We recently had an unveiling of the non-TOP ASUS Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II, and while that card is awesome, the restless people in the labs continued toiling away when they realized they could make it even better given a few more sleepless fortnights. The new edition (still non-ROG, granted) retains the same factory-overclocked TOP-selected GPU, a zippy 28nm Pitcairn AMD chip. The core and memory specs hold true, and the overall package is quite similar, including GPU Tweak. HOWEVER, the revision ships with souped-up DIGI+ VRM power delivery, alongside a modified DirectCU II cooler that's even, well, cooler than the one used on the initial release.

DIGI+ VRM is based on power delivery designs previously implemented on ASUS motherboards, so that's definitely a good thing and then some. It's also a close relative of ROG's very own Extreme Engine DIGI+. This means bigger and better capacitors and chokes, plus more precise voltage regulation. All traits a maniacal overclocker could certainly warm up to. Speaking of warmth, the upgraded DirectCU II thermal design uses much more obvious heatpipes that should prove useful in those tight high-demand moments.

Overall, this is a more complete card than the first HD 7870, so if you haven't gotten yourself one yet, this is the part to go for. Besides, ASUS tells me this will be the default in-house HD 7870 going forward, and the version to see mass worldwide distribution, so if you check retailers it's most likely you will find this edition anyway.

Here's some pics to get a closer look at the card. For your reference, this is still a two-slotter with two 6-pin connectors.

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