Software

ASUS has bundled their latest incarnation of the GPU Tweak overclocking control software (successor of SmartDoctor), currently at version 2.0.5.3. Unlike MSI's Afterburner the tool can only adjust voltages if you are using a card with ASUS's vendor ID set in the video card bios.

gputweak ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review

 

One interesting feature was the ability to scale the GPU clocks with the appropiate voltage level, making it a no-brainer for illterate users.

syncvoltage ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review

 

The tool can also contact a central server for updates to itself and the VGA bios.

biosupdate ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review

 

On AMD's own Overdrive and most GPU overclocking tools, the core and memory frequencies are usually limited to an (unadventurous) range in the vBIOS. To work around this ASUS has included a "overclocking range enhancement" setting to override the predefined values. In addition to that, the 2D idle clocks can be disabled which forces the card to run at full speeds all the time to warm the earth and kill polar bears.

ocrange ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review

disable2d ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review

 

Overclocking

 

maxoc ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review

By setting the voltage to 1.3V (up from 1.21v), we could push the GPU clock speed to 1175MHz, which is a commendable 200MHz more than the already overclocked defaults and an impressive 315MHz over the reference design. As for the memory frequencies, we managed 1525MHz which is 22% higher than stock clocks.

 

Thermals / Cooling Dexterity

Methodology: We looped Unigine Heaven 2.5 on aggressive settings for 10 minutes on each run, and took the maximum recorded temperature from the on-die sensor. Ambient room temperature was about 20 degrees celcius.

 

Stock Voltage (100% Fan) Load Temperature: 47 degrees celcius (WOW)

stocktemps ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review

 

1.3v Overclocked (100% Fan) Load Temperature: 55 degrees celcius (EXCELLENT!)

voltagetemps ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II TOP Review