ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX OC Edition Review

Next to the GTX 980 STRIX, ASUS is also launching the GTX 970 STRIX graphics card today. As usual the GTX 970 is the smaller brother of the GTX 980 and it comes with a more attractive price but therefore offers a little less performance. There is also a custom design PCB as well as – apparently – ASUS STRIX cooler and overall this should be a rather punchy card.



ASUS is amongst the first Nvidia add-in-card (AIC) partners that have decided to introduce a new custom GTX 970 graphics card that will use NVIDIAs latest GM204 chip. Like with the GTX 970 STRIX you get a custom PCB as well as a custom cooler, which in this case is the so called STRIX model and on the back of the card, there is a good looking backplate.

As always before the launch of a new chip generation from NVIDIA there have been loads of rumors on the specs before the launch. Browsing the specifications of this card we find 1664 CUDA cores, 104 TMUs and 64 ROPs. For comparison reasons, the GTX 770 features 1536 CUDA cores, 128 TMUs and 32 ROPs. This means that NVIDIA cut down the TMU count, but increased the number of CUDA cores as well as ROPs. Looking for reference clocks we find 1’051 MHz core clock and 1’178 MHz boost clock.

As you can see from the GPU-Z screenshot below, ASUS decided to use a decent factory-overclock on the new GTX 970 STRIX. While the reference GTX 970 with GM204 GPU is set to work at 1’051 MHz for the base clock and 1’178 MHz for the GPU Boost clock, the ASUS GTX 970 STRIX  runs at 1’114 MHz core clock and 1’253 MHz boost clock.

When it comes to memory clock speeds we see a tiny, 12 MHz frequency boost, which makes the chips run at 7’012 MHz. Combine this with a 256 Bit memory interface and you end up with a total of 224 Gigabyte of memory bandwidth.

While the typical boost clock is set at 1’253 MHz, the maximum boost of 1’265 MHz was achieved quite easily and the GTX 970 STRIX held that clock most of the load time due to the capable STRIX cooler as well as good TDP target (nVidia’s Boost technology being power-based and not temperature-based on this card). At this point we also run Furmark to see how high the card overclocks, when the GPU is under full load. This way we can determine a worst case scenario regarding maximum boost clock. With this card we see clocks speeds of 999 MHz at 1.012v, which is substantially less.



ASUS GTX 970 STRIX GeForce GTX 970 GeForce GTX 770
Chip GM204 Maxwell GM204 Maxwell GK104 Kepler
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 5.20 billion 5.20 billion 3.54 billion
GPU clock 1’114 MHz 1’051 MHz 1’046 MHz
GPU Boost clock 1’253 MHz 1’178 MHz 1’085 MHz
Memory GDDR5 4’096 MB 4’096 MB 2’048 MB
Memory clock 1’753 (7’012) MHz 1’750 (7’000) MHz 1’750 (7’000) MHz
Memory interface 256 Bit 256 Bit 256 Bit
Memory bandwidth 224’000 MB/s 224’000 MB/s 224’000 MB/s
Shader Cores 1’664 1’664 1’536
TMUs 104 104 128
ROPs 64 64 32
TDP >150 Watt 150 Watt 230 Watt
PCB Type Custom Design Reference Design Reference Design
Slots 2 2 2
Cooler ASUS STRIX NVIDIA Reference NVIDIA Reference
Launch Price 349.90€ $299 $399