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Maximum PC Staff Nov 02, 2012

Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU

At A Glance

DRACULA

Good gaming performance at a reasonable cost; low power draw.

EDWARD

Its louder than we like; gets a little hot on the back of the card.

At just less than $250, the Asus variant of AMD’s Radeon HD 6870 delivers excellent performance. While it is somewhat overshadowed by its newer cousin, the HD 6950, it costs considerably less than that part. If you do most of your gaming on a single 1080p display, this card won’t disappoint.

Even though Asus only pushes the clock rate slightly—915MHZ versus the stock 900MHz— the finned backplate gets pretty warm after a stiff gaming session. This card also shows one of the key weaknesses of Asus’s DirectCU cooler—it’s noticeably more noisy than a standard HD 6870.

On the other hand, unlike cards built on AMD’s reference design, the HD 6870 DirectCU ships with two full-size DisplayPort connectors, plus one dual-link DVI and one single-link DVI port. And if you crave an HDMI connection, the card comes with a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. System idle power was 140W, while the full-throttle power draw was just slightly over 250W.

In the end, Asus delivers a unique take on the Radeon HD 6870 while keeping the price to a reasonable level. If you have a well-ventilated case, the feature-rich HD 6870 DirectCU is the clear winner in this matchup.

SPECS

Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU
Shader Units*
1,120
Texture Units
56
ROPs
32
Power Connectors
2 x 6-pin
Core Clock
915MHz
Shader Clock
NA
GDDR5 Memory Clock
1,050MHz
GDDR5 Frame Buffer
1GB
Memory Interface
256-bit
Benchmarks

Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU
3DMark 2011
4,314
3DMark Vantage
17,041
Unigine Heaven 2.1 (fps) 18
Crysis (fps) 29
Battle Forge (fps) 42
Far Cry 2 (fps) 78
F1 2010 (fps) 54
HAWX 2 (fps) 77
Metro 2033 (fps) 20
STALKER: CoP (fps)34
Just Cause 2 Concrete Jungle (fps) 35
Aliens vs. Predator (fps) 26
Power @ idle (W)
140
Power @ full throttle (W)252
THE VERDICT

Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU

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