ASUS Strix Edition GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card Review

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by Rob Williams on September 24, 2014 in Graphics & Displays

With the help of Maxwell, NVIDIA has hit a definite home run with its GeForce GTX 900 GPUs. In our look at the GTX 980 last week, we were left thoroughly impressed, but little did we realize at the time, the GTX 970 – and ASUS’ Strix edition in particular – was about to impress us even more. Simply put, you need to check this card out.

Power & Temperatures, Final Thoughts

To test graphics cards for both their power consumption and temperature at load, we utilize a couple of different tools. On the hardware side, we use a trusty Kill-a-Watt power monitor which our GPU test machine plugs into directly. For software, we use Futuremark’s 3DMark to stress-test the card, and AIDA64 to monitor and record the temperatures.

To test, the general area around the chassis is checked with a temperature gun, with the average temperature recorded. Once that’s established, the PC is turned on and left to site idle for ten minutes. At this point, we open AIDA64 along with 3DMark. We then kick-off a full suite run, and pay attention to the Kill-a-Watt when the test reaches its most intensive interval (GT 1) to get the load wattage.

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Temperatures

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Power Consumption

Similar to what we saw with the GTX 980 last week, ASUS’ Strix GTX 970 idles a bit higher than some of the other cards, but it shines at load – the card is much faster than the R9 285, yet it runs cooler. Not only that, but it draws less power, too. Not everyone cares about power consumption, but I have a hard time not being blown-away by the fact that this card wipes the floor with most of this line-up, but proves the most power-efficient.

Final Thoughts

ASUS’ motto is ‘In Search of Incredible’, and after having taken a look at the company’s Strix GTX 970, I’m thinking its follow-up should be ‘We’ve Found It’. Last week, I was left very impressed with the GTX 980, but I was totally oblivious of just how impressive the GTX 970 would prove to be. I can safely say that I am even more impressed with the GTX 970 than the 980, because the value is through the roof.

On paper, the GTX 970 reference is impressive in itself, but ASUS has taken it, given it a sweet speed boost, a very effective cooler, and the awesome feature of requiring just a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. I am having a hard time finding a single fault with this card.

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix Edition - Box

As we saw throughout the game tests, ASUS’ Strix GTX 970 outpaces the GTX 780 Ti more often than not. A month ago, that card retailed for a cool $600. If you look hard enough, it can now be had for as low as $450 – but that’s after a mail-in rebate. So, what we have with that proposition is a card that adds a couple of 100s: +100W to the load, and +$100 to the price.

It goes without saying that the GTX 980 is powerful. After all, it’s the most powerful single-GPU solution now on the market. But with the sheer amount of performance the $329 SRP GTX 970 packs, I can’t help but think about what the card could do in SLI. That solution would cost $660, or $680 with ASUS’ Strix, and deliver far more performance than a single GTX 980, and cost a mere 20% more.

If I keep talking, I’m bound to repeat myself. By now, you surely know whether or not this card is for you. Given the power that both the GTX 980 and 970 deliver, I’m quite looking forward to seeing what NVIDIA’s mid-range lineup is going to be capable of.

Pros

  • Eats 1080p and 1440p for breakfast. Handles 5760×1080 extremely well.
  • Very effective cooler. Card can operate silently with modest load.
  • Draws less power than much slower last-gen cards.
  • SLI’d Strix’s would offer a compelling bang-for-the-buck versus a single GTX 980.
  • Costs about the same as the outgoing GTX 770, is 40% faster, and has double the framebuffer.

Cons

  • The expression on your face if you recently purchased a high-end GTX 700 card.

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Techgage Editor's Choice
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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