ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 review

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"They call it a Royale with cheese."

ASUS unleashes their first GTX 1080 ROG card, the STRIX edition is now positioned inside that Republic of Gamers line and was just unleashed, set free to run in the wild. It is armed with an all custom design including the STRIX cooler and a very healthy factory tweak. This is a Royale with cheese alright, something many of you have been waiting for, all custom, all tweaked and now with AURA RGB LED lighting as well. Join us in a review of the darm matter in an 8 GB form from ASUS, the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 located under SKU code ROG STRIX-GTX1080-O8G-GAMING.

The GPU industry has been on hold, waiting for a smaller GPU fabrication process to become viable. Last generation GPUs were based on a 28 nm fabrication, an intermediate move to 20 nm was supposed to be the answer for today’s GPUs, but it was a problematic technology. Aside from some smaller ASICs the 20 nm node has been a fail. Therefore the industry had to wait until an ever newer and smaller fabrication process was available in order to shrink the die which allows for less voltage usage in the chips, less transistor gate leakage and, obviously, more transistors in a GPU. The answer was to be found in the recent 14/15/16 nm fabrication processors and processes with the now all too familiar FinFET + VLSI technology (basically wings on a transistor). Intel has been using it for a while, and now both Nvidia and AMD are moving towards such nodes as well. Nvidia is the first to announce their new products based on a TSMC 16 nm process fab by introducing Pascal GPU architecture, named after the mathematician much like Kepler, Maxwell and Fermi. That stage has now passed, the GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 have been announced with the 1070 and 1080 cards slowly becoming available in stores as we speak. Both models are equally impressive in its product positioning, though I do feel the 1070 will be the more attractive product due to its price level, the 1080 cards really is what everybody want (but perhaps can't afford). The good news though is that the board partner cards will offer SKUs for less opposed to the Nvidia reference / Founder edition cards. Obviously the higher-end all customized SKUs will likely level with that founders edition card price level again, but I am pretty certain you'd rather spend your money on a fully customized AIB card that is already factory tweaked a bit opposed the the reference one. 

In this 3rd AIB custom graphics card review already we look at the ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1080, a gamers freak-fest of a graphics cards that was fitted with a Pascal GP104-400 GPU. A product series that actually was released is to replace the GeForce GTX 980. It's all custom with 8 GPU + 2 memory power phases, has a nice dark aesthetic feel and comes with the latest iteration of the DirectCU III cooler with Direct-GPU contact heatpipes (the heatpipes literally touch the GPU). Much like all premium graphics cards (aside from the founders edition) that we tested up-to 60 Degrees C the card will even stay in passive mode, e.g. the three fans will not spin. The ROG STRIX GTX 1080 cooler is now also fitted with an RGB LED system that lights up both the front and backside in a very tasteful manner, it's called the Aura RGB LED lighting system. We'll take a closer look at that in the photo-shoot of course. The ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1080 has been fitted with both a 6-pin and 8-pin power connector and at the backside you'll find a matte black solid back-plate.

The card has its clock default frequencies set at 1898 MHz (boost) / 1759 MHz (base) with a reference clocked 8192 MB GDDR5X / 10108 MHz effective data-rate on the memory. With the help of their tweaking software by pressing an OC mode you can instantly get another boost in perf as the clocks will change to a GPU Boost Clock : 1936 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1784 MHz, that however requires the software to be run in the background at all times. We test at default straight out of the box performance though. Let's head on-wards in the review. We'll start with a product overview in the photo-shoot.



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