Here comes the ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 970.
Byline : by din
While the fanfare is on the new NVIDIA GTX 980, the real jewel of NVIDIA’s latest chipset technology is, if you ask me, found on the lower rated GTX 970. Though slower, it has the best price-to-performance ratio of any graphics card in the market to date. So it’s not a surprise to see that ASUS has released a STRIX version of this highly sought after graphics card. How does it perform? Let’s find out.
STRIX is the latest in a long line of ASUS’ latest efforts to bring the very best to gamers. With this new platform, the GPU will detect if it’s under-utilised and will automatically turn off its cooling fan. This means there will be none of that annoying buzz or whine. Behold, your PC is now a silent beast!
The new STRIX packaging doesn’t differ much from ASUS’ other gaming line, the Republic of Gamers, though it must but that there is less red on the box. Not much can be found within other than the card itself, drivers, as well as some other extras. An owl/eagle like bird, the STRIX logo, proudly emblazoned on the box and GPU.
ASUS’ Direct CU II cooler is well known among gamers due to its efficient cooling design, and looks rather cool. Gamers would be happy to learn that the STRIX’s cooler still retains the Direct CU II signature design – large and heavy but a very durable heatsink; twin fans that look like a pair of eyes; and the large, black aluminium backplate that not only helps with heat dissipation but also prevents the card from bending under its own weight. Indeed, the black and red colour is always welcomed sight.
Less Means More
What surprised me the most when I installed the card is that it only needed one single 8-Pin power connector. Many GTX 970 cards out there are using a combo of 6+8 Pins, but ASUS managed to cut down the power usage to 225W. Keep in mind that this card is overclocked by default. Thus, I am certainly convinced that ASUS is using some form of magic to make this possible.
The STRIX and Direct CU II cooler combo makes this a really silent and ‘cold’ card. With the former, the fans only start spinning when the card hits the 67-degree Celsius range. Even then, it had been hard to push performance heat to that temperature. Once the fans switched on, it produced a mere whisper rather than a large buzz. In fact, it purrs like a kitten, bellying the fact that it has the performance and prowess of a lion.
ASUS has retained NVIDIA’s default output of dual DVI, one of which supports VGA via a converter, as well as one HDMI, and a DisplayPort. With 4GB of GDDR5 memory, you have more than enough grunt to play on not only 4K resolution but triple screens at 1440p as well. SLI users would also love the rather long SLI connection port that makes sure it does not get in the way of the cooler. Plenty of room for proper cable management and easy hardware integration.
When really put to the test, it made Swiss cheese of the most high-end games that are now available in the market. Of course, this is provided the CPU and RAM used are equally as high-performance. All games tested, from Dragon Age: Inquisition, Company of Heroes 2, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and Batman: Arkham Asylum, had been set to Ultra with Anti-Aliasing off and the rig the ASUS STRIX GTX 970 had been plugged into crunch these games with relative ease and with almost no performance strain in sight. This is why I daresay the price to performance ratio for the new ASUS STRIX entry is potentially the most popular and worthwhile GPU to get in its class.
The GTX 970 STRIX by ASUS is one awesome and powerful GPU. It’s so powerful that when yours truly sought to purchase it for himself the first day it had been released, it is sold out throughout Low Yat Plaza. At an incredible price to performance ratio, this card surely will be a strong player for years to come. Now if I can keep this for a longer period of time and hope…really, hope, ASUS does not come calling for it after my review is done.
Dimensions (W x H x D): 140 x 280 x40 mm
Chipset: Nvidia GTX970
Memory Size: 8GB GDDR5
Core Clock: 1114 (Boost 1290) MHz
Memory Clock: 1753 (Boost 1990)MHz GDDR5
Expansion: 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort
3Dmark Firestrike ULTRA: 3390
Verdict: Astonishing value for money GPU!
Total Score: 9.8 /10