The front of the box
The ASUS HD6850 goes back to using the traditional orange and black box seen in our [url= HD5870]ASUS EAH5870 1GB Graphics Card Review - Introduction[/url] review a year ago. The packaging is visually appealing and depicts a horseman, clearly portraying ASUS’s duty of ravaging the competition and delivering power to the user. And their way of delivery power is through their unique Voltage Tweak feature which they claim will potentially increase performance by 50%. The front of the box has the model name of the card printed at the bottom and the DirectCU moniker refers to their custom direct touch cooler. A few of the card’s key features are also illustrated such as support for Eyefinity and HDMI.
The back of the box
The back of the box is more informative and covers some of the card’s key characteristics is greater depth. At the top, the features are listed in 11 languages whilst below that are illustrations of the custom DirectCU cooler and the Voltage Tweak tool, as well a short description of their benefits. Additionally there is an illustration of the different display connectors that can be found at the back of the card.
Looking at the features
Looking closer, we can see that the DirectCU cooler promises to deliver up to 20% cooler operation and consequently quieter running. We will have a more in depth look at the actual cooler later and temperature results. The 50% faster performance is preceded by a small “up to” but in reality it will be very hard to get such an increase even with voltage tweaking.
Openign the box
Upon opening the box, we are greeted with another sleeker looking one with the gold ASUS emblem right in the middle. Inside, we are quickly greeted by the graphics card enclosed in foam cut out for protection. The box on the side contains all the extra cables and accessories. The documentations and installation discs are found in another box below the foam enclosure.
The whole bundle contains:
- the utility and driver discs
- the setup manual
- 1 x Molex to 6 pin PCIe power connector
- 1 x DVI to D-Sub adaptor
- 1 x Crossfire cable
- 1 x leather CD wallet
- the HD6850 graphics card
The CD wallet is an excellent and unique addition to the bundle, becoming very handy given the inclusion of 2 discs.
The graphics card uses a very attractive black PCB and custom cooler design. The shroud of the cooler uses a tough plastic construction and the shape is reminiscent of a sports car with its aerodynamic shape. The shroud is more for aesthetic purposes than actual cooling performance but it does act to protect the fan. The card itself is 24cm and compared to the EAH5850 TOP reviewed, the PCB doesn’t extend further than the shroud. For comparison, the reference MSI HD6870 is 24.5cm long. Thankfully, ASUS keeps their tradition of not using tacky stickers to deface the shroud and instead settle on a small ASUS badge. The connectors and ports are protected by a thin blue plastic cover.