Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti Strix 6GB ReviewManufacturer: Asus
UK price (as reviewed): £639.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed):
MSRP $670 (ex Tax)
Asus used the launch of Nvidia's latest GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU as an opportunity to introduce new innovations to its graphics card segment. In particular, the company revealed its latest premium cooling solution, DirectCU III, as well as a blend of other supporting technologies. Perhaps the most interesting of the new Asus innovations is the AutoExtreme production process which automates the PCB assembly process that was previously done by hand.
Asus AutoExtreme is designed to produce more consistent and higher quality printed circuit boards given that the human-error element is removed from the production process. Another interesting aspect of AutoExtreme is that the assembly process removes entirely the usage of flux meaning no sharp edges and no oxidation-related wear over the long-term.
DirectCU III introduces a new package of power delivery components, Super Alloy Power II, that deliver some improvements over the previous generation. These focus on improving power efficiency by minimising conduction loss, switching loss and dead time and the end result, according to Asus, is its highest-efficiency power delivery solution yet.
The last notable addition to the DC3 cooling solution is a new fan design featuring larger fan blades that are more densely arranged as well as a wing-blade design that features downward-facing "wing tips" at the end of each fan blade. This larger fan blade surface area produces higher air flow while the denser arrangement of the blades and the addition of wing tips produces more air pressure. The new DC3 solution isn't limited only to the GTX 980 Ti, Asus is also introducing it to the AMD R9 Fury and R9 390(X).
The Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti Strix uses a striking mixture of black, red and silver to deliver a unique aesthetic. The triple-fan DC3 cooler is the most noticeable aspect of the design causing the card to measure in at just over 12 inches in length. In terms of the heat pipe arrangement, the Asus card makes use of two 10mm, two 8mm and one 6mm heat pipe with a direct contact copper base.
The rear of the Asus GTX 980 Ti Strix reveals just how tall the new PCB design is from Asus. Compared to a typical PCB, which normally aligns with the height of the PCI bracket, the Asus PCB adds an additional 1.5 inches. Asus gives the GTX 980 Ti a Strix-branded backplate and implements its GPU Fortifier, both of which combined reduce PCB-stress and the likelihood of long-term bending.
As with most other graphics card vendors the rear I/O is kept the same as Nvidia's reference layout with a single DVI, HDMI 2.0 and three DisplayPort 1.2 connections.
- Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti, 1,216MHz (boost 1,317MHz)
- Pipeline 2,816 stream processors, 176 texture units, 96 ROPs
- Memory 6GB GDDR5, 7.2GHz effective
- Bandwidth 346GB/sec, 384-bit interface
- Compatibility DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5
- Outputs/Inputs 3 x DisplayPort 1.2, Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0
- Power connections 2 x 8-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
- Size 305mm long, dual-slot
- Warranty Three years