ASUS GTX 1080 Strix Review
Just like the X99 motherboard we reviewed a couple of weeks ago, the Strix packaging dispenses with the common red ROG theme to emphasise how the user has full control over the colour scheme of their hardware.
The fan design, here the DirectCU III model, has 105% more air pressure than previous models, helping shift that limiting heat from your card at an even faster rate. By including GPU controlled fan headers you can relax knowing that your card will be kept running at peak performance, no matter the loading.
We've spent a long time shouting at manufacturers to make better use of their backplates, and it looks like they are finally listening. So much attention is paid to the fan design which, in a standard tower, you never see. Why not do something with the bit you can actually notice? The Strix comes equipped with a ROG logo which you have complete control over. No longer do you have to endure a particular colour in your system. Now you're free to pick anything from the spectrum that takes your fancy.
The days of a triple-slot cooler are thankfully long behind us as the combination of better quality heatsink designs and lower energy GPUs has greatly reduced the heat output of our favourite hardware.
Should you be rich and/or demanding enough, you can always pair up two GTX 1080s into SLI. Given how few of us have either the requirements nor finances for such a venture it's nice that the Strix has them covered up by default.
The Founders Edition GTX 1080 utilised a single power input, but with two extra fans to run, improved power technology and the AURA lighting, it is understandable that the Strix is equipped with a 6+8 arrangement.
Removing the cooler gives you an indication of the level of detail that lies buried beneath the DirectCU III heatsink. The power phase has seen a significant overhaul with 8+2 Phase Super Allow Power II tech used throughout. The SAP II Capacitors have more than double the lifespan of the regular type, and utilising SAP II Chokes should finally banish the possibility of your graphics card squealing to the history books.
If, like us, you're a fan of heatpipe art then the DirectCU III cooler should definitely float your boat. Compressing so much cooling area into such a small space takes some serious design chops, particularly when you see how small the Pascal GPU is. Very impressive.