ASUS GTX 1080 Strix Review
The nVidia GTX 1080 was far in excess of our expectations. We knew it would be good, and we'd heard clues as to exactly how good it was, when it turned up and blew our socks off. We'd only just got around to finding our socks and putting them back on when the Strix arrives and once again the office was covered in cotton undergarments.
When compared to the regular reference models that come from nVidia's headquarters the Founders Edition was a statement of intent which took a lot of the features partners have introduced and applied them to their own model. It was seriously impressive. In fact we were slightly doubtful that the partner manufacturers could find sufficient extra performance to bring their product into sharp relief, but the ASUS Strix laughs in the face of such notions and sets about decimating our graphs with a sledgehammer of power and performance.
It's not merely the 1080 performance that impresses though. Yes it might still be the resolution of choice for the majority of gamers but this is a high-end card aimed at the high-end market with all their 4K screens and VR capabilities. It's in those scenarios where the ASUS Strix really shines, as it's probably the first card to make 4K gameplay a serious possibility on a single-GPU. Sure it's not going to give you the smoothness of a lower resolution, but neither is it a slideshow any more. Combine high quality power components with a cooler capable of keeping temperatures low and you have a recipe for some extraordinary boost clock speeds and the results that follow such high ratings. Any latest nVidia GPU is bound to make your eyes pop, but when it's the latest nVidia GPU running at a barely believable 2.1GHz then it's not a surprise to see even the most strenuous titles bending before its will.
It's really easy to live with too. Sure the low power draw makes your electricity bill more tolerable, and yes with those low temperatures you have less heat to disperse, but it isn't at the cost of your ears. The cooler is magnificent, capable of keeping the card cool whilst never becoming a whiny blur in your case. We can't be the only people who've owned graphics cards that were so loud we thought twice about playing particular titles, yet the Strix has no such issues. It looks the part too, with a backplate that has as much thought placed into the design as the front. With the AURA lighting control in place you can have any shade you like, without compromise and, as we saw in our lighting photographs on page four, it looks spectacular. RGB is splitting the market at the moment but this is the first GPU we have seen with it implemented and implemented properly, a stealthy theme where the lighting is purely there to let you choose your colour accents. Perfect.
There isn't a single weakness in the ASUS GTX 1080 Strix package. It's cool, quiet and devastatingly powerful, and easily wins our OC3D Performance Award.
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