ASUS GTX980Ti Strix SLI Review
It's nearly impossible to review any GTX980Ti and not spend half of the time waxing lyrical about the quality of the underlying GPU. The nVidia GM200 is so powerful and so capable that it nearly dominates proceedings beyond any elements unique to the particular model.
It says much about the quality of the ASUS Strix that the Direct CU III cooler and software elements are sufficiently excellent to stand on an equal footing with that mighty GPU.
The Direct CU II cooler was one of the finest coolers ever applied to a GPU, capable of handling everything from either nVidia or AMD, so the decision to change it demonstrates how confident ASUS are that they've produced a winner, and they absolutely have. Maximum load temperatures are less reflective of the cooling capabilities these days because of the GPU Boost 2.0 tech automatically overclocking with any thermal headroom it can find. The Direct CU III on the Strix gives it plenty of overhead, and even with the beefy factory overclock the card only hits 73°C. What really stays with you though is the silence of operation. ASUS have designed the cooler in a way that allows it to turn off completely in low-load situations so you can enjoy genuinely silent gaming and productivity tasks. So quiet is it though that when the fans did spin up under heavy loading we had to look to prove that they were running. If you're in the market for a silent card then this absolutely should be top of your list.
Performance is just as impressive as the cooling capabilities. Whether it's just running the Strix with the meaty factory overclock or utilising the excellent GPU Tweak II software to massage the clock speeds a little higher, you can be sure that the GTX980Ti Strix wont disappoint. If you're particularly rich then the SLI setup is undoubtedly the one to go for. Bashing out average frame rates that nearly always topped the graph and, perhaps most surprisingly, ran the Quad-SLI Matrix GTX980 close. It's a clear demonstration of both how good the Ti variant of the GTX980 is, and how well the hard work of the ASUS design team has paid off.
It looks amazing, it's quieter than a church mouse in slippers and it's faster than a teenager on prom night. The ASUS GTX980Ti Strix is a fabulous card and utterly deserving of our OC3D Gold Award.