👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅19-07-15

This summer has seen the biggest GPU battle in years come to pass. NVIDIA set the ball rolling with their flagship GeForce GTX 980 Ti, and AMD returned fire by unleashing the Radeon R9 Fury X. The world seemed primed for Fury X to destroy the opposition, but the results revealed a battle which wasn’t nearly as clear-cut as we expected. A standard, reference GTX 980Ti causes problems for the R9 Fury X, but how about a custom cooled, pre-clocked variant? Today's results, as they say were enlightening.

STRIX GTX 980Ti DC3 OC arrives with a factory overclock to 22% over reference settings, and even the already high-speed memory is tweaked a further 3% higher than stock. In all our benchmarks the STRIX GTX 980 Ti DC3 OC took pole position, improving on the reference GTX 980Ti and leaving Fury X in the dust. What last month we would have expected to be a close-run thing has turned into a rout, due mainly to the performance ASUS has squeezed out of NVIDIA's GPU.

This GTX 980Ti is the first card in ASUS's lineup to utilise the new DirectCU III, and we can confidently report it to be a formidible cooling solution. While the thermal performance was consistent with other high-end coolers, the noise... well, for once 'whisper-quiet' really seemed appropriate. The cooling fans on DC3 only begin to spin if the GPU exceeds 65C – rendering the card silent if the system is idle or the GPU isn’t being fully stressed. The STRIX lineup is typically performance-centric, but in this instance it's hit an almost perfect balance between both performance and noise.

A word of caution is merited however - STRIX GTX 980Ti DC3 OC is priced at £639.99 GBP / $885 USD. This is at the top end of the price range of non-reference air-cooled GTX 980Tis, and it is hard to ignore other cards which also have custom cooling solutions. But, with all things considered – stunning aesthetics, low-noise, decent temperatures, high-quality components, 3 years warranty, plus the software bundle - we’d be remiss if we didn’t highly recommend this graphics card.

ASUS has pushed the boundaries with the STRIX GTX 980Ti DC3 OC. This card adopts class-leading performance while employing premium features – including a rather impressive DirectCU III cooling solution. If you want outright performance but can’t afford a Titan-X – get this!


+ Aesthetically stunning
+ Low-noise with silent features inherent
+ Excellent performance
+ DirectX 12 ready
+ 3 year warranty

- May struggle to fit in some cases
- Heavy
- Premium Price

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

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