ASUS is reportedly working on a new custom-design Radeon HD 7850 graphics card, to capture a key price-point in the performance market segment. The card uses the company's in-house DirectCu II dual-slot cooling solution, and is labeled "Dragon Edition" (model: DRAGON HD7850-DC2O-2GD5). The card ships with clock speeds lower than those of the HD 7850 DirectCu II TOP, with 910 MHz GPU and 5.00 GHz memory (vs. reference clock speeds of 870/4.84 GHz; and DCU2 TOP clock speeds of 975/5.00 GHz).
Interestingly, the HD 7850 DirectCu II Dragon Edition features a metal back-plate, something even the TOP model lacks. The PCB, too, differs from the that is found in other HD 7850 DCU2 graphics cards, featuring a 6+3 phase Digi+ VRM, which draws power from two 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The main heatsink bears a slightly different design to that of the other DCU2 models based on the GPU. ASUS is likely to price the card somewhere between the stock HD 7850 DirectCu II and the HD 7850 DirectCu II TOP.