The ASUS DirectCU II series of cards are just a great option for people who are looking for something that offers a strong cooler, and while some of the recent ones we've looked at might not carry a three slot cooler like you see on their high end ones, the cooler that is used is designed very well for the model it's on.
One of the good things about the DirectCU II series is that ASUS do a great job of making sure the cooler they use accommodates the model well. While lower end models like the GTX 560 are part of the series, their cooler is quite different to the ones you see on the models above it.
Choosing to overclock without boosting voltage also means that not as much heat is generated, but a nice performance boost can be seen; we saw that today when comparing this card overclocked to our reference one. One of the best features of the card would have to be the noise levels, though, that are still extremely low even when overclocked.
ASUS do a great job of offering quiet cards that sit higher up the performance pyramid then a lot of other companies. This is obvious in our sound graphs which show the DirectCU II offerings sitting towards the bottom of the graph.
The other feature that stands out a bit is the connectivity with its two DVI connectors and two DisplayPort connectors. I like that ASUS have chosen to go for a full size DP connector instead of a mini one, it eliminates the need for convertors and means if you're using a DP monitor you can plug it straight in. While the card does lack HDMI on the PCB itself at least, ASUS have thought about it and chosen to include a DVI to HDMI connector in the bundle.
Throw this all together and slap a $199.99 price tag on it and it's a great buy. Throw in a $20 rebate at Newegg at the moment and at $179.99 the ASUS HD 6870 DirectCU II is one of the cheapest HD 6870s on the market. Considering the performance of the cooler, this is a great buy for anyone interested in a quality HD 6870.
At the end of it all, it comes as no surprise that ASUS have managed to produce another great quality card. What's a little surprising is the extremely strong price that's on it.