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Asus EAH6850 Direct CU Overclock Edition Review

The Asus box is a dramatic fantasy piece with a rather ugly looking J.R. Tolkien style mutant on a horse. On the left of the box there is information relating to the Voltage Tweak, with a ‘50% faster’ graphic. Bold claims I would think, and slightly exaggerated.

Asus packaging is always rather elaborate and we like this box design. The accessories are in a box on the right, and underneath the card in a seperate flatpack box. The card is sandwiched between two layers of soft foam.

The bundle is comprehensive, although there is no free game. There is a driver CD and documentation which is supplied inside a leather wallet. There is a DVI adapter, Crossfire bridge and PCI Express power adapter.

The Direct CU thermal solution is an ASUS design and it looks great, they have used similar coolers in the past. The card is Crossfire capable, if you want to buy two, or add another later. Like all AMD boards, this is Eyefinity capable, meaning it supports output across 3 monitors. The only requirement being, that one needs to be Displayport capable. The card is 10.24 inches long and 4.84 inches wide.

The fan is centrally placed in relation to the PCB and it is a two slot design. The fan is larger than the reference model and is a nine blade design, cooling the fins and pipes directly underneath. The card requires a single 6 pin feed from the power supply.

The card has two DVI ports, as well as a single Displayport and HDMI connector. This combination of ports will handle all digital display configurations. The HDMI interface is 1.4a compatible which covers Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, AC-3, DTS and up to 7.1 channel audio with 192 kHz / 24-bit output.

The Asus EAH6850 uses a ChiL CHL8214 voltage regulator which supports voltage control via I2C and offers a range of tweaking capabilities.

The cooler is a dual 8mm heatpipe design with a set of aluminum fins on either side. The pipes are flattened copper to ensure a perfect contact to the GPU core underneath.

A modest overclock on the core to 790mhz with memory running at 1000mhz (4000mhz effective). The memory is high quality Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR-T2C, which is specified to run at 1250mhz (5000mhz effective), so we expect to see some nice gains when we get around to overclocking the card later.

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