NVIDIA video cards based on GPU GP104 remain uncontested solutions in the older price segment. And we continue to get acquainted with interesting non-reference models. Recently, the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 was in the center of our attention. Now let’s see what the younger version of the ASUS Strix based on the GeForce GTX 1070 is capable of.
The ASUS graphics card comes in a large box with a picture of a new cooling system for three fans and a bright colorful Strix inscription.
The scope of delivery is as follows:
- power adapter from PCI-E 6-pin to PCI-E 8-pin;
- Velcro ties for wires;
- disk with software;
- code with bonuses for the game World of Warships.
Externally, the card does not differ from the older model GeForce GTX 1080. Both versions of Strix are made in the same design and use an identical cooling system. A massive cooler for three fans immediately inspires respect for its solid size.
No less solid looks like a radiator with heat pipes, which is visible under the casing. The entire volume is used to the maximum under the radiator, so the case on the sides only partially covers it.
The back side of the board is protected by a metal plate with a geometric pattern. There are slots in the area of large elements on the board. On the right side is a large illuminated logo.
The stylized logo on the back side is combined with the illuminated elements on the cooler casing. The backlight is multi-color with the ability to fine-tune and light effects. All this is illustrated in the ASUS video.
In the accelerator under consideration, the configuration of the connectors on the rear panel is slightly different from the standard one for the GeForce GTX 1070/1080. For the convenience of connecting virtual reality VR devices, two HDMI connectors are displayed instead of one. They are complemented by a pair of DisplayPort connectors and one DVI.
The design of the cooling system is identical to that implemented in the older model. It uses five heat pipes with direct contact technology with the graphics core. Four tubes of large diameter 8 mm.
The radiator is made up of thin plates, which are grouped into two sections. The second section is in contact with the elements of the power unit through a special platform. Thus, one heatsink removes heat from all important elements on the board.
Three 90mm fans provide excellent airflow to the heatsink and motherboard.
Fans with wide large blades. Along the edges they have an additional small «visor», which allows you to increase the air flow and pressure.
The memory chips have a separate plate for cooling, which along the way is an additional element to stiffen and prevent the textolite from bending. This plate does not cover all the chips, some have half of the surface open. But note that even «naked» microcircuits have thick thermal pads that allow contact with the main cooler tubes. The GeForce GTX 1080 from ASUS did not have such pads.
The STRIX-GTX1070-O8G-GAMING video card is made according to a non-reference design based on the STRIX-GTX1080-O8G-GAMING board.
The model under consideration has fewer power phases in comparison with the older version. The GPU is powered by six phases, the GDDR5 memory is powered by one phase. External power is connected via an 8-pin connector.
The GP104-200-A1 processor has 1920 stream processors and 120 texture units.
Eight gigabytes of memory are typed in Samsung K4G80325FB-HC25 chips.
Strix Gaming graphics cards support multiple operating modes. Our default instance runs at a base frequency of 1658 MHz with a Boost of 1860 MHz, which matches the OC Mode profile. Retail versions can operate at 1632/1835 MHz (Gaming Mode), which is also very high. For example, the MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X has a lower factory overclock. In both cases, the memory frequencies correspond to the recommended specifications of 8 GHz.
Switching between profiles is done through the ASUS GPU Tweak utility. The program offers a simple interface and an advanced version with detailed parameter settings and extensive monitoring capabilities. In addition to these two profiles, there is also a Silent mode, which, according to the name, provides the least noise. At the same time, the operating frequencies of the GPU are reduced to the level of 1608/1810 MHz.
A small difference in frequencies causes a minimum difference in temperature and noise characteristics. Therefore, we limited ourselves to tests in OC Mode. In this mode, the real Boost frequency was close to 2000 MHz and even reaches up to 2038-2063 MHz during short bursts. In Metro: Last Light, the average core frequency was closer to 1974-1963 MHz, in Tom Clancy’s The Division (right screenshot) at 2000 MHz. Peak temperature 68-69°C at 27°C indoors. The fans spin up to 1800-1880 rpm, the noise is small.
It is worth noting that the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 card in similar conditions showed slightly lower temperatures and noise, although everything should be the other way around. Perhaps this is due to some variation in the operating parameters of the GPU, and in this case, the crystal actually generates more heat. It is possible that memory chips have their influence, which in the younger model are in contact with the cooler, but not in the older one. So individual copies of video cards may differ slightly in temperature and noise characteristics. But the DirectCU III cooling system will adequately cope with its tasks with low noise in any case.
The ASUS video card pleased with overclocking. The base core frequency was raised by 75 MHz to 1733 MHz with a Boost Clock of 1935 MHz. The memory was able to work stably at a value of 9456 MHz.
In Metro: Last Light, the real Boost was kept within 2012-2088 MHz, and in Tom Clancy’s The Division we got a stable 2088 MHz. while the peak short-term values reached the level of 2126 MHz. This is one of the best overclocking results for a GP104-based video card among all those tested earlier, although the difference with other models is still small. The mentioned video card from MSI lost in overclocking in all respects — both in terms of core frequency and memory frequency.
By raising the fan speed to about 2100 rpm, we managed to achieve a minimal increase in operating temperatures. The noise level was still acceptable.