The Asus GTX760 Direct CU Mini may be a tiny little graphics card, but it packs plenty of performance if you are building a new system inside a diminutive case such as the Lian Li PC Q11, Q25 or Q30.
The GTX760 Direct CU Mini is around 7cm smaller than the reference Nvidia GTX760 solution, however Asus have still managed to overclock the card a little higher to improve performance at high resolutions. There is no doubt that the GTX760 Mini will handle the latest Direct X 11 games at 1080p with image quality set at high levels, ideal for a compact system connected to a large high definition television located in a bedroom or living room.
The compact cooler does an impressive job, holding load temperatures between 70-75c under load, although it does emit a fair share of noise doing so. There are obviously compromises to be made when the engineers are designing such a tiny board, but it did get a little louder than we would have liked. It was even audible at idle, although not too intrusive.
Further overclocking on the GTX760 Mini was not too bad – we managed between 10% and 8% on the core and memory respectively to boost performance above the full sized, overclocked Palit GTX760 JetStream used as a comparison today.
You can pick the Asus GTX760 Direct CU Mini up from Scan in the United Kingdom for £227.71 inc vat.
- tiny, and ideal for Mini ITX cases.
- great performance.
- additional 10% headroom on core.
- no overclock on memory.
- gets a little noisy.
The Asus HD7850 Direct CU II graphics card is well priced in the UK today, on sale now for around the £150 inc vat mark in the United Kingdom.
The Direct CU II cooler is class leading for this solution, holding load temperature in the low to mid 60’s when gaming. It is also a very quiet cooling system, inaudible when idle and unobtrusive when placed under gaming load. The unique dual fan design discussed earlier in the review helps to ensure that the fans work in cooperation rather than forcing air flow against each other and raising noise levels.
Asus modestly clock this card at 860mhz out of the box, although we were able to push the core 22% higher, to around 1,050mhz. This translated into noticeable real world benefits when gaming, and increased our 3dMark 11 score from 5,836 to over 7,000. The Direct CU II cooler is more than capable of handling the core increases, so we are a little surprised that Asus didn’t opt for a modest 950mhz overclock out of the box.
The HD7850 may not get serious attention for hard core gamers, but it can handle many of the latest games at 1080p resolution without causing too much of a problem. Overclocking the core to 1ghz would certainly help improve the minimum frame rates, smoothing out some of the more intensive games.
For those with a limited budget, buying one card now for £150, then adding another at a later date for Crossfire, seems like a good way to stay competitive.
- excellent cooler.
- massive 20% overclocking headroom.
- decent performance
- good in Crossfire.
- Asus should give the card a core clock bump.
- HD7870 isn’t much more expensive now.
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