With the advent of a new leader in a segment of single-chip graphics accelerator NVIDIA’s partners were quick to present their version GEFORCE GTX 1080 ROG STRIX based GTX 1080. In our market, the bar sets ASUS, which is why we consider this model of the first. From alternate versions of the consumer is entitled to expect high efficiency cooling system, low noise under load, the presence of recycled circuit board factory overclocking, custom lighting and any other advanced features that are not strongly affect the final price. But how much corresponds to the new creation from ASUS all the requirements to us today and to be seen.
Before familiarization with the card, you must decide with a portrait of a potential buyer. For whom is 1080 GTX in the first place? First of all, those who are not ready to compromise and wants to enjoy the full gaming at WQXGA or UHD monitors. Also, the new product will have advanced at the time of tape drives, enthusiasts, overclockers and to the rest contingent, which is still different from the mass consumer and knows exactly what he wants. At the same time, given the current price range of 55-60 thousand prospective owners narrows even more and to talk about a “people’s card” is simply not appropriate. Alas, despite this impressive performance, and a nice bonus as the acceleration in our country afford such a graphics accelerator can few. In addition to all, the ASUS offers a much improved version of the GTX 1080 is able to provide a higher level of performance out of the box.
The card comes in a relatively large box, which is equipped with a bright décor. Among the most important features of the manufacturer said the advantages of its proprietary cooling system DirectCU III, the presence of qualitative element base, adjustable RGB backlight, the ability to connect external system fan and corporate support package GPU Tweak II.
Inside you will find the second box, made of a dense black cardboard. Content is divided into two compartments, located on top of the box with the accessories, and just below is a protected form of a foam card.
The package includes documentation, CD with drivers and proprietary software, an invite code for the game World of Warships, two ties velcro with symbols of ROG and coupler 2×6-pin => 8-pin.
Compared with the 900th series appearance has undergone significant changes. The front side is equipped with a massive plastic casing, including while on the cards of the previous generation used metal. In addition to this increase in the number of fans, now there are three. Note special slits along the edges of the housing that serve as a backlight element.
The reverse side is still equipped with a metal casing, but it was significantly reworked. Here is another of the illuminated areas in the form of ROG logo. I should also note that one of the screws is the warranty seal, which is damaged, you lose the warranty. This is very relevant moment for those who want to install the water-block for the integration of video into the CBO circuit.
Note that virtually closes the casing radiator fins at the sides, i.e. It does not prevent the dissipation of hot air inside the housing. video length is 300 mm and the width is equal to 135 mm. It should be noted that it imposes certain restrictions on the use of video in compact systems.
To combine graphics cards in SLI required a special bridge, which is purchased separately would be very difficult. Appropriate connectors to create the tandem are located in the usual place. To connect the additional power provided by an indentation, which helped to save a little space and ensure that the connectors will not interfere with closing the side cover. Speaking of power, the device worked properly, require quality power output of 500 watts.
The front end would be completely normal if not for the presence here of two 4-pin connectors for system fans. Yes you read that right, now the graphics card will take over the role of the fan control and the motherboard would remain on the sidelines. Incidentally, the casing at this point beyond, thereby increasing the overall length. This aspect allows for more expressive lighting, as special pipes laid for housing in this location remain uncovered.
The changes were made and the interface panel, which includes the following connectors: 2x the HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, DVI-D. While the present classically performed one DisplayPort, but no additional HDMI.
When choosing a graphics card, largely because the alternative cooling system plays a decisive role. It is very important that the video card is not overheated, which, of course, will increase the life of the device and the reliability of the system as a whole. Guided by these considerations ASUS has perfected proven cooling system Direct CU, not just to cool the graphics card, but also make it virtually silent.
Before you clean the radiator with cover should be carefully disconnect the cable for the power supply fan and lighting.
The basic and most important element here is the massive radiator, which consists of two sections. The plates are placed tightly enough that requires a fan with a higher static pressure. Radiator in contact not only with the GPU, and partially removes heat from the memory chips and the power components. This approach is more optimal in comparison to when the cooling power is applied separate radiator elements of small sizes. The points of contact with elements of the thermal interface material are provided. I also want to point out that the fans are mounted on a heat sink, and not on the cover, as it was earlier.
Many criticize ASUS for the use of direct contact technology, as a decrease in the chip area becomes more and more difficult to use a large number of heat pipes. Despite these observations, the manufacturer continues to resort to such a decision. In fairness it should be noted that part of the tube still draw heat from nearby, which are in contact with the graphics core. This approach reduces the overall efficiency, but in the end the ASUS still turns to restrain the temperature to competitive values.
But with the fans in order. Their number increased from two to three, in addition to the already proven optimizations are applied one more extra. At the ends of the impeller are arranged small protrusions, which is amplified due to the air flow and an increase in static pressure for flushing the radiator.
Despite the plastic casing looks sturdy enough. On the reverse side are transparent pipes laid for the implementation of the backlight. Fixation on the radiator is carried out using the six screws.
Rib is given a special plate, which is also in contact with memory chips.
On a metal plate on the reverse side to the power cable is ROG logo illumination zone.
The size and shape of the board once it becomes clear that it has undergone considerable revision. In the center is the graphics processor, and around it are soldered memory chips. To the right are located the power components of the power subsystem.
On the reverse side there is nothing remarkable.
The new chip (GP104-400-A1) came out very economical and does not require special attention when heat dissipation. The first thing that catches the eye is the lack of the metal frame around the GPU, which would protect the chip from the chips.
Memory modules type GDDR5X represented 8 Micron chips production. All chips are arranged on one side of the printed circuit board and provided with cooling.
In contrast to the reference sample, where the power system is based on a 5 + 1, applies to the ASUS 10-phase scheme. Eight phases devoted to the needs of the GPU and two for memory.
Power switches are in the form of finished intelligence module IR3555M, comprising a driver FET and Schottky diode. Also this module is implemented cyclic control current, overheating protection, overvoltage and undervoltage. A memory power reserved field N-channel transistors are labeled M3054M / M3056M.
For the management of the GPU-powered responsible PWM controller uP 9511P.
Next to the connectors for the power supply cooling fan and lighting, there are two 4-pin connectors for external fans. To monitor and adjust the fan data controllers Nuvoton 3949S used.
ASUS engineers have managed to achieve that in spite of its impressive dimensions GEFORCE GTX 1080 ROG STRIX completely slack. This is a nice bonus, especially for those who like to collect system with multiple graphics cards.
The used Intel Core i7-6700K, while the CPU frequency was rated as the CPU. The role of the platform served motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7. FCLK value was specified in the manual and in line with 1000 MHz. Memory functioned at the frequency of 3400 MHz XMP active profile with 16-18-18-36 timings.
GEFORCE GTX 1080 ROG STRIX instance differs from the Founders Edition alternative cooling system, recycled PCB, factory overclocked, and the presence of RGB backlight. In addition, the version from ASUS is able to manage two system fans. Thermal interface on the testing time was replaced by Cryorig CP15.
For the performance evaluation of synthetics used Valley Benchmark tests, Heaven Benchmark and 3DMark13.
Let us turn to gaming applications, and focus on the testing methodology. The measurement was conducted FPS with FRAPS utility. All games have been tested in the three most relevant resolutions: 1920×1080, 2560h1440 and 3840h2160. Manually disable the following options:
VSync (vertical sync)
All other settings, including smoothing, were installed at the maximum possible.
If we analyze the results, it becomes clear that, thanks to factory-overclocked ASUS GTX 1080 ROG Strix offers a significant increase in performance in comparison with the model equipped with reference cooling system. In addition, alternative CO promotes averaged GPU Boost frequency index in the mode. Given the results we can safely say that this model is perfect for playing on monitors with a resolution of 2560×1440, you can not stand on ceremony and twist in all settings at maximum possible games. As for the 4K, then the disabling of this parameter as anti-aliasing, you can also safely play and enjoy excellent graphics.
The changes were made and proprietary utility GPU Tweak II. In particular, the interface has been redesigned and added some options. Despite this, it is too early to talk about full-fledged replacement of MSI Afterburner utility, which to this day remains the most popular for overclocking.
GPU Tweak II conditionally divided into two parts. On the left is displayed monitoring of all possible values, and on the right is used to select video mode. In our case, the OC mode / Gaming Mode / Silent Mode.
The test version is provided with a copy of the BIOS where the default mode is activated OC mode. For retail copies Mode Gaming Mode will be available by default. Therefore, after the purchase and installation of the video card is desirable to immediately download GPU Tweak II Utility and activate the OC mode mode.
An important innovation is the ability to control two fans connected system. Implemented as a function of monitoring and fine-tuning by hand. For those who plan to use in the SLI graphics cards, this option will be most useful, especially if there is the possibility of installation in the case of fans on the side panel. In addition, this approach allows us to reduce the noise level, because when there is no load on the graphics card and the system fans will stop and it will save you from unnecessary noise.
For part of the monitoring, you can select any of the displayed values and extend down menu. would need to be modified and the window width, but here it has not been implemented. The main part has a tab Info, which combines information GPU-Z and Live Update.
A useful option is the possibility of logging and lovers diversify the interface of the future will be able to change the shell utilities. XSplit and AURA Optional applications will be available immediately after installation. The first can be used for streaming / recording process of the game, and the second allows you to adjust the backlight.
Let us and learn more about the AURA application. Where you can ask any backlight color or even disable it. For fans of the dynamics there are all sorts of effects, for example, it is possible to make the backlight to work in time to the music. I note that when you change a parameter, all data stored in memory on the next boot you will not have to re-expose the color of the backlight or to keep itself in the startup utility.
I suggest to familiarize yourself with the look of the area illuminated.
Basically window provide access to the Professional mode Mode. It offers access to change settings for overclocking and memory frequencies, but also provided control of the fan speed. Any interesting option to add or remove.
In advanced mode the settings, you can set keyboard shortcuts, set up a schedule to check for updates, to enable or disable automatic downloading tools with the operating system.
Gaming Booster also available from the simplified menus, so you can disable the operating system, visual effects, stop unnecessary processes and clean the system memory.
Testing took place in an open package at room temperature of 25 degrees. In idle mode, the GPU and memory frequency is reduced to 329/405 MHz, which directly affects the efficiency and improves thermal performance. In idle mode the temperature dropped to 44 ° C and under a load does not exceed 71 ° C. As for the noise level, at low loads the graphics card fan stops and emits no sound. Under load, the noise also does not come out of your comfort zone. In addition, any unusual noises like squeaking chokes have been identified. In general, by reducing power consumption and consequently reduce heat, alternative cooling system copes with heat removal.
Acceleration was carried out using the latest version of the utility EVGA PrecisionX 16, as well as to consolidate the results used proprietary software ASUS GPU Tweak II. Despite the use of more advanced cooling system and recycled printed circuit board, in both cases did not reach or exceed the results that were obtained when the reference video acceleration. Perhaps not lucky with the instance.
The frequency of the graphics processor could increase by 30 MHz, which is the final version was 1814 MHz. However, given the GPU Boost desired value increased to 2088 MHz, which ensures a significant increase in productivity.
The memory frequency was increased to 475 MHz, and reached the value 2740 MHz (10.9 GHz QDR), was a good increase.
I suggest to get acquainted with the increased performance and Fire Strike Extreme Fire Strike Ultra:
ASUS has once again proved that it is able to meet the expectations of its customers. In all of this, this company is not afraid to experiment with regular changes in the design of the cooling system and the addition of new options. For example, in GEFORCE GTX 1080 ROG STRIX such option is the ability to connect and control the operation of the two system fans. Otherwise, the entire set of positive aspects is here. Despite the fact that not all of the tube directly in contact with the graphics processor, the efficiency of cooling system does not cause problems and is at a sufficiently high level. Review copies will please fans and lighting, its implementation deserves special praise.