Purchasing a graphics card is similar to buying a new car. It represents a big financial investment. Not only do you want to make sure that you’re acquiring a graphics card that is a worthwhile upgrade over your previous one but you also want one that lasts a long time. Well, maybe not a long time but at least long enough until the next big thing comes along. So like many enthusiasts out there, I had been going back-and-forth contemplating whether or not to purchase the new Strix GTX 1080 for my gaming rig. But the more I look at the Strix GTX 1080, the more I fell in love with the card. In the end, I simply bit the bullet and got one for my gaming PC.
Once you have the Strix GTX 1080 in your hand, you can really appreciate the workmanship that ASUS has put into it. The card’s design looks simple, yet very attractive to the eyes. There are no boring red highlights anymore. They have been replaced by LEDs that are part of the Aura RGB lighting system which lets us to choose from a variety of colors and lighting effects. I can’t wait to see this baby light up in the dark!
The build quality is superb. Although I did notice that the Strix GTX 1080 isn’t as heavy as any of the ASUS previous models that I’ve owned. Then I realized that the shroud is now made of plastic instead of metal. Even though many users despise the use of plastic because it feels cheap, I personally prefer it over metal because it doesn’t add any unnecessary weight to the graphics card. And we all know that heavy graphics card tends to sag like an old pair of tits.
When I flipped the Strix GTX 1080 over, I was greeted by a very nice looking backplate which might look like eye candy at first. But upon closer observation, you can see that it’s there to strengthen the PCB. So sagging shouldn’t be an issue when the Strix GTX 1080 is installed inside your case. And before I forgot, the ROG logo lights up rather beautifully in the dark. The new feature that I love the most is the two PWM fan headers at the back of the Strix GTX 1080. You can connect up to two fans to aid with the cooling and airflow inside your case. We have been asking ASUS for a long time to add some kind of external fan control go their GPUs and I’m glad that the company came through for us in this generation.
The Strix GTX 1080’s Aura RGB lighting definitely makes it stand out from other graphics card. When the lights are off, the Strix GTX 1080 puts on a very impressive light show. Needless to say I spent literally a whole day playing with the different effects and staring in awe at its majestic Aura RGB lighting. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the next images!
Many users frown at software that is included with graphics card. But GPU Tweak II is here to change that. The new interface is sleek and intuitive que makes overclocking the graphics card or monitoring its an easy task. I’ve been using GPU Tweak for ages and I must admit that this version feels like it was resdesigned from the ground up.
The other two programs include AURA which basically controls the RGB lighting and a 1-year XSplit Gamecaster premium license for all you streamers out there.Test Results
The graphics card has 3 modes of operation: OC Mode, Gaming Mode, Quiet Mode. By default, it operates in Gaming Mode unless the user decides to modify it in GPU Tweak II. With OC Mode activated, most samples should be able to boost over 2GHz easily.
For those of you who are wondering how much FPS you’re losing out while running in Game Mode, the answer is maybe 1-2FPS. At first glance, this might not seem a lot. But my tests were done at the highest preset available at 4K resolution. At lower presets and especially lower resolutions, the difference becomes quite bigger.
Despite the Strix GTX 1080 reaching a higher boost clock in OC Mode, the increase in temperatures isn’t significant. This is possible thanks to the amazing DirectCU III cooling technology and the increase in fan speed to accommodate for the extra heat.
I was able to measure the Strix GTX 1080’s fan speed at the different modes. The results were shocking. The increase in fan speed from Gaming Mode to OC Mode was minimum. That would make sense why I didn’t notice any extra noise coming out my case. So there you have it folks! If you own a Strix GTX 1080, don’t be scared to run it in OC Mode.Summary
The Strix GTX 1080 is an excellent graphics card thanks to it having all the right ingredients. On a superficial level, the design and build quality is top notch. It’s one of those graphics card that makes your gaming system look stunning. But it not only looks great, the Strix GTX 1080 also has the performance to back it up. It’s the most powerful single graphics card in the market right now and that translates to a tremendous gaming experience. So whether you’re building a PC for 4K gaming or looking for a worthy upgrade over your current graphics card, the Strix GTX 1080 needs to be in your system. My personal experience with the Strix GTX 1080 has been nothing but amazing and it's a graphics card that I would definately recommend. Overall Score: 10/10
If you have any questions about the Strix GTX 1080, don't be afraid to drop them in here.