ASUS STRIX Gaming GTX 980 Ti 6GB Review

As expected ASUS is also amongst NVIDIA’s launch partners for their new GTX 980 Ti based graphics cards. In this review we’re having a close look at the STRIX Gaming GTX 980 Ti, which is ASUS’s flagship model. It features a custom PCB as well as a new version of ASUS’s semi-passive STRIX cooler. This should be a rather punchy combination, since the card has also received a massive factory overclock.



ASUS is amongst the first Nvidia add-in-card (AIC) partners that have decided to introduce a new custom GTX 980 Ti graphics card which is using NVIDIAs latest and greatest GM200-310-A Maxwell chip. For this graphics card, ASUS makes use of a custom PCB along with a new version of their DirectCU cooler. On the backside of the card, there is a good looking backplate. A quick glance at the specs also reveals that this card ships factory overclocked.

Browsing the specifications of this card we find 2816 CUDA cores, 176 TMUs and 96 ROPs. For comparison reasons, the GTX 980 features 2048 CUDA cores, 128 TMUs and 64 ROPs. This means that, compared to the smaller model, there are significantly more CUDA cores, TMUs and ROPs. Looking for reference clocks we find 1’216 MHz base clock and 1’317 MHz boost clock, whereas the NVIDIA reference cards run at 1000MHz/1075MHz, therefore there is a massive 22.5% factory overclock on the GPU.

As we already mentioned, ASUS decided to use a significant factory-overclock on their new GTX 980 Ti STRIX. While the reference GTX 980 Ti is set to work at 1000 MHz for the base clock and 1075 MHz for the GPU boost clock, the GTX 980 Ti STRIX runs at 1’216 MHz base clock and 1’317 MHz boost clock.

When it comes to memory clock speeds we see a slight, 200 MHz frequency boost, which makes the chips run at 7200 MHz. Combine this with a 384 Bit memory interface and you end up with a total of 336.5 Gigabyte of memory bandwidth.

Whereas the typical boost clock is set at 1’317 MHz, the maximum boost of 1’430 MHz was achieved quite easily and the GTX 980 Ti STRIX held that clock most of the load time due to the capable DirectCU III 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 ran Furmark to see how high the card overclocks, when the GPU is under maximum load. This way we can determine a worst case scenario regarding maximum boost clock. With the card we see clocks speeds of 1253 MHz at 1.030v.




ASUS GTX 980Ti STRIX Gaming GeForce GTX 980Ti GeForce GTX 980
Chip GM200-310-A1 Maxwell GM200-310-A1 Maxwell GM204 Maxwell
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 8.00 billion 8.00 billion 5.20 billion
GPU clock 1’216 MHz 1’000 MHz 1’126 MHz
GPU Boost clock 1’317 1’076 MHz 1’216 MHz
Memory GDDR5 6’144 MB 6’144 MB 3’072 MB
Memory clock 1’800 (7’200) MHz 1’750 (7’000) MHz 1’750 (7’000) MHz
Memory interface 384 Bit 384 Bit 256 Bit
Memory bandwidth 336’500 MB/s 336’600 MB/s 224’000 MB/s
Shader Cores 2’816 2’816 2’048 (12 SMX)
TMUs 176 176 128
ROPs 96 96 64
TDP 250 Watt 250 Watt 165 Watt
PCB Type Custom Reference Design Reference Design
Slots 2 2 2
Cooler DirectCU III NVIDIA Reference NVIDIA Reference
Launch Price $829 $649 $599