Date: Tuesday , September 01, 2015
On our test bench today is the ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING) video card.
The ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC video card is the second custom video card we have evaluated based on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU. Our first custom video card we evaluated based on the GTX 980 Ti GPU was GIGABYTE GTX 980 Ti G1 GAMING.
Today we be examining a custom retail video card from ASUS, which features many cosmetic and design changes including a custom cooling setup and a large factory overclock. This video card has a premium price of $669, a slight premium compared to the reference $649 pricing, but you get several features including the chance at a cooler, quieter, and higher overclocking GTX 980 Ti.
ASUS officially named this product STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING. To simplify things we will refer to this video card as the ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC video card which it is labeled as on the box and website.
ASUS also offers a STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3-6GD5-GAMING model and a POSEIDON-GTX980TI-P-6GD5 model. The first model is an reference clocked GTX 980 Ti featuring all the STRIX and DirectCU III cooling system, but no factory overclock. The second is a more expensive model that features a built-in water cooler and factory overclock that we will be evaluating in the future.
The ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC card's most pronounced feature is the factory overclock. ASUS has increased the base clock to 1216MHz and the boost clock to 1317MHz. This is 242MHz faster than the reference GTX 980 Ti's boost clock at 1075MHz. The memory is also overclocked to 7.2GHz up from the reference speed of 7GHz. We always welcome factory overclocks, it is free performance that we do not have to work for to unlock.
Continuing on to the physical changes, the ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC has several features that help the video card stand out above the competition and reference models. The most prominent feature when looking at the video card is the DirectCU III cooling system. The finned heatsink is rather large and spans the entire length of the board.
There are also five copper heat pipes directly contacting the GPU. Two of these are 10mm heat pipes which extend to opposite ends of the heat sink, allowing faster transfer of heat away from the GPU. The backplate helps to prevent the board from bending over time and to protect the rear mounted components.
The three "Wing-Blade" 0dB fans are the capstone of the ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC video card. The triple fans are designed for quiet operation, while delivering 105% more airflow than the traditional reference models. This will be imperative in delivering quiet gaming, and extreme heat dispersal for maximum overclocking results.
ASUS also incorporates its Super Alloy II components to the card, which are some of the highest-end and best quality board components on the market. This improves reliability, consistency, performance and lifespan. Some of these components include capacitors, MOSFETs and chokes. ASUS also designed the board with a 12+2 power grid, allowing maximum voltage to the GPU and increased overclocking headroom.
ASUS takes great pride in its AUTO-EXTREME technology. This is the first 100% automated board production process constructed around the highest quality video card components to remove human error and build video cards on an even more consistent basis.
The ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC video card generally goes for $669 at Newegg, but it is currently out of stock. It can be purchased immediately for $739 at Amazon with free shipping. ASUS offers includes a 3 year limited parts and labor warranty.
The accessory package that comes with this video card includes a driver installation CD with ASUS GPU Tweak II, a dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe power cable, a STRIX brochure and a STRIX laser sticker.
The video card is printed on a black PCB which is mounted on a black aluminum backplate. This backplate improves the video cards armor, securing the rear-mounted components and helps prevent PCB bending over time. The backplate has a cool STRIX logo painted on it in glossy black. There is also a STRIX LED located on the top edge of the video card with a pulsating light that adds style to your system.
ASUS recommends a 700W power supply or greater, with up to 375W additional power to ensure it works properly to the best of its abilities. The ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC requires two 8-pin PCIe power connectors located at the rear along the top edge of the video card. The I/O panel adds support for a dual-link DVI-I connector, three Display Port connectors and one HDMI port. The ASUS GTX 980 Ti STRIX DCIII OC is rather large, measuring 12 inches in length, 5.5 inches in height and 1.5 inches in width.