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.

Game Tests: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4

Given the sheer number of titles in the Assassin’s Creed series, it’s a little hard to believe that the first game came out a mere six years ago. You could definitely say that Ubisoft hit the ball out of the park with this one. To date, we’ve never considered an AC game for benchmarking, but given the number of graphical goodies featured in the PC version of Black Flag, that trend now ends.

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - 1920x1080

Manual Run-through: The saved game starts us not far from the beginning of the game under a small church which can be climbed to synchronize with the environment. To kick things off, I scale this church and rotate the camera around once, making sure to take in the beautiful landscape; then, I climb back down and run all the way to the water (the top of this small church and the water can be seen in the above screenshot).

Note: For some reason, Ubisoft decided to cap the framerate to 60 FPS in Black Flag even if Vsync is turned off. For most games, this would ruin the chance of it appearing in our benchmarking, but because the game is graphically intensive, I’ve chosen to stick with it, as at higher resolutions, reaching 60 FPS is a perk that will belong only to high-end graphics cards.

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (1920x1080)

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2560x1440)

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (5760x1080)

The 1080p results prove that as long as you have a high-end graphics card, keeping well above 50 FPS minimum isn’t difficult in this title – even with maxed-out game settings (not including the special AA and AO modes). At 1440p, the added stress begins to separate the cards, but it’s not until 5760×1080 that the real challenge is seen. In that test, ASUS’ Strix GTX 970 passes the 780 Ti – an impressive result given that the cheapest 780 Ti I could find online was $110 more than the GTX 970 after mail-in rebate.

Battlefield 4

Thanks to the fact that DICE cares more about PC gaming than a lot of developers, the Battlefield series tends to give us titles that are well-worth benchmarking. Battlefield 3 offered incredible graphics and became a de facto benchmark immediately, so it’s no surprise, then, that BF4 follows right in its footsteps.

Battlefield 4 - 1920x1080

Manual Run-through: The Singapore level is the target here, with the saved game starting us on an airboat that must be driven to shore, where a massive battle is set to take place. I stop recording the framerate once the tank makes its way to the end of this small patch of beach; in all, the run takes about 3 minutes.

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Battlefield 4 (1920x1080)

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Battlefield 4 (2560x1440)

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix - Battlefield 4 (5760x1080)

ASUS’ Strix continues to impress here, easily surpassing the 780 Ti at 1080p and 1440p, and inching ahead a wee bit on the minimum FPS front with our multi-monitor resolution.

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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