Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix OC Graphics Card Review
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.
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:
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…
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.
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.
courtesy of Asus
|Graphics Engine||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070|
|Bus Standard||PCI Express 3.0|
|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
|Memory Clock||8008 MHz|
|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
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 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!
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…
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…
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!
|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|
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).
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.
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.
|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|
|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
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! 😉
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…
Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…
Many thanks to Asus for providing this sample for review