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ASUS ROG Nvidia GTX 1080Ti OC Strix Review: A Monster in Monster's clothing

ASUS ROG GTX 1080 TI 1.jpg

ASUS South Africa was kind enough to, at the same time sending me the AMD ROG Strix RX580 to review, also sent me, what can be basically be described as the second-fastest production consumer graphics card series currently available. Technically, the best would be the Nvidia Titan X series. To describe my excitement would be difficult. However, let’s us just say that my day-job co-workers, seeing this card on my desk, garnered more than a little naked envy, along with some not-so-subtle mugging threats.

Check out Silicur’s article on the unveiling of the nVidia 1080 ti’s release, as well as some more technical specifications on the system in general.

Graphics Card Size

This card is a monster, like the previous ASUS RoG Strix edition cards; luckily this card has the same dimensions and managed to get this beast squeezed into my CM690 II chassis again, without having to resort to drastic measures like I’ve had to perform in the past.

Again, be very aware of the size of this card, it is massive, which may be a problem, so make sure you can fit this BEFORE purchasing, otherwise you may be in for an unpleasant surprise and possibly having to spend more on a new chassis to fit this beauty.

Specifications

  • Model Name: ROG-Strix-GTX1080TI-O11G-Gaming
  • Graphics Engine: nVidia GeForce GTX 1080ti
  • Base Core Clock: 1594 MHz (OC Mode)
  • Base Core Clock: 1569 MHz (Gaming Mode)
  • Boost Clock: 1708 MHz (OC Mode)
  • Boost Clock: 1683 MHz (Gaming Mode)
  • Memory: 11GB GDDR5X
  • Memory Clock Speed: 11100 MHz (OC Mode)
  • Memory Clock Speed: 11010 MHz (Gaming Mode)
  • CUDA Cores: 3584
  • Display Outputs: 2x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DL-DVI-D
  • Multi-Display Capability: 4
  • VR Ready
  • ASUS Aura Sync
  • G-Sync Technology
  • 2-Way SLI Ready w/ HB Bridge Suppor
  • Driver version for review: 382.05

Observations

Like with my previous reviews, no special considerations were made with regards to overclocking; the configuration was left in the “gaming” configuration using the ASUS GPUTweak pre-set. Playing games and running benchmarks under these conditions were quiet. There was only a minor noise increase when the card was under extreme load from the fans keeping everything cool-ish. Temperatures did peak at 70 degrees but generally held in the 65-degree range for the overwhelming duration of the tests.

1080ti-GPUTweak.JPG

Mostly, cool as a cucumber... mostly...

I ran with the chassis both open and closed, but I did have an interesting condition happen with my whole chassis when closed – the whole machine would start to perform what would be “temperature creaking” – the whole chassis would creak and make noise as the ambient temperature raised in the cavity. Oddly, CPU and motherboard temperatures weren’t unusually high, but still, something... odd to note.

Test conditions

My Frankenstein PC has changed slightly this time! I picked up a strange problem with my RAM, so I “borrowed” some DDR3-1600 RAM from the office for this test case, other than that, everything else is otherwise the same.

  • Processor: Intel i5 4690k
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97X U3DH
  • Memory: 16GB Samsung DDR3 1600 Memory (4x4 layout)
  • Storage: Samsung Evo 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid HDD
  • Power Supply: Corsair HX-620 Modular PSU
  • Display: 2x Dell U2412M
  • Display drivers: Radeon Crimson 17.4.3
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, version 1703 (Creators Update)

Gaming benchmarks

Since I have the most recent numbers from the RX 580 test, I can put these side-by-side with the 1080ti. I’m not going to lie here, the numbers are unfair in comparison, as these cards aren’t even in the same class, but it is interesting to see how far apart they are. I’m hoping to build these up over time as more cards land up in my grubby little paws, so this will make more sense in the future.

As before, these tests are performed at HD resolutions; if I had a 4K screen available this would be a more realistic representation, but that is an acquisition for another time.

As an aside, please feel free to comment if you’d like different games compared in the future!

So, without further ado, here are the FPS comparisons, side by side.

Dawn of War and Ashes are new titles I'm adding to the mix, these seem to be more "normalised" than the previous titles with DX11. I'll make plans to include more DX12 titles in the future, but here are good examples of titles not being so dramatically different across different weight classes of cards, if they could be described as such...

gtx1080ti-steamvr test.JPG

And yes, this card is VR ready...

 

Synthetic benchmarks

As above, I’ve compared the results of the ASUS RoG Strix OC nVidia 1080ti with the AMD RX580 reviewed last week. While I didn’t include the Fire Strike Ultra tests there, I did record them for comparison with this card, and the numbers are scary

 

Gameplay Impressions

I don’t really know how to classify how this card plays. It plays everything on max settings without (really) breaking a sweat. As stated previously doing these tests were all at 1080p resolutions with the, and playing in general, I didn’t notice anything running anything below 60fps even under duress. The card just does everything without flinching. When performing a few slight tweaks as most gamers would do, then this card would not struggle with anything…

1080ti-Aura.JPG

Except which colour to set the Aura RGB thingy to... Green is best!

Conclusion

This card is both a dream and an abomination. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful gaming with this card is, it was a pleasure through and through. But ultimately, what this card is, what it is supposed to do; what it is supposed to drive is where my problem comes in.

I’m not really driving this card at its fullest capacity; this should really be driven and tested on a 4k screen. This is where this card would truly stand out; higher resolutions at its highest fidelity is where this card would truly shine, sadly I couldn’t do this.

20170524_171018.jpg

Two fantastic cards, side by side...

If you’re not in the 4k display ballpark and not planning to be anytime soon, then the money spent on this card would honestly be a waste; with minuscule losses in visual fidelity, the AMD RX570 / RX580 series cards, or anything in the nVidia 1060/1070 range would be more than adequate – nay, appropriate – for most everyone’s PC gaming needs.

However, if you’re in the demographic who has or is planning on purchasing a 4K screen to pair this card, or have the scratch to put down for this card, AND in either case, are looking for pretty much a GUARANTEE that any current-gen and upcoming game you’d be wanting to throw at it will play with no compromise, then this card is what you’re looking for.

As with all the RoG Strix edition cards I’ve had the pleasure of coming to grips with, you get a great set of utilities to tweak your cards’ performance and appearance, which are clean and to the point.

I wish I could say that this card is worth the price; it both is AND isn’t – you can buy two current-gen consoles for the same price for just this card, not including the actual, you know PC, to actually pair it with.

That being said… dear ASUS South Africa… can I keep it?

You can pick up this beauty yourself from Wootware for R14691

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