GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC Graphics Card Review
   
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Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC Graphics Card Review

July 14th, 2016 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

The new Nvidia 1000 Series cards have been out for a while now, and here at pcG we now have both the new 1080 and 1070. These cards are powered by Nvidia’s latest energy efficient Pascal architecture with the 1070 boasting a TDP of just 150W thanks to its 16nm finfet architecture. The end result is a Graphics Card that can out perform Nivida’s own Titan X!

Today I will be taking a look at not just any old Nvidia GTX 1070 but a factory overclocked (READ: heavily overclocked) sample from Asus, this is the new Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC Graphics Card. The card boasts a Core Clock of 1657MHz and a Boost Clock of 1860MHz (OC Mode), while its 8GB of GDDR5 memory runs at 8000MHz. Note that the Boost Clock is up 177MHz on the stock GTX 1070 (1683MHz) but memory speed is the same as is the amount of VRAM. In addition to this the Asus GeForce GTX 10170 Strix OC also features RGB lighting and measures in at 298mm (L) x 134mm (W) x 40mm (H) and is dual slot in design.

 

asus_logo-new ‘ROG Strix GeForce® GTX 1070 gaming graphics cards are packed with exclusive ASUS technologies, including DirectCU III Technology with Patented Wing-Blade Fans for 30% cooler and 3X quieter performance, and Industry-only Auto-Extreme Technology for premium quality and the best reliability. Aura RGB Lighting enables a gaming system personalization and VR-friendly HDMI ports let gamers easily enjoy immersive virtual reality experiences. ROG Strix GeForce® GTX 1070 also has GPU Tweak II with XSplit Gamecaster that provides intuitive performance tweaking and instant gameplay streaming.’

 

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - box front ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - box back

 

The Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC Graphics Card arrived at pcG in a smart predominately black box with an image of the the card hiding within taking centre stage. In addition to this Asus have chosen to highlight the Strix branding, Republic of Gamers (ROG) branding and Asus’ new AURA branding. We can also see that the Strix 1070 OC is NVIDIA VRReady and that it supports Gameworks, Ansel and VRWorks.

The back of the box features various images further highlighting the following:

  • DirectCU III with patented wing-blade fans
  • Auto-Extreme Technology
  • AURA RGB lighting
  • VR-Friendly HDMI ports
  • Asus Fanconnect
  • GPU Tweak II with XSplit Gamecaster
  •  

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - box opening ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - inner box

     

    On opening the outer box we find an inner black box that’s adorned with a smart looking STRIX logo. As you can see packaging and presentation is pretty top notch…

     

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - inner box (top) ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - inner box (open)

     

    On opening the lid of that box we find that in the top there’s an Asus branded tray, containing the accessories outlined below. After removing the tray and the additional packaging we eventually find the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC Graphics Card nestling within soft foam and protected by an anti-static bag.

     

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - accessories

     

    Within the tray we find the accessories shipped with the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC, this comprises of a setup guide (Speed Setup), four ROG Velcro Hook & Loop cable ties, World of Warships Invite Code and a Driver CD.

    At the time of review, the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC is retailing at Overclockers UK for approximately £500 and comes with a 3 year warranty.

     

    Specifications/Features

    courtesy of Asus

    Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
    Bus Standard PCI Express 3.0
    OpenGL OpenGL®4.5
    Video Memory GDDR5 8GB
    Engine Clock OC Mode – GPU Boost Clock : 1860 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1657 MHz
    Gaming Mode (Default) – GPU Boost Clock : 1835 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1632 MHz
    *Retail goods are with default Gaming Mode, OC Mode can be adjusted with one click on GPU Tweak II
    CUDA Core 1920
    Memory Clock 8008 MHz
    Memory Interface 256-bit
    Resolution Digital Max Resolution:7680 x 4320
    Interface DVI Output : Yes x 1 (Native) (DVI-D)
    HDMI Output : Yes x 2 (Native) (HDMI 2.0)
    Display Port : Yes x 2 (Native) (Regular DP)
    HDCP Support : Yes
    Accessories 2 x ROG Velcro Hook & Loop
    Software ASUS GPU Tweak II & Driver
    Dimensions 11.73 ” x 5.28 ” x 1.57 ” Inch
    29.8 x 13.4 x4 Centimeter
  • To have the best cooling performance, ASUS STRIX-GTX1070-O8G-GAMING extends the fansink to 2 slots. Please double check you Chassis and Motherboard dimension prior to purchase to make sure it fits in your system!
  • Note that the actual boost clock will vary depending on actual system conditions. For more information, please visit http://www.geforce.com/
  • * Additional details available here

     

    First Impressions

     

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070

     

    First impressions of the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC are along the lines of ‘damn that’s big’, in fact it’s a lot like the last Asus Strix card that I took a look at the Asus Strix R9 Fury, that was big too! Not only is it big but it’s well made too from what I can see of it, the words ‘built like a tank’ come to mind. It’s not a great looking card though (well not when powered off anyway!), but purposeful it does look and that’s a good sign I feel… 😉

     

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - front ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - back

     

    Asus is using its third implementation of its DirectCU heatsink design, here with three of its patented Wing-Blade fans that simply dominate the front of the cooler. The cooler’s shroud is made from plastic and has been inlaid with Asus’ new RGB lighting implementation, known as AURA. These sections (above and below each fan) all illuminate when the card is on and full RGB support is also provided, meaning that any colour is (logically) possible. There’s also a range of effects that can be applied, all of which can be accessed via the Asus RGB AURA software (here).

    Looking at the back of the card we can see that it sports an impressive metal backplate. The backplate not only features an eye catching design, complete with Asus Strix logo, but there’s also a large ROG logo. And the best part of this is that it too illuminates and also supports full RGB lighting. Nice one Asus!

     

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - right ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - left

     

    Looking at the right side of the card (or top) we can see how the plastic shroud wraps around the side of the card and we can also see the large heatsink hiding within. At the back within the shroud there’s an additional ROG logo that again illuminates when on, this is courtesy of the LEDs within the front of the shroud itself. At the far end we see just one 8-pin power connector.

    On the flip side we find the PCIE connector, protected in the photo above by a black plastic cover. Otherwise there’s not much to see here other than more of that large heatsink…

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - outputs ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - bottom

     

    Thankfully Asus have modified the stock design of the GTX 1070, as this card now sports two HDMI 2.0 ports and not just the one. This is far better for VR, as one HDMI port is taken up by either your Vive or Rift. In addition to the two HDMI ports we find two standard DisplayPort ports and a single DVI-D port. The maximum digital resolution offered by the card is 7680 x 4320.

    Normally when looking at the far end of a Graphics Card there’s not much to see or talk about, but this time there is… As not only is there the cabling for the RGB lighting and the cabling for the fans, but there’s also two PWM fan headers! Now what are they for? Well Asus must have read my mind as I was recently puzzling as to why we control fan speed in a Case by the temperature of the CPU, when it’s the GPU we really need to keep cool, especially nowadays. Well Asus have come up with an answer; Fanconnect! These two headers will power up two PWM controlled fans (of your choice) and control them based upon GPU temperature, GENIUS! That makes me very happy.

     

    At this point there’s no doubt that from what I can see and from what I’ve read Asus have put together quite the GTX 1070. With its impressive factory overclock (1860MHz), tank like build quality, RGB lighting and that rather clever Fanconnect the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC looks like it’s set to take on all comers; let’s see shall we…

     

    Hardware Installation

     

    Installing the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC into our Test Rig was easy enough, mainly because our test case (Cooler Master HAF XB) has plenty of room to swallow this long Graphics Card. But you should check first before buying this GPU as at 298mm (L) x 134mm (H) x 40mm (D), it’s a big card!

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply Corsair Professional Series AX 760i
    Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6 CPU Intel Core i5-6600K
    CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S RAM G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB
    Graphics Card Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC SSD HyperX FURY 120GB

     

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - installed ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - illumination (side) ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 - illumination (backplate)

     

    With the card powered up that RGB lighting comes into effect and very nice it is too! I especially like the ROG logo on the back of the card and that fact that all LED lighting can be modified thanks to the RGB support in the AURA software (here).

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    Our New Test Rig was treated to a fresh install of Windows 10 64Bit with all associated drivers also installed. The latest Nvidia Driver (368.69) was then downloaded and installed and used throughout testing.

    I also installed Asus’s GPU Tweak II App (get it here) that allows you to set one of three Modes (OC, Gaming(default) & Silent), the effect that this has on the Core Clock’s GPU Speed (as a percentage) can be seen in the images below. There’s also monitoring information like that provided by MSI Afterburner and general information like that provided by GPU-Z.

     

    GPU Tweak - OC Mode GPU Tweak - Gaming Mode GPU Tweak - Silent Mode

     

    All in all it’s a bit of a waste of time if you ask me, as there’s simply not enough of a change between Modes and you’re likely just want to run in full OC Mode all of the time. But hey, it’s there if you want to use it…

     

    For testing purposes we use MSI Afterburner (here), to help us with our testing and overclocking.

     

  • Overclocking the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC using MSI Afterburner (Version 4.3.0 Beta 4)
  •  

    Strix 1070 Afterburner Settings Overclocking the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC is currently quite simple, but this is about to change thanks to Nvidia’s GPU Boost 3.0. GPU Boost 3.0 uses a per point scale and not a linear scale to control Boost Clock speed, so we will likely see an update to software such as MSI’s Afterburner to utilise this new method soon. But for now we’ll use the old school method for overclocking as it still works well enough.

    In Afterburner I simply increased the Power Limit by 20% (the maximum permitted) and increased the Core Clock by 20MHz. This is pretty disappointing to be fair but is to be expected with such a high factory overclock. Adding more vCore voltage also didn’t seem to help. I was also able to overclock the memory (see below) by and additional 300MHz.

    The end result was a card with a theoretical Boost Clock of 1880MHz and a Memory Clock of 8600MHz (effective). I also set the fan speed at 100% to ensure that there was little thermal throttling. The end result was that in game I saw Boost Clocks consistently over 2000MHz depending on fan speed (100% Fan = 2050MHz @ 52 degrees & Auto Fan = 2012MHz @ 66 degrees).

     

    Hardware Performance

     

  • Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC – STOCK/OC Mode (Core: 1860MHz / Mem: 8000MHz)
  • Benchmark 1080P 1440P Ulta Wide (3440×1440)
    Ashes of the Singularity (DX12) 68.00 64.30 60.50
    Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX12) 114.12 76.13 59.93
    Hitman (DX12) 91.31 71.72 58.30
    Far Cry Primal (DX 11) 90.00 64.00 52.00
    UNiGiNE Valley (DX 11) 118.80 74.90 57.30

     

    Comparative Test Results (at stock):

    * all comparative results are average FPS at 2560×1440

     

  • ASHES OF THE SINGULARITY
  • Ashes of the Sigularity Benchmark Settings
    Zotac GTX 1080 Founders Ed
    76.50
    Asus GTX 1070 Strix OC
    64.30
    EVGA GTX 980Ti Classified
    55.90

     

  • RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider Benchmark Settings
    Zotac GTX 1080 Founders Ed
    92.61
    EVGA GTX 980Ti Classified
    80.57
    Asus GTX 1070 Strix OC
    76.13

     

  • HITMAN
  • Hitman Benchmark Settings
    Zotac GTX 1080 Founders Ed
    82.04
    Asus GTX 1070 Strix OC
    71.72
    EVGA GTX 980Ti Classified
    69.13

     

  • FAR CRY PRIMAL
  • Far Cry Primal Benchmark Settings
    Zotac GTX 1080 Founders Ed
    75.00
    Asus GTX 1070 Strix OC
    64.00
    EVGA GTX 980Ti Classified
    64.00

     

  • UNIGINE VALLEY
  • Unigine Valley Benchmark Settings
    Zotac GTX 1080 Founders Ed
    86.50
    Asus GTX 1070 Strix OC
    74.90
    EVGA GTX 980Ti Classified
    73.90

     

    As you can see the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC looks more like a GTX 980Ti in disguise, with the results looking almost identical across all of the benchmarks. What’s interesting here is that we are comparing a heavily overclocked 1070 to a heavily overclocked 980Ti, suggesting that the stock versions of both would likely also perform similarly.

    We can also see that neither of these two cards can catch up with the mighty GTX 1080. For testing we were using a stock founders edition in the form of a Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 “Founders Edition”. With that in mind factory overclocked 1080’s with their custom coolers are likely to perform even better.

    What’s also important here though is the performance of the card and the amount of heat produced. With everything at stock and with the 1070 Strix OC Boosting at over 200MHz the card was very quiet (practically inaudible over the case/CPU fans) indeed and still only reached a maximum temperature of less than 70 degrees Celsius. Cranking the fans up to 100%, obviously created far more noise (too much really!) but temperatures plummeted to just 52 degrees. Thus proving that the DirectCU III cooler really does a rather marvellous job of cooling this heavily overclocked GTX 1070.

    Another nice touch is that the RGB LED lighting aboard the card can be configured via the AURA software to change colour depending on GPU temperature, another great idea IMHO and a feature I really rather like. Although I have to confess I never saw a colour much above yellow/orange, but I guess at some point it turns RED! 😉

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    Ok, so the new Nvidia GTX 1070 is undeniably a good Graphics Card, but the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC is even better. This is thanks to an impressive factory overclock, a great (yet quiet) cooler and impressive RGB LED illumination.

    The Asus arrived at pcG in a smart box with the card within well packaged and nicely presented. Once out of the box one thing is immediately clear, the Asus is one big card, it’s long at 298mm but thankfully the DirectCU III cooler is only two slots (40mm) wide. It’s also built like a tank, materials and build quality are all top notch. But it would be wrong of me to say that it’s a good looking card, purposeful might be the word as it has a touch of German engineering about it. Although having said that the installed back plate is rather smart.

    Installation was easy enough, but you need to make sure you’ve got the room for the length of the card. Once powered up via the single 8-pin power connector the three patented Wing-Blade fans span up and the card lit up too! Thanks to its RGB illumination the Asus looks a lot better when powered up and of course the colours can be modified via the AURA software too.

    Some of the special features found on this Asus card that deserve special a mention is the RGB lighting that reacts to the cards temperature and the Fanconnect headers found at the end of then card. These allow you to connect a couple of fans and control them based upon GPU temperature and not CPU temperature, genius idea AFAIK!

    But really we all buy Graphics Cards to play Games and performance is of course paramount. Luckily not only does the new Nvidia Pascal based GPU not disappoint, neither does Asus’s take on it either. Thanks in part to the significant factory overclock of 170 MHz and the impressive DirectCU III cooler the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC is really quite the performer. In our testing you can see that it matched our heavily overclocked 980Ti every step of the way, but still despite its overclock couldn’t match the performance of the stock GTX 1080 in its Founders Edition form.

    But there’s a problem, as you’ve probably guessed it’s the price. At the time of review all 1070 based cards are costing around £400 and that’s a lot for an Nvidia 70 series card and more than were used to. But that’s the fact of the matter and of course this being a factory overclocked sample means that it simply costs even more. At approximately £500 at the time of review the Asus is undeniably expensive, but thanks to its performance, its cooling prowess, its RGB LED lighting and its Fanconnect feature it’s almost worth it, but I guess that’s for you to decide…

     

    Verdict

    Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…

    Overclockers UK




    Asus
    GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC Gaming

    button_buy_now

    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC a Gold
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to Asus for providing this sample for review

     



    1. Nathan Reed
      July 15th, 2016 at 12:34 | #1

      Isn’t the memory interface 256 bit instead of 245 bit?

      • James
        July 15th, 2016 at 12:55 | #2

        oops yes, typo, well spotted and thanks…

        😉

    2. S Paul
      July 17th, 2016 at 06:35 | #3

      Hi I like to know about the power consumption of the card under OC, Gaming and Silent mode( Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix )?

      • James
        July 17th, 2016 at 09:43 | #4

        There’s simply not enough difference between the Modes to make much difference, a few watts at best. Total system power draw for our test rig was 254W.

    3. E Joosten
      September 22nd, 2016 at 11:55 | #5

      I was just wondering. There is a non-oc version as well and at this point it’s 30 euro’s cheaper. I can’t find any hardware difference so can I just manual OC the non-OC to the same lvl?

      • James
        September 22nd, 2016 at 13:01 | #6

        Quite possibly, but of course there’s no guarantee… 😉

    4. electronictonic
      January 2nd, 2017 at 12:13 | #7

      Just bought one 3 days ago and it is amazing running it at 1440p, it might be similar in performance with the 980ti but the advantage is that is contains 8gb over the 6GB which is useful for games like GTA5 wjere you can increase the textures.

    5. Gerald
      June 14th, 2017 at 17:38 | #8

      Hi,
      I’ve been trying to find the max number of devices supported by this card. I need it to run four monitors at the same time.
      Thanks.

      • James
        June 14th, 2017 at 18:06 | #9

        4 is the max supported, so you will be fine with a 1070… 😉