When performance matters, its hard to go past the top of the line consumer card, the Geforce GTX 1080 Ti. This has a ridiculous level of performance, if you want the ability to set your games to Ultra quality, then this is the card for you. Once you’ve settled on the card, you’ll need to choose a manufacturer and there’s plenty of options that take the core founder’s edition from Nvidia and improve on it.
One such manufacturer is Asus’ gaming brand, STRIX that targets the performance-to-premium segment. Their latest card is the STRIX Gaming Geforce GTX 1080 Ti OC edition
The first thing you notice about this card when you extract it from the premium packaging, is the sheer size of the card. The GTX1080 Ti is normally a dual-slot card, but with the extra cooling (triple-fan design) on this card, it actually relies of having 2.5 slots of space. Its not just the width, its the length and when it comes to fitting in your case, size does matter. The machine I tested with is the HP Omen, which came with a GTX 1080 and while this case has plenty of room, then fasteners that hold the end of the card had to be removed due to its length.
Aura lighting compatibility means you can get your personalisation on with built-in LED lights. The Asus Aura desktop app allows you to control the 12 lighting sections that flank the 3 cooling fans, along with the illuminated backplate with the ROG logo. The utility lets you choose from modes like static, breathing, color cycle, rainbow, strobing and more.
My favourite two options are temperature which works on a traffic light system, were you set the temps (40c and 60c defaults) where the colour of the LEDs changed based on the cards’ temperature. With the clear panel on this OMEN PC, this works great. There’s also one for the music fans where the colours will change differently based on the different sound modes.
With the settings maxed out to Ultra and the resolution set to 3440×1440 (on the PG348), I fired off a number of benchmarks in one of the newest games – F1 2017. This card did amazing well, while the simulation looked amazing, the proof was in the pudding, the data. The heavy rain mode around the famous Monaco circuit mean 10,434 frames were rendered, with each frame taking a maximum of 12.50ms. This translates to a minimum FPS of 80 and a top of 100. Basically you have the game set to max to experience the absolute best text quality, reflections, shadows, blur effects and the card didn’t blink, delivering silky smooth racing with plenty of headroom.
The triple fans are engineered a wing-blade design that delivers maximum air flow. and improved 105% static pressure over the heat sink, while operating at 3X quieter volumes than reference cards. The 0dB fans also let you enjoy games in complete silence and make DirectCU III the coolest and quietest graphics card in the market.
General loading of games will see a few seconds improvement on a standard 1080, it’ll reduce the time required for a 3D Render by a few minutes (depending on complexity of the model) and if you value your time, that’s a big difference.
Given the ridiculous performance of this single card, I never felt the need to try pushing the limits on overclocking it. Given it played any game I threw at it flawlessly with high frame rates at Ultra quality, there just didn’t seem any point other than engaging in an out and out spec race.
For some buyers, the ability to slide the clock speed to the right will be the deciding factor on buying this card over another. This is done through Asus free GPU Tweak II Utility.
For those who buy on the spec list, here’s the detailed specs to assist that decision making.
PCI Express 3.0
OC Mode – GPU Boost Clock : 1708 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1594 MHz
Gaming Mode (Default) – GPU Boost Clock : 1683 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1569 MHz
11100 MHz (OC Mode)
11010 MHz (Gaming Mode) (Default)
Digital Max Resolution: 7680 x 4320
DVI Output : Yes x 1 (Native) (DVI-D)
HDMI Output : Yes x 2 (Native) (HDMI 2.0)
Display Port : Yes x 2 (Native) (Regular DP)
HDCP Support : Yes
2 x 8-pin
1 x ROG Velcro Hook & Loop, 1 x Power cable, 1 x CD, 1 x Quick Guide
ASUS GPU Tweak II & Driver, Aura(Graphics Card)Utility
29.8cm x 13.4cm x5.25cm
Price and availability
This card is expensive in terms of outright dollars, retailing at at A$1,299.00 at places like mwave.com.au. A large sticker price doesn’t make it bad value, in fact, for what you’re buying, that’s pretty astounding really. Rewind the clock a decade and this level of performance would be super computer stuff and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. To be able to throw one (or two if you’re seriously mental) into your gaming rig or the next custom build at the office, you’ll have a staggering level of performance that’ll easily digest any task you throw at it.
The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti founder’s edition costs A$1,199.00, so all the work Asus have done with the cooling, the configurable LEDs, the overclocking options boils down to a mild A$100 difference. You can decide if that’s value for money. The biggest discussion around price is perhaps not which Ti manufacturer you should choose, but if you need the top tier of performance at all. For many people, a GTX 1080 will be more than capable of delivering a great experience in 4K, or VR and the cost has now dropped to under $800 for some models.
This card is a monster, both in physical size and performance. If you’re in the market for a new video card, you have 1 decision to make.. can your budget stretch for the GTX1080Ti ? If it can, then buy yourself a slice of the future and get this card. If the answer is sadly no, then don’t dismay, what you get out of a GTX 1080 is still seriously good performance that’ll let you set games to Ultra quality settings while still maintaining a good frame rate. As new games come out, requirements will increase, so the question really is, how long can you future proof your gaming rig by paying up now.
When deciding between manufacturers of the 1080 Ti, the size will immediately count this card out for some people as an upgrade of the case, motherboard etc on top of a new GPU would force the price into an uncomfortable price point. Asus under the Strix Gaming branding, have done a great job at delivering a cooling system that keeps temps down and the card quite, even during rigorous, intense usage. Performance, combined with style and user-focused features like LED customisations (clear side panel in your case required), this is a serious contender for your gaming dollars.
If you’re upgrading and can fit this card physically in your machine, you’ll definitely be assured your GPU is no longer your performance bottleneck.