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What is the verdict on "DirectCU" v. "WindForce"?

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
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Noise, temps, build quality, etc. usual stuff. They have been using these designs for some time now with some tweaks. But the bottom line concepts are consistent. I wonder which one is superior under a similar condition.

DirectCU (ASUS)


WindForce (Gigabyte)
 
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Jaydip

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
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I have used the first one (580 DC II in my rig,7950 DC II in my brothers rig) and i have seen the performance of the second one.To me the DC II seems superior because of its better noise characteristic.Also ASUS seems to use better components in their DC II design.
 

blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
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ASUS DCu II is usually well built with a back brace and plenty of copper. They had some issues with GPU contact in some of their recent cards, but I hope that's been fixed.
 

Zorander

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2010
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I used a HD6850-based WindForce in my HTPC and it was noticably noisy even at idle. I replaced it shortly with a single-fan Sapphire HD5850 (comparatively quiet) and have been happy with it ever since.
 

mple

Senior member
Oct 10, 2011
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aren't directCU II cards substantially more expensive ?
Nope. The price difference between the 680 DC2 Top is $15 more than the triple fan Gigabyte 680 model on Newegg, but the DC2T is a redesigned non-reference PCB with higher quality components. Here's what it looks like dissected.

http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-gtx-680-directcu-ii-top-2gb-review/15614-2.html

Price difference between the 670s should be $20 unless e-tailers realize they can charge a lot more for the 670 DC2T.
 

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
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Good inquiry OP, about the most evenly matched custom cooler vs. out there right now. After time with both (two slot version for Asus), I can say that I really, really like both. A couple comparisions:


Asus cooler has a more refined contact area with a slightly better build quality. Asus has exposed heatpipes where they run unexposed with Gigabyte. Asus they're nickel plated where they're not with Gigabyte:




Fit and finish of the Asus shroud is solid and industrial, The Gigabyte is sleek and shiny and although made of plasitc, it's quite solid:




One could scrutinize further to see that one design may offer memory or VRM cooling while the other does not (depending on exact card); but from a cooler standpoint, they're very closely matched. I like the idea of two fans vs. three - fewer moving parts with Asus. Asus cooler has a slightly better build quality overall. On noise, both are very quiet under 50%, the Gigabyte a bit noisier at equal RPMS afterwards. The Gigabyte includes a very sleek PCB stiffening bar, worthy of a checkmark for sure.

Personally, I'd choose the DirectCU over Windforce all other things being equal. I like the industrial look and like fewer fans. Gigabyte's blue PCB doesn't bother me as much as some, but all black meshes better for most people. Both offer enhanced PCB designs using rugged components. Both are giants in the industry and both crank out quality products.

Curious about the inquiry, what choice do you face? :)
 

spinejam

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2005
3,503
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I've had numerous DCII's from 6950's, 6970's, gtx580's, and now 7970's. They work very well and are quiet. Can't comment on the WF -- never had one.

TF coolers are louder imo. I've had 560ti hawks and OC's, 6950TFII's & TFIII's and 6970 Lightnings and all were noticeably louder than the DCII's.
 

blackened23

Diamond Member
Jul 26, 2011
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In my opinion, the windforce wins by default because while cooling and performance is similar to DC2, it is only double slot and also a DAMN SMALL card. Seriously, look at the windforce GTX 680 - that is a beauty of engineering. It is unbelivably small and quiet. In fact, its almost the same size as a reference card despite having aftermarket cooling (!)

Most DC2s are still triple slot - the only exception is the 670 version which is double. Every other DC2 is triple. Thus, worthless if you ever want to SLI them.
 
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Jaydip

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
3,691
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In my opinion, the windforce wins by default because while cooling and performance is similar to DC2, it is only double slot and also a DAMN SMALL card. Seriously, look at the windforce GTX 680 - that is a beauty of engineering. It is unbelivably small and quiet. In fact, its almost the same size as a reference card despite having aftermarket cooling (!)

Most DC2s are still triple slot - the only exception is the 670 version which is double. Every other DC2 is triple. Thus, worthless if you ever want to SLI them.
There are some boards to satisfy ur needs :p
 

rickon66

Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
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At this point which one you can find in stock to order is the "best". Both are fine cards with non-reference circuit boards and much better than reference coolers. I have a Gigabyte being delivered today!
 

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
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@ Blackened, I agree that dual slot wins over triple slot if able to perform equally, which both MSI and Gigabyte are doing.

@ Yamamoto, TF is an excellent cooler and MSI makes a good PCB. I think TF is a bit louder at equal RPMS than the others past 50%.

Me wonders if OP has the 670 TOP in mind..
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
745
126
Noise, temps, build quality, etc. usual stuff. They have been using these designs for some time now with some tweaks. But the bottom line concepts are consistent. I wonder which one is superior under a similar condition.
Direct CU II 670 > GTX670 Windforce 3X based on both of those characteristics.

Giga is based on GTX680 PCB but adds 6+8 pin power, 2oz of copper and 5-phase digital VRMs vs. 4 on 680.


Asus uses custom PCB with their high-end components




Windforce runs cooler, but as a result louder.


Overclocking, however, is not necessarily in favour of the DCUII.
Review

The GTX670 TOP is dual slot, not triple slot like 7970 / 680 series.



OTOH, Gigabyte costs less.

If you want the quietest 670, go for the Direct CU.
 
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blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
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Well to be fair you gotta compare apples to apples--at any given decibel level, what is your temperature? Because the same fan that is so quiet at one temperature may be VERY LOUD at another.
 

chimaxi83

Diamond Member
May 18, 2003
5,648
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I have a Windforce 7950, and have a Direct CU II 680 coming tomorrow or Thursday. The 7950 is in my sons machine, good card, decent overclocker, great cooler.

I bought DC II not for the cooler (it's going into my water loop), but for the custom PCB design and voltage unlocking capability. It'll be my first Asus DC card, but I've heard a lot of good things about the line. It just looks bad ass lol :thumbsup:
 
May 13, 2009
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I'll let you know soon. Had a dcii 580 & it was the best card I've ever owned. Got a wf 670 I need to install and try out. (works a biatch)
I'll know soon.:)
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
12,842
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Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Very informational as usual. I do think I'll probably upgrade my vid cards but I don't have anything specific in mind. But I wanted to know what kind of (possibly differing) experiences there might be among the two leading designs.

So the consensus seems to be slightly more favorable toward the DirectCU for quality, but at the cost of its own drawbacks (3-slot design, more $$, etc.)? It's exactly the information I was looking forward.
 

cmdrdredd

Lifer
Dec 12, 2001
26,840
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What is the benefit of 8pin power? The card hogging more wattage?

From what I understand the 670 doesn't really need it.
 

TakeNoPrisoners

Platinum Member
Jun 3, 2011
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What is the benefit of 8pin power? The card hogging more wattage?

From what I understand the 670 doesn't really need it.
The card will be more stable if it needs to draw a lot of power.

On the GTX 670 it probably doesn't matter much as even overclocked these cards are very efficient.
 

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
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The 7900 cards are not drinking electricity like some infer. At the end of the year it's only a few $ difference at most. But yes it's been a long time since Nvidia has had energy efficient cards so I can understand why people are excited.
 

blackened23

Diamond Member
Jul 26, 2011
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overclocked, its using as much power as the 7970.
Just throwing this out there: Thats partially because the GK104 has a hard power limit on every board. You can't adjust voltage max, you can only adjust vdroop on the 680. But yeah, its a more efficient chip for sure
 

blackened23

Diamond Member
Jul 26, 2011
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Also, my intel indicated that the DC2 top 670 would be released today. Flawed intel apparently. That card should be THE one to get for aftermarket cooling, hopefully it shows up at midnight on the egg.
 

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