ASUS GTX970 Strix Review
With the incredible brand identity of the ASUS Republic of Gamers products it seems a surprise that they would choose to bring in an entirely new range of hardware, especially when the high-end graphics cards such as the GTX970 usually get the full ROG treatment.
To have a product that will obviously be purchased in enormous numbers and to entrust it to something that relies solely upon the ASUS part of the equation is courageous. That bravery is rewarded in spades here.
The use of the DirectCU II cooler that has been so successful in other applications is a wise move, giving an essence of certainty to go alongside the underlying nVidia PCB. What a cooler it is too. It looks the absolute business with a massive heatpipe jutting out the side, a backplate to cover up all those unsightly solder points and chips, and two huge fans keeping the whole arrangement cool. It keeps it very cool in fact with our heavily overclocked one topping out at a chilly 67°C. Combine that with the lack of noise, always a bugbear of ours, and the Strix ticks all the boxes in cooling terms. The decision to limit the Strix brand to just a small side logo and different "owl eye" stickers on the fans themselves is perhaps sensible, although we'd like to have seen ASUS push the boat out a little more rather than resorting to the "none more black" looks.
Overclocking is where this really shines though. It's hardly a slouch out of the box but we still squeezed another 200MHz out of the Maxwell GPU and 100MHz from the GDDR5. This absolutely unleashed the beast. It's been a while since we've felt a card respond so eagerly to our overclocking efforts and the ASUS Strix went from a very quick, efficient, card into a foaming-at-the-mouth monster. Benchmarks were devoured and even the mighty GTX980 was regularly hauled in and sometimes surpassed.
If you've been looking with covetous eyes at the latest range of nVidia cards but found your purse a little light, then you will be pleased to know that the ASUS GTX970 Strix is deserving of your investment. It's cool, quiet, looks great, goes like a bat out of hell and is still more power efficient than the MSI Gaming version we reviewed before. There is nothing to dislike about it whatsoever. If this is a sign of what the Strix brand will do then we say bring it on.
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