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Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 – Review

Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 – Review

The Asus Strix range is familiar force in the gaming world thanks to its high clock speeds and solid performance, but there’s no denying that these GPUs come with a premium price.

The latest Strix-branded card to arrive is the GTX 1080. This takes Nvidia’s second-beefiest Pascal GPU and gives it an extra boost, but you’ll have to pay £600 for the privilege.


2,560 Stream Processors
1,759MHz Core Clock
1,898MHz Boost Clock
11GB 256-bit GDDR5X
10,010MHz Memory Clock
PCI Express 3.0
DisplayPort Ready: 1.4
Max Supported Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
1 x 8-pin connector, 1 x 6-pin connector
1 x DVI, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4

The GTX 1080 was the first Pascal card, and it’s still one of the best. Its GP104 core has 2,560 stream processors, and the new design makes huge changes. The manufacturing process has shrunk from 28nm to 16nm, which means Nvidia can cram in more transistors that consume less electricity than ever – so the card can pump more pixels while proving far more efficient.

Nvidia organises its stream processors into smaller groups, which improves task delegation, and the Pascal architecture is far cleverer when it comes to its resources – it’s much better when it comes to not rendering graphics that users won’t see, and it’s got numerous features to improve VR efficiency and performance.

The GTX 1080’s cores run at 1,607MHz by default, but here they arrive overclocked to 1,759MHz with a boost clock of 1,898MHz. Asus refers to this sizeable leap as its Gaming Mode, and the card will go further still: its OC Mode improves those speeds to 1,784MHz and 1,936MHz.

That extra overclock can be enabled in the Asus GPU Tweak II software, and the Strix’s speeds fall into the middle of the pack when it comes to overclocked GTX 1080 cards.

The rest of the specification isn’t tweaked, but it’s still enticing. There’s 8GB of memory that benefits from Nvidia GDDR5X technology – which means this new memory uses a far wider bus than older cards, which improves the bandwidth available without cranking up the speed to unnecessary levels.

This muscular hardware is hidden behind a large and familiar design. The card uses a 2.5-slot heatsink that’s almost 300mm long, so ensure that you’ve got enough space in your system before plugging in. Make sure you’ve got enough power, too – this card has single eight-pin and six-pin connectors, and Nvidia recommends a 600W power supply at least.

Heat is carried away from the GPU by five heatpipes and a hefty aluminium heatsink, and the entire card is chilled by three 90mm fans. Asus claims they’re 30% cooler and three times quieter than the spinners that Nvidia includes on its reference cards, and these fans will also automatically switch off if the GPU runs at a cool enough temperature.

That’s not all when it comes to the cooling. Two four-pin fan headers sit at the rear of the Asus card, and they can be connected to a PC’s case fans – so two of those fans can be linked to the GPU temperature, which means their speed and noise output can be managed by the GPU.

This card also comes with familiar and on-trend RGB LEDs. These lights are included along the heatsink of the card, and they’re managed by the Asus Aura software. This can link the lighting to other Asus hardware in a machine, which is good for keeping a consistent look. Despite the numerous colours and patterns, though, these lights are almost always just cosmetic – it’s possible to link the lights to GPU temperature, but that’s only useful if the GPU is facing you through a case window.

The GPU has two HDMI 2.0 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.4 connector, which bodes well for multi-monitor setups and VR headsets.

The specification and features are as impressive as ever, but the GTX 1080 does come with a couple of caveats. For starters, the £600 price is about £100 more than you’ll pay for a basic GTX 1080 without big overclocks or extra features. The Strix card is also only about £50 short of the price for a low-end GTX 1080 Ti, which obviously comes with a performance leap.

We also need to draw your attention to model numbers. We’ve reviewed the ROG-STRIX-GTX1080-O8G-11GBPS, which is the proper, full-fat Strix version of the card, but Asus also sells a GPU with the ROG-STRIX-GTX1080-A8G-11GBPS model number. That’s also an overclocked GTX 1080, but it has lesser speeds than the O8G version – so keep an eye out.

Test System Specifications

Intel Core i7-7700K
Gigabyte Z270X-Ultra motherboard
Samsung 960 EVO SSD
16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3,200MHz DDR4
GeForce driver 382.33


Nvidia designed the GTX 1080 to handle 4K gaming, and the overclocked Asus model delivered in a range of benchmarks. Its weakest score at 3,840 x 2,160 was a 29fps minimum in Fallout 4, but that result is still playable – and it’s bolstered by an average of 37fps.

Its minimums beat 30fps in every other 4K gaming benchmark, sometimes with incredible ease. It managed minimums of at least 50fps in Shadow of Mordor, Dirt Rally and Battlefield 1, and its averages in these games were always past 60fps – a key factor for consistently smooth gameplay.

It’s consistently quicker than other GTX 1080s, too. The Zotac GTX 1080 Mini managed 70fps in Dirt Rally, 40fps in Crysis 3 and 65fps in Shadow of Mordor – but the Asus card rattled through the same tests at 73fps, 45fps and 70fps.

The overclocked GTX 1080 can handle demanding, modern games at 4K, and that bodes well for other common scenarios. This card has the grunt to run VR headsets, too, and it’ll also handle all but the most demanding of multi-screen setups. Screens with G-Sync won’t prove problematic either.

And, of course, the GTX 1080 can also run lesser resolutions without balking. It ran every title at 1080p with a minimum of 94fps or better, and managed averages beyond 116fps in three of our five test games at 2,560 x 1,440.

The Asus card impressed in theoretical tests. Its result of 5,636 in 3D Mark Fire Strike Ultra is about 300 points better than any of the other GTX 1080 cards we’ve seen so far.

Don’t forget the overclocking, either. With the core revised to 1,784MHz the GTX 1080’s Shadow of Mordor 4K result improved from 70fps to 72fps, and it gained three frames in Dirt Rally. It’s not a game-changing leap, but it’s still a welcome addition.

The Asus card hit a peak temperature of 60°C during a long-term gaming stress-test. That’s a solid result, especially for an overclocked card – and that figure only rose by one degree when the clock speed was increased. Both results are better than other GTX 1080s we’ve tested.


This is a deeply impressive GPU. Its solid overclocking delivered better gaming performance than other GTX 1080s, which means it can handle 4K gaming, VR headsets and other demanding scenarios – and it did all of that without proving too hot or loud.

It’s a good-looking card, although it’s chunkier than many of its rivals, and it comes with RGB LEDs and the ability to hook up case-fans to provide a more consistent experience.

There’s one problem, though: the price. This card costs £600, which might put some people off: the GTX 1080 can be found elsewhere for £100 less, and spending only £50 more will net you a beefier GX 1080 Ti.

If you’re still interested, though, rest assured that this is the best GTX 1080 we’ve seen in terms of speed and features, so you won’t be disappointed.

Recommended Award

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080
Author Rating

Review Overview

About Author

Mike Jennings

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