We loved the Direct CU II cooler when we last reviewed it and while this design is a little different, it looks to be no less effective. The angles and louvers carry on the Strix theme as do the iris stickers on each fan centre, replicating two red eyes staring back at you.
We are happy to see ASUS have included a back plate to the card. While they are not always necessary from a cooling perspective, they do afford a method of protection from damaging the PCB.
The dimensions of the card are 5.5 " x 11 " x 1.57 " Inches / 14 x 28 x4 Centimetres.
The IO area features the usual array of ports found on NVIDIA graphics cards including DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI (2.0) and DisplayPort.
The Strix GTX 970 features twin SLI tabs but it can be linked to any GTX 970 should you wish.
Most interestingly, ASUS have opted to power the card with a single 8pin power port. You will need a PSU capable of delivering 38A with a 500v rating, more so if you intend on using SLI. Don't forget that an 8pin adaptor will be required if your PSU does not have one.
Should your PSU not be getting enough power and LED will tell you this which is situated next to the power port. If all is fine you will get a white LED.
The fans are very aggressively angled and have little curvature to them. IT remains to be seen if this affects acoustics but given that this card is 0dB, we doubt the fans will speed up enough for this to be an issue.
We like the overall look of the card. The little touches such as the ASUS emblem and the way the card resembles the Strix Owl is testament to the thought that has gone into the card.