ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix Review




ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

Review index:


This GTX 980 from ASUS is… massive. The card is heavy like a tank because it’s a tank! The first time you get the card in hands, you know that it will do the job. And the job will be done quietly!

ASUS GTX 980 Strix is based on the GM204 GPU which is the second iteration of NVIDIA Maxwell architecture. More information and detailed analysis of GM204 GPU can be found in the reviews section of THIS PAGE.

ASUS GTX 980 Strix homepage can be found HERE.


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

I’d like to thanks the folks at Internex for this GTX 970 Phantom! Thank you guys!

1 – Gallery

1.1 – Bundle

The bundle: limited to the bare minimum: the graphics card, a CDROM with drivers (is it still useful today???), an install doc, a pci-e power connector two 6-pin to one 8-pin. ASUS added a geeky touch in the bundle: two stickers to customize a bit the VGA cooler.


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

1.2 – The Graphics Card

ASUS has equipped its GTX 980 with a custom VGA cooler based on the popular DirectCU II cooler technology. And the nice feature with this VGA cooler is that fans are completely stopped if the GPU temperature is below a threshold. ASUS has done a video that shows how this VGA cooler works:



This card offers three DisplayPort connectors for those who wish plug three 4k monitors!

Output ports:
– 3 x DisplayPort 1.2
– 1 x HDMI 2.0 (see HERE for a test of the HDMI 2.0 port)
– 1 x DVI


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

For overclockers, the PCB includes voltage check points:


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

Four LEDs indicate if the power supply if ok or not:


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

The GTX 980 Strix vs the GTX 780 reference design:


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

2 – GPU Info: GPU Caps Viewer, GPU-Z

Tools:
GPU Caps Viewer 1.22.0
GPU Shark 0.9.2
GPU-Z 0.8.0

This ASUS GTX 980 has a base clock of 1177MHz (reference clock: 1126MHz) and a boost clock of 1278MHz (reference clock: 1216MHz). GPU speeds are overclocked compared to the reference card. The min power target is 61% TDP and the max is 125% TDP.


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix

3 – Benchmarks

I benchmarked ASUS’ GTX 980 with several GPU tests. See THIS PAGE for all results in 1920×1080 fullscreen mode.

4 – Burn-in Test and Throttling


ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix - FurMark stress test

This card is FurMark-proof and it’s a good thing. All serious cards should be FurMark-proof. What does it mean? Simply that GPU core clock speed should not be downclocked by the graphics driver when the graphics card is tortured by FurMark. On some graphics cards, the GPU is throttled down, sometimes in a too aggressive way, because the power consumption is too high.

During the FurMark burn-in test, the GPU core clock was 1215 MHz which indicates that the power consumption is ok and is under the TDP. If the GPU clock speed is lower than the base clock (1177 MHz here) we would be in the case of GPU throttling because of too high power draw.

The GTX 980 Strix has successfully passed the FurMark stress test.

At idle, the total power consumption of the testbed is 50W and the GPU temperature is 32°C which is a nice temperature.

When FurMark is running, the CPU pulls around 25W and the total power consumption is 265W. The efficiency factor of the Corsair AX 860i is 0.92. An estimation of the power consumption of the GTX 970 Phantom is:

P = (265-25-50) * 0.92
P = 175W

ASUS has designed a robust PCB and VRM (main part of the power circuitry) which allows a power draw higher than the reference TDP (165W for the ref GTX 970). This extra power consumption is mainly caused by the factory overclocking settings.

Under this torture test, the GPU temperature didn’t exceed 67°C and the VGA cooler was very quiet (even when the fans were spinning). Outstanding!

5 – Conclusion

This GTX 980 Strix is another great product by ASUS. I didn’t overclocked this card due to the lack of time but I’m sure there is plenty of overclocking room under the hood. This card is the fastest graphics hardware I ever tested. This card dominates Gainward GTX 970 Phantom while having a lower power consumption.

Final Verdict

9/10 PROS:
– GM204 GPU
– HDMI 2.0 for 4k @ 60 Hz
– 4GB of graphics memory
– nice GPU temperature at idle state (32°C)
ultra quiet VGA cooler at idle and under load
three DisplayPort connectors and one HDMI connector
– factory-overclocked
strong power cicuitry, no GPU throttling
backplate for mechanical protection
– VGA cooler with 0-dB mode
– stickers for customizing the VGA cooler

CONS:
– simple bundle


2 comments

  • vojtech

    Beautiful card.

  • Freyvane

    Hello, i have a very stupid question about this card.
    I don’t have 8pins connector, it’s mean i have to use 3x6pins right ?
    2 6pins for the 8pins, and the third 6pins to plug next to the 8pins, is that it ?