10 Mar, 2015   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews . ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Strix 4GB OC Review

Today we are reviewing NVIDIA's latest high-end single-GPU graphics card based on the company's new Maxwell architecture, the GeForce GTX 980.
The GeForce GTX 980 is powered by the 28 nm GM204 graphics processor silicon with shader count of 2,048, 128 texture units and the ROP count is a massive 64, with a 256-bit bus connecting 4 GB of GDDDR5 memory.
We like to thanks ASUS for providing the gaming edition of GTX 980, the ASUS GTX 980 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX980-DC2OC-4GD5) video card for testing.
With a custom PCB, all dark design and the DirectCU II cooler the STRIX hits a modest 1178MHz Base Clock and 1279MHz for its average Boost frequency, with temps reaching upto 70C with low noise levels. And with bundled GPU Tweak tool one can reach close to 1450 MHz on the card very easily.
Now let’s see what this ASUS GTX 980 has for us.

Features

ASUS Strix GTX 980 gaming graphics cards packed with exclusive ASUS technologies, including DirectCU II for cooler, quieter and faster performance for incredible action gaming, and 0dB fan technology for light gameplay in total silence and Blu-ray movie playback that’s free from distracting background noise. Strix GTX 980 features exclusive ASUS DIGI+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) technology and 10-phase Super Alloy Power components for enhanced durability and cooling. Strix GTX 980 has 4GB of high-speed GDDR5 video memory.

1279 MHz Boost clock for better performance and outstanding gaming experience.

DirectCU II with 0dB Fan Technology 30% cooler. Silent gaming.
Exclusive DirectCU II cooling technology outperforms reference designs with an exclusive 10mm heatpipe that transports 40% more heat away from the GPU — a first for the industry! The design also includes 220%-larger heat-dissipation: this means performance that’s 30% and three-times (3X) quieter than reference for ultra-stable hardcore gaming with very low noise. And Strix ups the ante still further with 0dB fan technology that lets you enjoy games like League of Legends® and StarCraft® in complete silence — because the fan stops completely when the GPU temperature remains below a set level.

DIGI+ VRM with Super Alloy Power 30% less power noise and 2.5X greater durability.
Acclaimed DIGI+ VRM has been applied via a 10-phase power design that uses digital voltage regulators to minimize power noise by 30%, enhance power efficiency by 15%, widen voltage modulation tolerance, and improve overall stability and longevity by 2.5 times over reference.

GPU Tweak with Streaming Real-time intuitive graphics tuning.

  • Shows detailed specs and actual card status with GPU-Z
  • Monitoring widget provides real-time detailed multi-parameter info
  • Automatically checks and updates drivers and BIOS versions

Specifications

  • Graphics Engine: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
  • Graphics Processor: GM204
  • Bus Standard: PCI Express x16 3.0
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Size(MB): 4096
  • Memory Interface: 256 bits
  • Core Clock Speed(MHz):
    • Base Clock: 1178 MHz
    • Boost Clock: 1279 MHz
  • Memory Clock Speed(MHz): 7010
  • Interface:
    • DVI Output: 1 (DVI-I)
    • HDMI Output: 1 (HDMI 2.0)
    • Display Port: 3 (1.2)
    • HDCP Support: Yes
  • Accessories:
    • 1 x PCIe Power Connector
    • 2 x Coloured Stickers
  • Power Consumption: up to 300W (additional 6+8 pin PCIe power required)
  • Card Dimension(mm): 289 x 135 x 41
  • SLI Support: Yes

Package

The ASUS GTX 980 STRIX DC II OC comes in a box securely packaged with Strix graphics and features highlights on front and the back of the box.

Inside the box

Along with the GFX card box also includes driver installation CD, quick start guide, a dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe connector and ASUS also included grey and red Strix stickers to place on the video card.

Looks

Asus Strix GTX980 with predominating black and red colour scheme with a back-plate, typical with most ASUS enthusiast graphics cards.

Strix requires an 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E power from your PSU.

Power sockets also have four indicator LEDs which illuminate while when the power cable are properly connected and LEDs will illuminate red if one or both power cables are not connected properly.

Bottom side shows a nice array of heatpipes.

On the back side, we get three full size Display Port connectors, one full size HDMI 2.0 compatible connector and one DVI connectors.

ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 980 is pretty large in dimensions than the Nvidia reference card. Don’t forget 10mm extra height due to the massive 10mm heatpipe.

Inside

Removing the cooler reveals five heatpipes, two 6mm, two 8mm and one massive 10mm. The center three (ie. 2x 8mm & 10mm) makes a direct contact with the GPU core. Heatpipes are connected with an array of aluminum fin stack and two 92 mm Everflow 12v 0.50 amp fans (Model:T129215SU) for cooling.

Component Layout

Detailed PCB layout of ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 980 shows that ASUS equipped this card with a ten phase digital power design. The GPU gets its current from eight phases and the two phases left, take good care of the 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Once more, ASUS is using high quality super alloy chokes. On the backside of the GPU you can find dedicated SAP CAPs to maximize overclocking headroom.

1. Eight Samsung memory chips ,model number K4G41325FC-HC28 are used, which runs at 1750 MHz (7000 MHz effective).

2. 4.One UP UBIQ Semiconductor M3054M MOSFET and two LOW UBIQ Semiconductor M3056M MOSFET with one coil and capacitor forms basic elements for VRM section. Four IR3598 Dual / Doubler interleaved MOSFET driver chips for eight phase GPU power

3. uP1631P PWM Chip from uPI Semiconductor for powering the VRAM.

5. DIGI+VRM is a high quality ASP1212 digital multi-phase buck controller that controls the 8 phase GPU power from International Rectifier.

Testing

Test system configuration -

CPUIntel i7-4770K @ 4.6 GHz
BoardAsus Maximus VII Gene
RAM8GB Kingston HyperX Fury 1600Mhz
SSDSamsung 830 SSD 256GB
CoolerCorsair H100i
GFXAsus GeForce GTX 980 Strix OC 4GB
PSUCorsair RM1000
DisplayAcer S220HQL
OSWin 8.1 Pro

Software Installation

Benchmarks

Temperatures

Room Temperature: 30C

In idle, the temperature is slightly higher though, which is due to the fact that the ASUS GTX 980 STRIX completely stops the fans while running idle. Full load running 3D Mark Fire Strike temperature was real good and fans were slight loud.

Power Consumption

Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.

Pros

  • HDMI 2.0 for 4K
  • 4GB of Graphics RAM
  • Ultra quite Cooler
  • Factory Overclocked
  • Strong VRM circuit
  • Stickers for customizing colour theme

Cons

  • Little taller 14.5cm

Conclusion

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 STRIX OC is a great card, giving superb performance in latest games and runs in complete silent mode while watching movies or general office work, with its 0dB FAN technology. Also with DirectCU II efficient cooling, graphics card operates at 69C even at maximum load.

Above all this card is factory overclocked and also offer additional overclocking potential with its high-quality 10-phase power with ferrite core chokes, solid state and POSCAP- capacitors and DIGI+VRM subsystem.

At the conclusion ASUS GeForce GTX 980 STRIX OC video card is a fantastic product for gamers and enthusiasts , worthy of our PC TeK REVIEWS CHOICE Award.

Manufacturers Info

Site Link

Thanks.

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