Fundamental to the new STRIX GTX 980Ti is of course the DC3 cooling solution which engulfs the PCB and indeed the entire design of this graphics card. DC3 OC is monolithic in its proportions, measuring a whopping: 30.5 x 15.22 x3.98cm. On the next page we’ll go into more detail on DC3 but we’re mightily impressed by its design on initial inspection.
Flipping the card over, on the reverse we have a large metallic sheet and red mounting plate (GPU fortifier) directly behind the GPU. Both these items protect the card from bending or getting knocked. It’s becoming common practise on higher-end cards to include backplates as it helps to maintains rigidity.
DC3 introduces a trio of cooling fans to the DirectCU family. These 90mm fans use a wing-blade design and will cease spinning if the card remains under 65C – this means that gamers can enjoy silence whilst gaming. When the fans are operational they spin at up to 40%. The principal idea behind the STRIX cards is to design the product to adopt low-noise – therefore the intention is to strike a good balance between performance and silence.
Running down the outer edge of the DC3 OC is a continuation of the metal shroud along with a pulsating STRIX LED – this glows when the system has power.
Since DC3 OC is designed for ultra-high resolution gaming such as 4K, there are a plethora of ports on the IO plate. These include the following:
• 1x DVI-I port
• 3x DisplayPort
• 1x HDMI 2.0 port
So this opens the door for multi-screen configurations and ensures you’re able to run the card at optimum settings but if you’re planning to go for a single 4K screen configuration it’s a good idea to go with DP or HDMI to get the faster refresh rate.
The GTX 980Ti is a flagship graphics card and as such it comes as no surprise that we have multi-SLI ports to pair up with more than one graphics card.
The reference GTX 980Ti required 6+8pin PCI express power but our DC3 OC demands 8+8pin. The reference model also has a TDP rating of 250W, requiring a 600W power supply – although ASUS don’t mention this detail we expect similar specifications of the DC3 OC.