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ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1080 Ti Review: Top of the pack

Author: Ken Addison
Manufacturer: ASUS

Sound, Overclocking, and Power Consumption

When testing a third party graphics card versus a reference design there are 3 key aspects to look at—sound performance, overclocking ability, and power consumption.

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As we mentioned earlier, the Strix 1080 Ti has a feature allowing it to run without the fans for temperatures up to 55 degrees Celsius, contributing to its low idle sound level.

However, even at full load, the Strix GTX 1080 Ti is the quietest card of the bunch, with an impressive 4.1dB difference from the EVGA SC2 option and 4.6dB quieter than the NVIDIA blower-style reference design.

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The Strix model we are looking at today is the factory Overclocked model, so we expect some significant gains from the reference 1080 Ti. The Strix card doesn't disappoint, with our sample reaching a consistent clock speed of 1923 MHz, an 11% increase in clock speed over the reference design.

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To evaluate how much additional headroom there was for overclocking past the stock settings, we ran a couple of quick overclocking tests using the ASUS GPU Tweak II software.

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With some simple tweaking, we were able to apply a 70 MHz offset to this card, while maintaining stability in Unigine Heaven and staying under 70 degrees Celsius on the GPU!

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With our simple overclock of +20% to the power target and a +70 MHz offset for the GPU core, we were able to achieve an average clock speed of 2024 MHz on our Unigine Heaven test, an extra 7% over the default settings for this card, and over 17% better than the reference 1080 Ti design with stock settings.

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As always, more clock speed comes with higher power consumption for the Strix GTX 1080 Ti. Still coming in under the air-cooled AMD Vega 64 reference design, the Strix hovers just below the 300W mark, taking full advantage of the two 8-pin connectors available for power draw

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December 27, 2017 | 05:31 PM - Posted by Naebic (not verified)

Can you test the 1080 Ti/Vega 64 with pigtail PSU connectors vs. separate 8 pin cables? See if there's any difference in overclocking headroom?

December 28, 2017 | 12:13 PM - Posted by Aparsh335i (not verified)

Why would they do that? They are running a business and barely anyone would be interested in that.

December 28, 2017 | 01:29 PM - Posted by YTech

The benefits of going with separate 8 pins is for cleaner power to the card if the card is demanding more power than the PSU can provide on those lanes.

There won't be any difference if it's hitting the top most stable OC setting as it is. If it becomes unstable due to power fluctuation, separate cables can help reduce those issues.

To redo all the benchmarks just to test this, isn't beneficial as most don't bother hand picking the cables, unless they seek optimal OC performance. And that increase could be 10Mhz, which won't show in the graph.

December 27, 2017 | 05:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous? (not verified)

What's new in the PCB design? http://www.tomshardware.com/news/asus-rog-strix-gtx-1080-ti-pcb,36181.html

December 27, 2017 | 06:53 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

We've actually had this card for a while, so it's the first revision, but we've reached out to ASUS for clarification/details! 

December 27, 2017 | 08:09 PM - Posted by ItsAllThereInThoseRasterOperationPiplines (not verified)

88 ROPs and 24 more ROPs than the Vega 64/56 and the other Nvidia SKUs in that table and the GTX 1080Ti will always win the FPS benchmarks. That and because of the overall market for GPUs being influnced by compute as well as and Nvidia/AIB partners can keep the prices well above that MSRP and earn more money for their investors.

So with the GPU compute market keeping AMD's Vega prices inflated Nvidia can bring in plenty more revenues to its share holders by moving that MSRP higher or setting its MSRP up as a range of values depending on demand. GPU makers should list their GPU MSRP pricing higher to begin with and that will give the makers more latitude to price for higher revenues. It's because that way if pricing drops it can go lower than MSRP and make it appear that the pricing is a deal to consumers. Both Nvidia and AMD do not appear to be having problems keeping their inventories as small as possible with AMD never having enough stocks of Vega to meet demand.

Nvidia's GP102 has an excess of available ROPs to add for gaming and Nvidia really should hold Volta in reserve longer for any gaming markets until it's absolutely needed. Nvidia can extend Pascal's usage because GP102 still has extra ROPs to make available for any increases in the FPS metrics until the Vega refresh SKUs are on the market at 12nm! That's because if AMD can not match Nvidia in ROP counts there is no way AMD can get its FPS metrics higher even using higher clock rates. AMD needs a reworked Vega base die design with 88+ ROPs.

December 28, 2017 | 01:45 AM - Posted by Photonboy

NVidia and AMD sell their GPU's to card makers (for the most part) like Asus at a PRE-AGREED price in bulk.

So NVidia and AMD don't benefit from sudden price increases for cards due to crypto-currencies or whatever. That's mostly the RESELLERS like Amazon or Newegg.

I don't know what your point is about "keeping their inventories as small as possible" however both companies would prefer to sell as much as they can.

However, fabrication plants take orders several MONTHS in advance and in addition they can only ramp up so much anyway due to other chip commitments.

AMD doesn't need a "reworked Vega base die design with 88+ ROPs"... do you suddenly know more than the AMD engineers?

The raw numbers don't tell you everything, but graphics cards generally have everything BALANCED as it would be stupid to have too little of something that made a big bottleneck thus wasting money spent in another area.

You can't just look at the CUDA CORES and think that the ROP count should be the same as well for a different architecture.

You'll always find scenarios where more ROPs might help, or some other part of the card but again it's about BALANCING everything within price and power constraints. Plus, the design needs an optimized DX12 or Vulkan title to really show off Vega.

December 28, 2017 | 11:35 AM - Posted by ROPsAreTheGPUsNADSandNoNadsNoFPS (not verified)

Nvidia and AMD can both increase their wholesale/AIB partner pricing during the next round of purchasing contracts to cover increased expenses and AIB partners will have to pay more. Both AMD and Nvidia need to increase these prices to cover their parts(DRAM mostly), R&D, and driver development costs and the AIB partners will not want to lose those bit coin markups so they will pay any resonable price increase or they will not get the Dies. I'm pretty sure that AMD has plenty of AIB partners competing for the avaliable Vega 10 bease dies that are used to create the Vega 64/56 SKUs and it's a seller's game currently with demand so high so the ball is not in the AIB partner's hands.

ROPs are the very thing that put out the pixels on GPUs, no matter the crappy quality of the frames, and that's a fact. So more ROPs equate to higher pixel fill rates and more frames per second from whatever GPU has the most ROPs. All the rest of that other GPU IP can be tweaked to get the proper data fed into the Raster Operations Piplines on those ROPs so Nvidia can get more frames flung out there with lesser quality and who will notice as long as there are no jagged edges for the eye(Brain Actually) to notice at 30-60+ FPS with the proper frame variance that makes for smooth frame delivery.

Nvidia can and does get the better FPS metrics because that's the metric that is tested and if any reviewer digs too deep looking at image quality that the eye may not notice anyways at such rapid frame rates then that reviewer will have to purchase the review samples themselvs and not get any freebees from the marker with those review strings attatched.

ROPs are the Nads of the gaming focuesd GPU and the GPU with the most Nads wins that all valued Bubba Gamer FPS metric that takes the benchmark race and sells the GPUs for gaming workloads.

Price goes up with as a function of the damand curve so Cherge By the ROP for gaming SKUs! ROPs ROPs ROPs!

December 28, 2017 | 12:15 PM - Posted by Aparsh335i (not verified)

Actually sometimes integrators like Asus evga Msi Zotac etc do charge more based on supply and demand from things like crypto currency mining.

December 28, 2017 | 12:20 PM - Posted by Aparsh335i (not verified)

Thanks for the article Ken. There’s one thing I wanted to mention though - the gtx 1080ti strix is made in 3 different part numbers that come with different clocks. 8G, A8G, O8G. I mention this because consumers reading the review really should know which version you tested for your results. Going off memory I believe the O8G is the fastest with the “O” standing for overclocked.

January 16, 2018 | 12:38 PM - Posted by Anotheruser (not verified)

Also the regular Strix cards have their max power limit limited to 112%, so the OC version has a higher power limit (120%) available for overclocking!

That is what helped me to make my decision to get the Strix 1080 OC over the regular Strix 1080!

December 28, 2017 | 03:54 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

Vega 64 needs a air-cooled disclaimer to make it clear. The water cooled version is much master than a 1080

December 29, 2017 | 02:48 AM - Posted by Mr.Gold (not verified)

How does the card perform in Dx12 games like The Division ?
And with Vulkan ? like wolfenstein ?

December 30, 2017 | 07:32 PM - Posted by Godrilla

I had the strix and now have the original ftw, I like the different sensors on the evga cards better plus the current ftw elite comes with 12 GHz memory factory overclock.

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