ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING Video Card Review

Today we review in full detail our first custom GeForce GTX 1080 video card. ASUS has decked the ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING out with a factory overclock, the STRIX cooling system, and a fully customizable lighting system. Let's see this beast overclock and compare it to the previous gen's GTX 980 Ti and Radeon R9 Fury X.

Introduction

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. is one of the largest and most successful computer hardware manufacturers in the world. A Taiwan-based company, it manufactures a wide variety of computer hardware, including motherboards, video cards, optical drives, notebooks, networking equipment, barebones desktop, and server systems, among many others.

On our test bench today is the ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING(ROG STRIX-GTX1080-O8G-GAMING) video card.

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The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING is the first fully customized GeForce GTX 1080 that we have taken a look at thus far. In this evaluation we will overclock the video card to the maximum level possible and examine its actual frequency in-game to see how stable and consistent it performs with the new GPU Boost 3.0 technology. We will be using a customized ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DC III OC which uses the previous generation of GPU denoted Maxwell. We are also comparing it to the fastest video card that AMD currently has to offer, the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X.

We have evaluated the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founder's Edition which does not have a factory overclock and is equipped with the default cooling solution. The Founder's Edition video cards have an MSRP of $699. Most add-in board partners will sell the reference video card at an MSRP of $599. The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING is currently in high demand, so the price has risen to $679 and may unavailable until supplies are replenished.

The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING features the new Pascal architecture, which is much faster and even more power efficient than the previous Maxwell generation. The manufacturing process has now been reduced from 28nm down to 16nm FinFET, which allows for a faster flow of electricity and much faster performance as a result. This video card also features the GDDR5X (G5X) memory.

The GeForce GTX 1080 contains 2560 CUDA Cores with a base clock of 1607MHz and GPU Boost Clock of 1733MHz. ASUS has increased these frequencies, which we will highlight momentarily. There are 160 texture units and 64 ROPs, which provide 277.3 Gigatextures/sec and 8873 GFLOPs. The GDDR5X memory operates at a default frequency of 10,000MHz (10GHz) on a 256-bit memory bus providing 320GB/sec of bandwidth.


ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING Video Card

The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING has been factory overclocked, bringing the GPU clock speed up from the Founder's Edition speed of 1607MHz up to 1759MHz. The Boost clock also adjusts up to a 1898MHz as a result of the factory overclock. The maximum GPU Boost frequency supported by the factory overclock is 1936MHz which must be manually enabled using ASUS GPU Tweak II in "OC Mode."

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Of course ASUS is well known for its cooling solutions. The DirectCU II, DirectCU III, and STRIX cooling systems each have their own benefits and strengths. The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING, uses a combination of the STRIX cooling system and DirectCU III cooling system. This features three fans spread across the massive heatsink, in order to maximize the airflow across the video card. STRIX video cards are specially designed to be quieter than normal fans thanks to the wing-blade fan design. This cooling system will hopefully help in providing excellent overclocking conditions and cool GPU operating temperatures.

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The STRIX cooling system also includes 5 copper heatpipes that directly contact the GPU and spread to different areas on the finned heat sink, allowing the maximum surface area to be utilized. The copper heat pipes are designed and maneuvered in such a way that the heat should spread evenly across the video card, allowing the fans to handle their business with more ease than the Founder's Edition blower fan.

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The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING is also designed with 8+2 Phase Super Alloy Power II. The super alloy components have a much longer life expectancy, much better efficiency and reduced power loss compared to the reference Founder's Edition video card. This will be imperative in our quest for extreme overclocking.

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Installing ASUS' AURA program allows complete customization of the video cards light system, including many different effects. You are given the choice with a button at the top of the program to turn the lights completely off, or leave them on. When they are enabled, the first option is "Static" which allows you to choose the color you want on a blended color wheel. To the right side of the color wheel is a color bar that allows you to adjust the primary color selected. You can select a darker shade by moving the slider down the bar. There is a second color bar to the far right which allows you to select varying shades of white and grey.

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Selecting "Breathing" will fade the lights completely off, and then fade back to the color you have chosen on the color wheel. The "Strobing" option will cause the video card's lights to light up directly to the color you have chosen and flash back off. The strobe effect has a duration of 1 second on followed by one second off. There is no way to adjust the rate of the strobe at this point in time. Selecting "Color Cycle" will automatically cycle through all of the colors on the color wheel. The colors follow the color wheel and blend together smoothly, it does not flash to the next color.

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There are two special effects options. The first option is "Music." We opened up a song and listened while watching the lights. The lights get brighter and darker with the notes and sounds and flow to different colors as the tone of the music changed. When we were listening to the song, the volume was all the way up, and the lights were extremely bright. When we reduced the volume of the music, the overall brightness is also dramatically reduced. Moving it to half effectively cuts the brightness in half, while muting the music will cause the lights to turn off. The lights also work while playing video games, shooting a gun for instance causes brighter flashes from the loudness of your gun. This effect was pretty awesome and adds a lot to your case flare! The second special effect is GPU Temperature which will adjust in color from green at 40c through yellow temperatures at 70c, and finally into orange and red at temperatures approaching and above 80c.

The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING is currently in high demand, so the price has risen to $679 and may unavailable until supplies are replenished. You can read more about the ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING and its specifications on ASUS' website.


ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING Pictures

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The ASUS ROG GTX 1080 STRIX GAMING ships in a colorful and well packaged box. The accessory package includes a quick installation guide, driver CD, a 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe power adaptor and two velcro cable ties.

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Overall the video card is solid black. The AURA RGB lighting system is what gives the end user the ultimate control over their color of choice. On the fan side of the video card there are three lights along the top edge and three more lights along the bottom edge of the video card. The back Republic of Gamers on the back also lights up, and the LED's for the front are visible in the back as well. There is also a backplate that keeps the rear mounted components safe and secure.

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The rear I/O panel houses two DisplayPort connectors and two HDMI connectors, including one which is completely ready for virtual reality. connector. ASUS recommends a 750W power supply to operate correctly, which will require an 8-pin PCIe power connector and a 6-pin PCIe power connector. It is a pretty big video card due to the massive heatsink and three fans, and measures a whole 12 inches in length, 1 and 5/8th inches wide, and is a little shorter than most video cards at 4.75 inches in height.

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