Custom Options from ASUS, Galaxy and MSI
Though we only have time today for a cursory glance at these non-reference graphics cards, we'll have more testing and evaluation of the product in the next couple of weeks. This is a unique launch because the add-in card vendors are already so familiar with the design, custom solutions are ready and shipping on day one!
ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2GB
ASUS continues with its fully custom, non-reference board design under the DirectCU II brand. The GTX 770 is overclocked slightly but also includes a unique PCB with power delivery and heatsink/fan assembly.
ASUS has decided to keep the output configuration the same with this card.
The cooler is a great addition to this product as it is moves much more air across the heatsink than the reference cooler but is quieter at the same time. Features like the Dust Proof Fan and heatsinks built specifically for the MOSFETs add to the appeal of ASUS design.
ASUS has engineered the card for overclockers and highly touts its custom PCB design. Though the claims of 3x quieter are likely in comparison to the original GTX 680 reference cooler, the DirectCU II design is still very well made.
The Super Alloy design of the ASUS GTX 770 has many great features including Dig+VRM power design (Digital Controller with SAP Super Alloy Power components), 5K Capacitors, SAP Mosfets and SAP Chokes but the 10-phase power delivery system is a key differentiator.
Galaxy GTX 770 GC 2GB
Galaxy has a custom build solution of their own that comes overclocked out of the box to a base clock of 1063 MHz. The dual-fan cooler is able to keep the GK104 GPU at a low temperature even when running at overclocked speeds and does so at a quieter level than the reference design.
The heatsink fin stack makes it all the way to the back of the PCB and you can see Galaxy has gone with the 6+8 pin power design.
MSI GTX 770 2GB Lightning
MSI's Lightning series of cards got a lot of attention last year and they have quickly adapted that to the new GTX 770 brand. The black and yellow coloring on the design is pretty unique and looks just like the design used on the HD 7970 Lightning that Josh reviewed.
On the back is what MSI calls the GPU Reactor. This is a separate PCB from the video card, and it plugs into the back of the unit. It features an extra 8 tantalum capacitors which almost doubles Current Volume, all the while lowering ripple.
With these changes MSI has also gone with the dual 8-pin power connections to allow for some more power draw from the power supply.
Though not as specific as ASUS got with its design above, the MSI Lightning GTX 770 continues to use components that they call Military Class 4 level.
As I said at the beginning, expect more on these new cards in the coming weeks!!