The graphics card is dominated by the DirectCU II cooler. For those who already have a ROG board, this card will perfectly match the colour scheme thanks to the red highlights across the centre of the card adjacent to the twin fans.
There is no backplate, as with the GTX760 version which is a shame. Nonetheless, ASUS were considerate enough to protect all of the gold fingers along with the ports in the input/output area with blue plastic protects to ensure static discharge damage is potentially avoided. The PCB is matt black which is never a bad thing and as you can see, there are just four screws holding the cooler to the card making it easier to change the TIM should you wish to do so.
The card features a mid-plate which acts as both a brace to prevent bowing of the card but also to cool both memory and the VRM area. From this angle we can see a single huge heatpipe sprouting out beneath the core area which hints at the cooling performance. There are however a total of five heatpies on this DirectCU II design.
The ASUS R9 280X dimensions are 11.2" x 5.7" x 1.5" inches and will take up two expansion ports on the motherboard.
Overall, the aesthetics of the card are great. We love the black and red theme which would perfectly suit a ROG (Republic Of Gamers) PC build. We found it odd however that ASUS used two different fans however, as described below, there is method to the madness:
Let's take a closer look...