The basis for the STRIX 1080 is the now well-known DirectCU III cooling solution. Adopting a triple fan configuration, this cooler consumes the card. Later in the article we’ll analyse the different aspects of our cooler in plenty of detail.
Overall the design with the plastic shroud looks aggressive, appealing to the eye and will likely pair up with other hardware very well – especially since we can modify the LED lighting strips (seen around the cooling fans), using ASUS Aura software. Our only criticism is that we’re dealing with plastic here; a card carrying such a price-tag should be using more robust materials such as metal.
The actual size of this graphics card is: 29.8 x 13.4 x 4 cm, which is significantly larger than the Founder’s edition which sits at: 26.67 x 11.1 x 4 cm.
Flipping the card over, on the reverse we have a large steel backplate which protects the components on our graphics card and also prevents it from flexing or bending. Having such a feature on a graphics card is encouraging as it provides rigidity and prevents potential damage. There are pockets of ventilation for significant components.
This backplate also features the ROG logo which acts as an LED – this lighting can be tweaked via the AURA software and changed to a colour of preference.
As seen on other DirectCU III coolers, the STRIX 1080 arrives with three WingBlade cooling fans which ASUS claim will deliver 30% better cooling and 3X quieter performance. During light load these cooling fans will cease to spin – rendering the card completely silent.
Running along the edge, ASUS has placed Republic of Gamers branding which also synchronizes with the LED lighting.
The GTX 1080 is clearly marked out for Ultra-High Definition gaming – as such we have an assortment of video out ports on the Rear IO section. These include:
• 1x Dual Link DVI-D port (Up to 3K)
• 2x DisplayPort 1.4 (8K @ 60Hz)
• 2x HDMI 2.0 port (4K @ 60 Hz) (VR + display)
The inclusion of 2x HDMI over 3x DisplayPort + 1x HDMI means that users can still use one of the HDMI ports for display while using the other HDMI port for a VR headset.
The selection of ports here should entertain most users, it’s great to see DP 1.4 being used as this now supports up to 8K output and was only released a matter of months ago.
As is customary for an NVIDIA graphics card, our STRIX 1080 arrives with multi-SLI ports which allows us to pair up this card with more than one other graphics card. The GTX 1080 also has the added benefit of using SLI HB (High Bandwidth) meaning the bandwidth is now doubled from 1GB/s to 2GB/s.
The Founder’s Edition of GTX 1080 requires a single 8pin PCI express connection but for our STRIX 1080 its necessary to use 8+6pin – the custom PCB, factory overclock, upgraded components and not to mention the RGB functionality all allude to needing more power. As per the technical specifications.
Since the Founder’s Edition demanded a 500W PSU, we can expect STRX 1080 to require a little more juice at 600W.
Seen above, there are tiny LEDs next to the PCI express connections – these LEDs indicate whether the plug is connected properly. A white LED signifying a good connection while RED showing a problem.