ASUS GTX 980 STRIX DC II OC Video Card Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'nVidia Flavor' started by FrgMstr, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    ASUS GTX 980 STRIX DC II OC Video Card Review - Today we delve into the ASUS GTX 980 STRIX DC II OC, which features custom cooling, 0dB fans and high overclocking potential. We'll experiment with this Maxwell GPU by overclocking it to the extreme. It will perform head to head against the ASUS ROG R9 290X MATRIX-P in today's most demanding games, including Far Cry 4.
     
  2. jhatfie

    jhatfie [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have been really pleased with my Asus Strix 980. Got it as an open box impulse buy from NewEgg for $450. Only wish that that Asus was more generous with the voltage options, being capped to 1.2v is a bit of a bummer as I think there is more performance to be had there, but since my card does 1508/8000 rock solid stable I am not really complaining much. In my testing the DC II cooler seems a tiny bit less efficient and is louder than the MSI Gaming 970, but overall is still quite good. My temps tend to run about 65-70C under demanding gaming load in my case with custom fan profile that max's at around 60%. Once fans hit 70% they start to get a bit loud.
     
  3. GeEl2088

    GeEl2088 n00b

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    Hardocp is my favorite review site to read I just wish that 60 fps minimum benchmarks would be done instead of this 30 – 45 fps.
    30 fps in Farcry 4 is quite sad to play when you have a top of the line GPU (290x) and I would argue that it’s not really playable for some people.
    Amazing reviews as always though :)
     
  4. danks

    danks Limp Gawd

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    Also very pleased with my Strix 980! I ended up taking off the stock cooler though and putting on the new EK Strix waterblock. VRM and GPU are very cool under load now and card is a solid overclocker.
     
  5. GoodBoy

    GoodBoy [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nice review. Looks like a really well built card too.

    From now on I will be going only for card with backplates.... after having a gigabyte 680 sli setup have the back cards fans start nicking the components on the front one (to which I immediately powered down and ended up just pulling the front card out. grr)
     
  6. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    There is not a lot bad to say about this card at all. ASUS is on its game with this Strix series.
     
  7. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Yes, if you are cramped on space, or moving the cards around a lot, the backplate pays for itself with a lot of folks for sure.
     
  8. gigatexal

    gigatexal [H]ardness Supreme

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    1525 on air with 62c temps, that's a beast of a card. Kyle, with fans at 100% how noticeable was that from 4 feet? are we talking headphones a must or got a decibel reading?
     
  9. Stoly

    Stoly [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm curious to know if the 970 Strix would also beat the ROG 290X. I think that would be a fair fight price/performance wise.
     
  10. Jesso2k

    Jesso2k n00b

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    Hey Kyle can you confirm I'm not crazy...

    I have the 980 Strix, my oc settings are nearly identical but I squeaked a bit more out the memory. Every review I've read from 7+ publications have been pretty positive with the exception of Hardware Canucks and their oc section.

    They state in their review they used Asus GPU Tweak and it capped their core clock slider at 1400MHz, and carried out the review with those numbers showing the worst oc results by far. I pointed out in their forums about how I used Afterburner to get around this (never used GPU Tweak before), and I got a bunch of rabble rabble about being a noob, troll, etc, while they concluded it was Asus' fault for the subpar packaged software and said they wouldn't go back to it, the card was inconsistent after 1400 on air anyways...

    It pisses me off they could be so dismissive and then I see your review that talks about GPU Tweak specifically and you state, "By clicking advanced mode in the bottom left and going into tuning, you can enable overclocking range enhancement which allows values beyond 1400MHz on the boost clock. "

    I threw that back in the discussion that I was going to let go and got this response from the reviewer:

    "Again, what GPU-Z says and what actually happens are two different things. That's why we have begun to always show our true sustained clock speeds in the overclocking section.

    While you can sure as heck set OC range extension, it doesn't make a lick of difference other than showing some pretty numbers within the utility. This is a software / hardware handoff issue where the Green Light program steps in and limits things quite drastically. GPU Tweak functions as a byproduct of ASUS' implementation of Green Light and is therefore artificially limiting some forms of functionality (ie: overclocking). Continual clocks will remain between 1400MHz and 1450MHz as was shown in our review: ASUS GTX 980 STRIX OC Review (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...ews/68046-asus-gtx-980-strix-oc-review-9.html)

    I did experience some areas where Boost allowed even higher frequencies (Tomb Raider is a good example) but those were the exceptions rather than the norm. In addition, within the first 5-10 minutes of gameplay you'll likely get higher clocks as the chip warms up, leakage increases and TDP starts getting factored into the equation....which is again why we show our results after extended periods of time."

    Is he full of shit? I understand boost clocks are going to be better than GPU-Z's report and I was never talking about that, I don't know GPU Tweak but I know my card and I know the consensus through the web, but does he have a leg to stand on by saying that through the range extension setting and cranking up the slider would have done nothing but give a pretty number on said slider with no real world result?
     
  11. Jesso2k

    Jesso2k n00b

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    Or maybe Grady can help me with this one if he monitors the forum, thanks.
     
  12. Copyright

    Copyright [H]ardness Supreme

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    Am I the only one that noticed how loose the heatink is on this thing? I can wobble it and even pull it away from the gpu. It's like the spring tension is to weak they used. I thought about removing it for better paste and to add some washers to increase tension but afraid of voiding the warranty. Seems like the card could run a lot cooler with more pressure since it's barely getting any.
     
  13. jyi786

    jyi786 [H]ardness Supreme

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    One thing I would like to know of that hasn't been mentioned in the review is the issue that seems to be prevalent with all the new 970/980 cards: power coil squealing.

    Does this thing squeal at all under load or otherwise? I absolutely cannot use a card that has a supersonic squeal or else it'll drive me insane.
     
  14. Copyright

    Copyright [H]ardness Supreme

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    I had an Asus 970 and MSI 970 that had coil whine.. the 980 was much quieter than those and the only way I could get noise out of the 980 was to remove the donut in furmark. I think coil noise is less of an issue with the 980 for some reason. Overall noise I am happy with the Asus but honestly Comparing the MSI and Asus 970 the MSI felt more solid, ran a little cooler and seemed a little more quiet. Hope that helps!
     
  15. Sprayingmango

    Sprayingmango [H]ard|Gawd

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    Great review guys. I absolutely LOVE my Asus STRIX GTX 980 SLI setup. This has been the best SLI setup I've ever had, and I came from SLI GTX Titans.

    They overclock like monsters and run cool/quiet!!
     
  16. jyi786

    jyi786 [H]ardness Supreme

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    :eek:
     
  17. Cmdrmonkey

    Cmdrmonkey Gawd

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    The Strix 980 is the best video card I've ever owned. Finally we have dead silence and the highest levels of performance in the same card without water cooling.
     
  18. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have a 980 and used a 970 in a relative's build. I have never heard coil whine on my card (980). The 970 I was surprised to hear it... I only heard it once on the 3dMark demo with the space ships. Apparently coil whine is only a problem when your FPS is way way up there, just guessing 300+. If the case cover was on I might not have noticed it anyways, it was pretty faint.

    I use Vsync all the time so once that was enabled I never heard it again on the 970 (tested 4 games).
     
  19. jyi786

    jyi786 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well, it's good know that the 980 seems to not be affected by it, judging from everyone's response here. I guarantee that even if the case cover was on, I could STILL hear any type of coil whine and it would drive me insane (yes, I'm that OCD).

    Looks like this will be my new video card.
     
  20. Sprayingmango

    Sprayingmango [H]ard|Gawd

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    EXACTLY!! It's really amazing...years ago I had to build $1,000+ water cooling systems to achieve this...now they are available as $580 air cooled graphics cards. :D:D:cool:
     
  21. Arct1c0n

    Arct1c0n Gawd

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    Man, I freaking love this 980, it puts my 780 and 670 FTW to utter shame, considering I bought a 780 on a whim a few months ago and then the 900 series came out and I regretted it. My Asus 780 was also a good clocker, I don't regret leaving EVGA.

    I'm really struggling to have my 980 run at 1,500mhz, it seems to cap out at 1,495mhz as Dragon Age Inquisition crashes beyond that clock speed which makes me sad. How the hell did you guys manage such a high memory overclock?


    [​IMG]
     
  22. centvalny

    centvalny 2[H]4U

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    Asus Matrix GTX 980 oc on h2o

    mem @ 9000 1.7V

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  23. Arct1c0n

    Arct1c0n Gawd

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    Yeah OK, I hate you
     
  24. dccmadams

    dccmadams [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have 3 Asus Strix cards, and none whine while gaming. I don't play benchmarks, so I cant comment on that. You don't hear the fans ramp up at all under normal daily use.
     
  25. Starrbuck

    Starrbuck 2[H]4U

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    Somebody won the silicon lottery! ;)
     
  26. Arct1c0n

    Arct1c0n Gawd

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    Thankfully, no coil whine on mine either, just wish it overlocked better, I'm now only able to run at 1470 :(


    [​IMG]
     
  27. Gladdox

    Gladdox n00b

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    New member here. Found this review (and thread) while doing some research. Considering replacing my EVGA 780 Dual FTW with a 980. I like the Asus 980 Strix, but I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on how it stacks up against the EVGA SC 980 w/ ACX 2.0?

    Apples to apples, the EVGA seems to edge out the Strix on #'s, but I'm drawn to the opinions about how quiet the Strix is.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  28. Spirit_Retro

    Spirit_Retro Limp Gawd

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    Well I just did an AMD build of a 9590 with a STRIX 980. I'm very impressed with it. The card idles with fan off at about 33c inside a Corsair Graphite 780t. It's water cooled with a push/pull Corsair h100i. The STRIX is of course air cooled.

    Under load the fan on the STRIX cycles on and off. Fan starts at 64c and turns off in the low 50s. I've not been able to produce a situation where the fan runs constantly... and it is for all purposes silent against the Noctua fans I used for the radiator.

    Assuming the card doesn't fail (I'm not predicting it either) it's the best and quietest card I've ever owned.

    My only concern with it, as an engineer, is the constant temperature fluctuations which can be hard on electronics over the long term. Most cards have their fans running constantly, if only at low speed. So the temperature flux is not repeated as many times since the temp change happens at the beginning of heavy use and the end of heavy use. With the STRIX the temp changes under use are a swing between 64c and 50c repeated over and over. Conventional cooling practices would discourage that kind of activity.

    That caveat aside, you can program a static fan speed/curve in the included software.

    But based on a couple of weeks of experience with the card- it simply rocks.
     
  29. Arct1c0n

    Arct1c0n Gawd

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    1. You'll upgrade the video looooooong before ever need to be worried about premature temperature wear on the die and transistors.

    2. Use MSI afterburner and create your own fan curve like I did so the fans run all the time and ramp up only as load increases.


    [​IMG]
     
  30. Spirit_Retro

    Spirit_Retro Limp Gawd

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    Possibly... I wasn't ripping on the card. It's great. I'm a systems engineer. I think about failure scenarios.

    The rig this replaces is an Asus m4n72-e/X6 1045t which was running quad SLI with 2 GTX 295s. The fans failed on the GTX 295s and I couldn't salvage any replacements.

    I run my stuff for a long time, repair it, and have seen all kinds of failures :)
     
  31. STEvil

    STEvil 2[H]4U

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    I think that goes for all of Asus's heatsinks.. i've had 4 DCU-II cards and they all had that issue. One 670 is still alive, one 670 died, and both 7970's died..
     
  32. Starrbuck

    Starrbuck 2[H]4U

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    Mine are tight and sturdy on my 970 STRIX cards. The MSI's I had were loose and flimsy as hell.
     
  33. trajan2448

    trajan2448 [H]Lite

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    Very impressive power, heat , and performance. Great work Nvidia and Asus. Can't wait to see what the future holds!
     
  34. RadXge

    RadXge 2[H]4U

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    For comparison purposes, my Gigabyte G1 GTX 980 is currently stable at 1,604MHZ (stock voltage). While I am still testing memory overclock setttings, it seems that around 7,200Mhz is the maximum achievable.
     
  35. Arct1c0n

    Arct1c0n Gawd

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    Please DIAF
     
  36. RadXge

    RadXge 2[H]4U

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    The best is that I purchased this card as an open box at NCIX and the price was significantly discounted. :p
    This card replaces a SLI Titan Vanilla setup which did not overclock very well (+10%). While my new setup is generally slower (and cheaper), it is more than adequate for the resolution I game at (2560*1600).