ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING review – a champ in low temperatures and lighting effects

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Pros
  • Beautiful design and high build quality
  • Controllable RGB lights
  • Cool and silent
  • Factory overclock
  • Optional additional overclocking
Cons
  • Relatively high price

After the great impression that MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G made with its silent operation and performance compared to the reference Founders Edition model, we decided to have a closer look at another product with ”unusual” design and almost identical price from the same class. It is an achievement of the Taiwanese company ASUS and it is offered with 3 years of warranty. Its name is ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING.

ROG (Republic Of Gamers) STRIX is what ASUS uses to label its premium products targeted at enthusiastic gamers. This means that in the making of this video card they used a circuit board with its own design, equipped with high-quality elements and the best cooling system which the company offers. It has impressive dimensions and three big fans, what is more, it is one of the most silent devices on the market. For the gaming looks of the card and the fans of shiny lights, ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING boasts built-in RGB lights integrated along the cooler’s lid and the company’s gaming logo, which make the metal backplate look so pretty (reinforcing backplate).

In this review, we will talk about the specs sheet, design, construction and build quality of the GPU. We will compare its performance to the ones of its competitors manufactured by other companies which are the same class, overclocking capabilities, working of the cooling system and the software that the manufacturer offers.

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Specs sheet of ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING

Base core clock
  • 1531 MHz (OC Mode)
  • 1506 MHz (Gaming Mode)
Boost core clock
  • 1721 MHz (OC Mode)
  • 1683 MHz (Gaming Mode)
Number of CUDA cores 1920
Memory speed 8 Gbps
Memory type and size GDDR5, 8GB
Memory bus 256-bit
Memory bandwidth 256GB/s
Architecture Pascal
Maximum digital resolution 7680×4320@60Hz
Monitor outputs 2x DP 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI-D
Technologies GeForce GTX 1070 offers
  • Multi-Projection
  • VR Ready
  • NVIDIA Ansel
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC
  • NVIDIA GameStream
  • Microsoft DirectX 12 и feature level 12_1
  • OpenGL 4.5
  • SLI, 2-Way
  • Multi Monitor
Dimensions 29.8 cm x 13.4 cm, dual-slot
Weight 1035 grams
Maximum consumption 150 W
Maximum temperature 94 degrees C
Power connenctors 1x 8-pin
 Recommended power supply unit 500 W

Supported technologies and software

As a part of the 1oth series graphics cards, which use NVIDIA’s “Pascal” cores, GeForce GTX1070 can boast with the support of all characteristic of this architecture technologies. The more interesting ones are: Simultaneous Multi-Projection, Ansel, NVIDIA VRWorks and NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0.

ASUS GPU Tweak II

ASUS GPU Tweak II is the software with which we can choose between the abovementioned (in the specs sheet) profiles of the GPU – OC Mode and Gaming Mode. The factory default one is Gaming Mode. We will pay more attention of these profiles in the “construction” section. In the upper right part of this screen we have an option for turning off the “0dB Fan” function, which keeps the fans of the cooling system from spinning until the temperature of the GPU doesn’t reach 55 degrees Celsius.

Except changing modes, the program offers two profiles for overclocking. The first one allows you to change voltage values and operating frequencies of the graphics core and memory. With the second one, which is for more advanced users, you can change the curve of the GPU Boost 3.0 technology.

The program has one window that gives us a detailed information about the video card and another one with which we can start additional apps.

Last but not least, a hardware monitor is available, too. With it we can monitor all working parameters of the graphics card.

ASUS AURA (GRAPHICS CARD)

AURA (GRAPHICS CARD) is a program with which we can manage colors and lighting effects of the RGB lights that are integrated in ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING.

Retail package

ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING comes in a box with impressive dimensions. It displays the gaming logo of the company, the model, an image of the product and the additional functionalities of the GPU.

In the retail package we find a disc with software and drivers, installation guide, coupon leaflets to receive bonus content in the game World of Warships, and what is more, you get four ROG branded velcro patches for cable management.

The GPU is packed in an antistatic bag and it is placed in a specially cut to its shape styrofoam, which protects it from transport damage.

Design and construction

Design

And now it’s time to direct our attention to the GPU itself.

ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING is with a respectable and aggressive design. Our attention is grabbed by the three black fans, which are placed in the cut openings in the heatsink’s lid. It is made of black plastic, with solid build and it has additional vents, where the RGB lights are located with programmable backlight called AURA RGB Lighting.

AURA RGB Lighting backlighting is used for the positioned along the side company’s logo, too. The part of the heatsink which is not covered by the plastic lid looks good.

The weight of the GPU is 1035 grams and it has dual-slot design and impressive dimensions of 29.8 x 13.4 x4 cm. Make sure that the box offers you enough space for installing a long video card, so you don’t get unpleasantly surprised.

The metal backplate is the first thing which you will see when you look through the transparent lid (or open it) of your computer case. And it looks great especially thanks to the ROG logo (with AURA RGB Lighting backlight) which is placed there.

We know that when it comes to the design, every man has his taste. However, we think that the GPU looks great especially when it is combined with the motherboard which has AURA RGB Lighting.

Construction

In the constructing the ASUS’s ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING, the manufacturers used their own design of the board with a bigger size.

The GPU is produced through an Auto-Extreme Technology manufacturing process, which is a 100% automated. It is equipped with 8x 1GB GDDR5 memory chips (in our case) by Micron, which are placed in the graphics processor and they are rated at 2002 MHz (effective 8008 MHz). For the realization of the 6+1-phase power connector they have used  Super Alloy Power II components, which, according to ASUS, seriously increase efficiency, decrease energy loss and work in an approximately 50% cooler way than the previously used.

ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING contains a GP104-200-А1 graphics core, which has 1920 CUDA cores, 120 TUs (Texture Units), 64 ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines), 256-bit memory bus with a bandwidth of 256 GB/s and 2 MB L2 (second level) cache. You can read more information about the “Pascal” graphics cores here.

From the specs sheets, we know that the video card offers some working modes. At the default Game Mode the video card works at the determined by NVIDIA base clocks of 1506 MHZ and 1683 MHz in Boost mode. After the installation and launching the ASUS GPU Tweak II software we can activate OC Mode, where the clocks are a little increased at 1531 MHz (base) and 1721 (Boost). Curious is the fact that after the change in vBIOS with the latest recommended version for the owners of video cards with Micron VRAM, the frequencies in this operating mode decreased to 1526 (base) and 1703 (Boost). Another piece of useful information for the owners of ASUS motherboards is that we couldn’t update the vBIOS until we uninstalled the auxiliary software for the ASUS AI Suite 3 motherboard. The manufacturer is acquainted with this problem and we hope that it will be removed soon. Additionally, ASUS GPU Tweak II allows us to choose a third kind of operating mode – Silent Mode, where the clocks of the core are 1468 MHz (base) and 1663 MHz (Boost). (Who would like to have a lower performance with practically identical noise levels?!).

According to us, the presence of these different modes is not very convenient, because as it is the case with the MSI video card, if a user wants to benefit from the fastest OC Mode, they are obliged to install additional software. Unlike the MSI Gaming APP software, after activating a certain operating mode via ASUS GPU Tweak II, it remains activated after the program is turned off.

According to NVIDIA, GeForce GTX 1070 needs 150 W power supply.

ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING has a 225 W power supply provided by the PCI-E motherboard slot and an 8-pin PCIe connector on the video card itself.

There are also the two SLI connectors, as NVIDIA will officially support only a configuration with two video cards in SLI mode.

What is more, for the best performance in 4K at 60 Hz and above, NVIDIA recommends the use of the new SLI connector with high-bandwidth SLI HB.

To ensure low noise levels and operating temperatures, ASUS has equipped the video card with its DirectCU III cooling. The radiator has five nickel-plated copper heat pipes (four 8 mm and one 6 mm thick), as four of them go through a variety of fine fins along its entire length. To lead the heat out of the graphics core most efficiently they have a direct contact with the graphics chip.

While in the previous version of DirectCU II the cooling system has a separate radiator for the VRMs (modules for regulating voltage) and a body with many fins, DirectCU III is directly connected to and cools VRMs.

DirectCU III is equipped with three impressive fans, which blow at the whole radiator and the elements on the board below it. They feature a patented “Wing-Blade” design, which, according to ASUS, provides maximum airflow and improved 105% air pressure upon the radiator. Thanks to this, ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING is the coolest video card from the GTX 1070 series, which we’ve tested so far. We will pay more attention to this in the “Temperature and comfort” section.

As it is the case with the MSI model, here we also have the odB Fan option which keeps the Wing-Blade fans from spinning until the video card reaches a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius. The thing that our STRIX card offers more is the availability of two 4-pin fan connectors in the back part of the circuit board.

That allows us, in case we have fans providing extra airflow for the GPU, to connect them directly and control them through it. For example, the fans that are placed on the side cover or on the front part of the case will be switched on and off at the same time with the ones of the video card according to its temperature.

In designing the I/O panel, ASUS has used a configuration of the outputs directly from the one of the reference model. ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING boasts two DisplayPorts (version 1.4), two HDMI 2.ob and one dual-link DVD-D port.

We would like to remind you that in all NVIDIAGeForce 10xx GPUs, the DVI port is digital.

Test configuration

For the aims of this review we’ve used a configuration with these components:

CPU Intel Core i7-7700K (4-core, 4.20 – 4.50 GHz, 8MB cache)
Cooling system DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm CAPTAIN 240 CPU Liquid Cooler
Motherboard ASUS Maximus VIII Hero
RAM Crucial Ballistix 16GB (2x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2666Mhz
GPU ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING
Case be quiet! Silent Base 800
Power supply be quiet! Power Zone 650W
OS Windows 10 64-bit
Video drivers 376.33

In the next two sections, we will show you how ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING performs using the most productive factory OC Mode. Despite the operating clocks of the core being only 20 MHz higher than the ones of the Founders Edition model – respectively at 1526 MHz (base) and 1703 MHz (Boost), thanks to the combination of the better 6+1 phase supply and DirectCU III cooling, the real measured graphics core Boost clock varied between 1898 MHz and 1924 MHz. Throughout the greater part of the tests, it was 1911 MHz, which is 200 MHz higher than the one in the technical specifications.

Synthetic benchmark tests

Unigine: Heaven & Valey

Unigine Heaven and Unigine Valey are one of the most frequently used benchmark programs which test a GPU for its stability. We recommend these programs if you decide to overclock your GPU. Our tests were conducted in Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) at maximum graphics settings.

3DMark: Time Spy & Fire Strike

3DMark is one of the heaviest software packages with which you can load and check the capabilities of your video card, while you are enjoying good graphics. We used default graphics settings.

Gaming tests

GTA-V-benchmarks

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings) Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 160 fps 91 fps 57 fps

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings) Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 150 fps 76 fps 52 fps

Tom Clancy’s The Division Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings) Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 137 fps 81 fps 30 fps

ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING provides perfect gameplay in Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, even the most demanding gamers will appreciate that.

Comparison between ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING, the basic GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition and MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X

Model GTX 1070 Founders Edition STRIX GTX 1070 8G Gaming GTX 1070 Gaming X
3DMark Time Spy 5 674 (-6.2%) 6 047 6 189 (+2.3%)
3DMark Fire Strike 18 123 (-4.3%) 18 939 19 403 (+2.4%)
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra 4 164 (-5.7%) 4 418 4 571 (+3.4%)
3DMark Sky Diver 59 970 (-4.9%) 63 058 65 355 (+3.6%)
GTA 5 (Max) 52 (-8.7%) 57 57
Division (Ultra) 81 83 (+2.5%)
Tomb Raider (Verry High) 76 78 (+2.6%)

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING is with 6% faster than GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition, but with 2.8% slower than the fastest graphics card from this class (tested by us so far) – MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X.

Overclocking capabilities and results

The demonstrated results from overclocking tests are at standard settings of fans and voltage as set by the manufacturer.

We now that due to the specific manufacturing process of the memory chips or graphics core, all video cards have different capabilities for increasing frequencies higher than the factory defined ones. That’s why you need to consider the results which we’ve reached as approximate.

We managed to increase the base core frequency with 175 MHz, and we registered Boost clocks between 2000 MHz and 2076 MHz. With continuous load during the gaming stability tests, it would alternate between 2025 MHz and 2038 MHz, which is about 6% of overclocking.

It is interesting to note that with maximum stable overclocking of the graphics memory at 2202 MHz (effective 8808 MHz) the results from the gaming tests were a tad lower than the ones at 2177 MHz (effective 8708 MHz). That’s why we decided to accept 8708 MHz as a maximum effective frequency of the graphics memory and respectively achieved 8% of overclocking.

Model STRIX GTX 1070   (OC Mode) STRIX GTX 1070 (Overclocked) Difference
3DMark Time Spy (Graphics Score) 6 047 6 453 +6.7%
3DMark Fire Strike (Graphics Score) 18 393 20 328 +7.3%
Unigine Heaven 4.0 95 fps 102 fps +7.4%
Unigine Valley 1.0 95 fps 102 fps +7.4%
Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) Full HD, Max 57 fps 62 fps +8.8%
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) Full HD, Max 52 fps 57 fps +9.6%
Tom Clancy’s The Division Full HD, Max 30 fps 33 fps +10%

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING reaches with about 8% better results after the overclocking.

Temperature and comfort

As we already mentioned in the “Construction” section, ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING is the coolest GTX 1070-based video card we’ve tested so far.

When the case is open the three fans working at 40% (of their full capacity), they can not be heard, and when they work at 45% the sound is barely noticeable. At 50% the cooling system is still silent. After 55% the fans can be clearly heard and at more than 60% the video card becomes noisy compared to the other fans in the case.

The maximum measured temperature of the GPU in OC Mode during our tests reached 64 degrees Celsius. The fans’ speed was between 1593-1600 rpm while they working at 44% of their maximum capacity. This makes their work virtually silent compared to the other fans in the case.

Our measurements during the tests after the overclocking show maximum graphics core temperature of 64 degrees Celsius, but this time the fans were working at 1632 rpm. This equates to 45% of their maximum speed. Fortunately, the noise levels remained unchanged.

DirectCU III cooling fascinated us with the maintained low temperatures and excellent noise levels.

Verdict

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING is an impressive product, which will satisfy even the most demanding gamers, who play in the most frequently used Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.

In designing this product, the manufacturers have used their own design of the circuit board with improved power supply and high-quality components. The solid DirectCU III cooling performed really well with its virtually silent work and with maintaining a low operating temperature. During our tests and even after overclocking, the temperature didn’t reach more than 64 degrees Celsius with the fans operating in standard mode. This makes ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING the coolest GTX 1070-based video card that we’ve ever tested.

Although the operating frequencies are almost similar to the ones of the basic Founders Edition model, the video card that we tested shows 6% better results. They improved by another 8% after manual overclocking.

The three big fans and massive cooling make the product look impressive. Additionally, the lights of the programmable RGB backlighting, built into the lid of the cooler, and the company’s ROG logo making the metal backplate look great, contribute to the complete gaming exterior.

For those of you who are looking for a fast, cool and silent video card, which matches the extra or integrated lights of the other components in your system – ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070-8G-GAMING will be the perfect choice.

(laptopmedia.com, https://goo.gl/gP5dDU)

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