ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II 2GB

Like with many popular CPU heatsink designs, ASUS' DirectCU II cooler uses copper heatpipes for the base of heatsink.  This allows the heatpipes to make direct contact with the GPU core, which in theory aids in the transfer of thermal energy to the heatsink's aluminum fins for dissipation.  It's assumed that the DirectCU II name comes from this design trait.

The massive DirectCU II cooler is held down to the video card with the use of four screws.

Looking at the remaining thermal compound left on the base after the cooler was removed, we can see that only three of the heatpipes make direct contact with the GTX 680 core.  The use of a heatspreader on the GTX 680 core (like most modern CPUs) may potentially aid in heat transfer to the heatsink.  Two heatpipes connect to the aluminum fin array above the base, with the remaining three connected to the other array of fins.

Unlike many other video card cooler designs, the DirectCU II heatsink doesn't interface directly with the memory modules.  Air blown through the heatsink's fins does circulate around the memory module area.

There are a whopping ten power phases.  ASUS' proprietary DIGI+ VRM controller is used, which allows for voltage changes using the included GPU Tweak software utility.

There are eight 2Gbit GDDR5 modules on the video card, giving a total of 2GB.  The Samsung K4G20325FD-FC03 modules are rated to run at 1500MHz (6000MHz GDDR5 effective).

Removing the metal plate on the back of the video card reveals nothing unique.  The plate is likely present for two reasons: to provide structural support to the video card and its DirectCU II cooler, and to increase the aesthetic appeal.