligned right besides the memory chips.
Asus is using a total of 12 SKhynix H5GQ2H24AFR memory chips, for a total of 3GB capacity. These are highly capable and overclockable memory chips and are widely used specially in high end components. The Asus GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC is powered by NVIDIA’s GK110-425-B1 graphics processor.
In testing the Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC, I am using a Sandy Bridge based system. Below is a list of the specification of the system.
Operating System: Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit
Motherboard: Asus P8H67-M Evo
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60
Memory: 2x 4GB G.Skill RipJaws X
Graphics card: Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 128GB for the OS and WD RE 4TB for game files
Power Supply: Corsair HX650 80 Plus Gold
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM
Case Fans Installed: 2x Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm for intake and a Noctua NF-S12A PWM for exhaust
Aside from the components mentioned above, I used the driver version NVIDIA ForceWare 335.23 for Windows 8.1 64bit. I used TechPowerUp’s GPU-Z 0.7.7 to monitor the graphics card’s information, and I used Asus GPU-Tweak 18.104.22.168 to monitor its temperature and the status of the card. In monitoring the frame rates while gaming, I used FRAPS to get the minimum, maximum and average frames per seconds.
For the synthetic benchmarks, I used 3DMark Firestrike and Firestrike Extreme, Unigine Engine Heaven and Final Fantasy XIV: A Real Reborn Character Creation Benchmark tool. Whereas for the game benchmarks, I used several games, a combination of not-so-demanding games to graphics extensive games like Crysis 3.
All benchmarking tools and games are configured to their highest possible settings at 1920×1080 display resolution. I didn’t have the chance to test it at a higher resolution or in multiple display settings since I was limited with the monitor I currently have.
Overclocking the Asus GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC 3GB
I was able to overclock the Asus GTX 780 TI DirectCU II OC further using the Asus GPU Tweak. I was able to reach a GPU clock speed of 1125 MHz, memory clock of 1901 MHz and a boost speed of 1190 MHz. Obviously these aren’t the best clock speeds since I’m still trying to master the art of overclocking. I’m sure the card can handle better and higher clock speeds than the settings I used. Below are GPU-Z screenshots of the stock settings and the overclocked settings. Click image for a larger view.
Temperature and Fan Noise
As expected from a graphics card cooled by a DirectCU II cooling system, the Asus GTX 780 Ti DC2 OC runs very quiet on idle and medium load. Even at full load it is still generally silent at 30% to 40% rotational speed. On idle, I got around 39° degrees Celsius and on light to medium load the temperature is around 50°-ish degrees Celsius. Even when the card is overclocked, it still runs quiet and temperature reached only 82° degrees on full load (overclocked). This is all on air and I’m sure that its temperature would have been better if you have a custom water cooling system.
Benchmarks and Results
Below are the benchmarks results for the synthetic tests:
Overclocking the Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC will yield better results. But honestly you don’t have to do that since the GTX 780 Ti is really a powerful graphics card. This model has factory overclock settings already out of the box and overclocking it further for 24/7 use isn’t really a good idea at all.
Price and Availability
As of today, the Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC or GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5 is widely available with a current price tag of $719.95 with free shipping here. Meanwhile, its little brother the GTX 780 DirectCU II is currently priced at $519.99 only.
This card has been rated a perfect 5 out of 5 stars by customers who bought the card. Some comments from verified buyers ~ “Best single GPU card for the money!”, “Best Single GPU I have EVER owned!”, “Raw Power”, “Fast, Buttery Smooth, Quiet & Dependable”
Price in Philippines: Locally, the Asus GTX 78 Ti DC2 is priced around Php 36,000.
Asus GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC Review: Conclusion
If you are into PC gaming and you want the best single graphics card for the money that the market has to offer, then the Asus GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II is definitely a card to consider. The card is built with one of the best air cooling solution, not to mention that the metal shroud and aluminum backplate ads to the rigidity of the card itself. Without overclocking the graphics card further, the card runs cool and silent even at full load.
Also, giving the users the option to use a Red highlights or Gold is good. Although, I find those “stickers”/decals somewhat a gimmick and probably only adds to the overall cost of the card. Best stick with one color and let users do with their own customization. Anyway, the whole card itself feels pretty solid, somewhat heavy, but it feels like you’re holding a solid piece of hardware.
Performance wise, the GTX 780 Ti didn’t fail me specially in gaming. The overall gaming experience was fantastic. Put two of this in SLI and you will have a gaming PC ready to take on a 4K display gaming setup. However, I do feel that Asus could have provided a higher base and boost clock speeds, since competing brands have their GTX 780 Ti OC edition set at a higher clock speeds. Perhaps the company didn’t do that since they were planning to release an ROG version of the GTX 780 Ti in the first place – the Asus ROG Matrix GTX 780 Ti, offering higher clock speeds and a more badass looking graphics card.
Overall, Asus did a great job with the Asus GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC. If you have the money and would want a good and solid graphics card without compromise, then you should consider getting this one.
Note: This Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti Review was first published on ThePCEnthusiast – Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC (GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5) Review, and was republished with the permission from the original author here.