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.

Best Playable: Multi-Display

With the results seen on the previous page, we learned that all three of the cards included can handle today’s games at the resolution of 2560×1440 without much issue. In most cases, the detail levels in each game can be cranked right up, and I think it’s safe to say that you’ll probably get liveable framerates by doing that with any modern game (let’s ignore Crysis 3 at Very High detail for a moment).

As great a resolution as 1440p is, though, it’s only 3.68 megapixels. Contrast that to our multi-monitor resolution of 5760×1080, which is 6.22 megapixels. Clearly, that will require even more GPU horsepower to tear through, so let’s see how all of these cards fare.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9805260
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Environment:Very HighShadow:High
Texture:HighReflection:High
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:Low
Ambient Occlusion:OffVolumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti4859
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Environment:HighShadow:Normal
Texture:HighReflection:Normal
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:Low
Ambient Occlusion:OffVolumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix5361
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Environment:HighShadow:Normal
Texture:HighReflection:Normal
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:Low
Ambient Occlusion:OffVolumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix

Almost all of the settings here had to be dropped a bit to hit 60 FPS – the only notable setting not touched was AA. Still, as you can see from the screenshot, you’re not exactly killing the detail to get great framerates on the GTX 970.

Battlefield 4
MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9805163
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Texture Quality:HighTexture Filtering:High
Lighting:HighEffects:High
Post Processing:HighMesh:High
Terrain:HighTerrain Decoration:High
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:High
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti4355
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Texture Quality:HighTexture Filtering:High
Lighting:HighEffects:High
Post Processing:HighMesh:High
Terrain:HighTerrain Decoration:High
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:Medium
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix4556
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Texture Quality:HighTexture Filtering:High
Lighting:HighEffects:High
Post Processing:HighMesh:High
Terrain:HighTerrain Decoration:High
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:High
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix

All three cards are playable using the same settings, although I admit I sacrificed a 4 FPS in order to retain all of these settings. Those needing 60 FPS will be able to hit it by dropping HBAO to SSAO. Disabling AO entirely will allow you to increase some of the other details back up to Ultra.

Crysis 3
MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9804058
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Anti-aliasing:FXAATexture:Medium
Effects:MediumObject:Medium
Particles:MediumPost Processing:Medium
Shading:MediumShadows:Medium
Water:MediumAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti4257
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Anti-aliasing:FXAATexture:Medium
Effects:MediumObject:Medium
Particles:MediumPost Processing:Medium
Shading:MediumShadows:Medium
Water:MediumAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix4557
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Anti-aliasing:DisabledTexture:Medium
Effects:MediumObject:Medium
Particles:LowPost Processing:Low
Shading:LowShadows:Medium
Water:MediumAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix

With both the standard Crysis 3 testing as well as the best playable 1440p result on the previous page, we saw that the GTX 780 Ti somehow made an exception to the rule and performed better than the GTX 970. That carried on straight through to our multi-monitor testing. While the 780 Ti here could retain medium detail levels all around, the 970 had to sacrifice some detail levels – especially shading and post-processing – to give us a great framerate.

GRID 2
MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9805561
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Multisampling:4x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:Ultra
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OnGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OnAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti5763
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Multisampling:4x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:High
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OnGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OffAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix4758
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Multisampling:4x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:High
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OnGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OnAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix

Not much had to be changed here to attain 60 FPS (or at least seriously close) on the GTX 970 – the ambient occlusion just had to be dropped from Ultra to High. To surpass 60 FPS, I’d recommend disabling global illumination for a quick boost of at least 5 FPS.

Sleeping Dogs
MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9807085
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti5178
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix6077
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix

With the High anti-aliasing setting, framerates were not ideal, but dropping it to Normal fixed everything – hitting 60 FPS on the minimum is just what I like to see.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
MinimumAverage
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9805672
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Texture Detail:UltraShadow:Ultra
Parallax:OnTessellation:On
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO
Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti5371
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Texture Detail:UltraShadow:Ultra
Parallax:OnTessellation:On
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO
Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix5266
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 5760×1080
Texture Detail:UltraShadow:Ultra
Parallax:OnTessellation:On
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO
Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable Multi-Monitor - ASUS GeForce GTX 970 Strix

Like the other two cards, ASUS’ Strix had to see the AO dropped down to the standard Field AO setting to hit 60 FPS. As you might suspect, this is a difference that would require side-by-side screenshots to spot, so it’s a minor loss.

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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