Asus ENGTX460 DirectCu TOPManufacturer: Asus
UK price (as reviewed):
£195 (inc VAT) MSRP
US price (as reviewed):
Suggested retailers (alphabetical order): Overclockers UK
Asus’ card might look a little pricey compared to the MSI, but look closer and there are potential reasons for this. The chunky cooler stretches along most of the length of the card and actually overhangs the end of the PC by 15mm, making the card 225mm long. However, Asus has mounted the two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors on the side of the card to prevent clashes with your hard disks.
The really interesting thing about the cooler is that is use Asus’ DirectCu design. This means that not only does the cooler use a pair of 8mm-thick heatpipes (which shift more heat than the skinnier 6mm-tick ones) but that these heatpipes make direct contact with the GPU’s heatspreader. Asus claims that this delivers 20 per cent better cooling than the reference card’s cooler, which will help when overclocking.
DirectCu also adds ‘GPU Guard’, which doubles the strength of the PCB, guarding (y’see what they’ve doen there?) against cracking for ‘spectacular reliability and logevity’. The PCB certainly feels sturdy, and the heatsink for the MOSFETs of the 5+1-phase power circuitry and the backplate that cools another couple of chips both add to the feeling that this is a card built to last. We even like the shape of the shroud of the cooler, which looks a little like a beetle from a certain angle. Or maybe we’ve had too much tea for one day.
It would be a shame to have the many-phase power circuitry and cooling without being abke to overclock and overvolt the card, so Asus includes its Voltage Tweak application with the ENGTX460 DirectCu TOP. Asus claims that it’s possible to get 50 per cent more performance from the card by overclocking with this application – something we hope we can verify in the lab. The card’s overclocked already though, with the XXXX