If you’re looking to upgrade to the latest DirectX 11 graphics on a budget look no further! ASUS has released the ENGTX460 TOP DirectCU powered by Fermi with the GTX 460 GPU. The GPU is factory overclocked by ASUS with the core up to 700MHz and the memory up to 3680MHz. While increasing clock speeds ASUS opted to enhance stability with a non reference cooling solution known as DirectCU. DIRECTCU's thermal design allows for for 20% cooler operation of the GPU when compared to the reference NVIDIA card design. ASUS achieved this by placing two copper heat pipes directly over the GPU core, this will more efficiently carry the heat away from the GPU and to the cooling fins where the heat will be removed.
Looking at the box we immediately see "700MHz" "OVERCLOCKED" meaning this card comes Overclocked for you hassle free. You will also see the logos for DIRECTCU, DirectX 11, NVIDIA CUDA, and the 768MB of onboard Video Memory
Inside the box you will find a fancy black box with a gold ASUS logo.
Inside you will find two smaller elegant boxes that house the accessories.
The left box houses the accessories, DVI to HDMI converter, DVI to VGA Converter, and a dual molex to 6Pin PCIe power cable. In the Right side box we find the documentation, support CD, and a very attractive leather ASUS CD holder
Under the right side box is where you are going to find the card in its protective foam enclosure snuggly fit for shipping
The front of the ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP is where the air intake for the coming system is located. Because the fan shroud is not extended all the way to the I/O plate this design does not exhaust heat out of the PC.
On the back side of the ASUS GeForce GTX 460 video card over we can see the beautiful Matte black finish of the cards PCB. On the left side you will see a black support bracket this bracket is the rear mounting plate for the VRM heat sink, The bracket is used to prevent any flexing of the PCB that might compromise the heats sinks contact with the thermal zones. in the upper right corner we see a single SLI connector enabling the support for 2-Way SLI
The ASUS GTX 460 graphics card has two dual-link DVI-I outputs and a mini-HDMI output.
The ASUS GeForce GTX 460 video card requires two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors from a 450 Watt or greater power supply with at least 24 Amps on the +12 volt rail. If you want to run SLI it is recommended to use at least a 600 Watt power supply as suggested by NVIDIA. Along the top of the cards PCB there is a metal support bracket with the ASUS logo, this bracket provides support for the cards PCB and helps prevent flexing of the board and increases the cards durability and reliability.
The ASUS GTX 460 has ample room between the heat sink and the PCB for air to flow around the surface mount components and remove heat from the VRM heat sink.
The ASUS GTX 460 TOP uses four spring retention screws to securely mount the cooling assembly to the GPU.
Under the cooling assembly we see the HIS of the NVIDIA GTX 460 GPU. There are 6 of 8 128MB Samsung DDR5 memory modules soldered to the board for a total of 768MB of Memory, on the 1Gb version of this card we will find the additional 2 memory modules soldered to the PCB on the lower right of the GPU Core.
On the rear of the card we find the Energy Processing Unit “EPU” chip was hiding under the VRM heat sink support bracket. The EPU chip dynamically handles the GPU clock speed and Voltages for power saving features. When the card is idle, it will lower the clock speeds and voltages to save power and run cooler. The EPU chip is also in direct communication with the cards clock generator and used to boost the performance of the card through overclocking.
Turn the card over to see high quality solid-state capacitors and Yageo R68 ferrite chokes ASUS has used with its custom 5 Phase GPU Core power design this is 2 more power phases than the standard NVIDIA reference design. The extra power phases help with energy efficiency, power quality and overclocking potential as well as reliability.
The ENGTX460 TOP 768MB cooling system has two 8mm copper heat pipes as part of the DIRECTCU heat sink design. This means that the heat pipes are sanded to a flat surface for optimal contact between the heat pipes and the GPU. This method of direct heat pipe contact boosts 20% lower temperatures than the standard reference design.