The Card

Strix has always been a premium brand and this card is no exception. Of the air-cooled cards available on Overclockers UK at the time of writing, this is actually the most expensive. At £470, it commands a £100 premium over the most basic models, and is also only £55 cheaper than the least costly GTX 1080 we could find. The key question of course is what it can offer for that price.

In terms of clock speeds, there has been a little recent controversy surrounding Asus and others with regards to the GTX 1000 series. The issue is that the default clocks of the cards shipped to reviewers like ourselves are higher than those in the retail channel. However, before you gather your pitchforks and march on Asus HQ, it's not as bad as it sounds. Asus's GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Strix cards ship with three different modes – Silent, Gaming and OC – with clock speeds increasing slightly as you move through them in that order. Review units ship in OC mode, while retail units are set to Gaming mode by default. With Asus's free GPU Tweak II software, the modes are exposed and can be switched with the click of a button. All cards are validated to run in OC mode, and the different modes are listed in the official specifications of the card. As such, our stance is that while Asus should have been clearer about this from the offset rather than waiting for it to get “caught”, that's more of an issue for its PR department to deal with – the performance you see here is easily available out of the box for all end users.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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What's more, we're talking a difference of 25MHz between the Gaming and OC modes. This may score Asus a few extra frames or points in certain benchmarks, but the real-world impact to frame rates, power, temperature and fan noise will be approximately zero. If anything, the different modes are more of a marketing tool than something to obsess over. It's right that Asus has been called out on this, but now that it's clarified it's not something to get hung up on – we're interested to hear your own views though.

Anyway, the card you'll receive will be set to a base clock of 1,632MHz, a decent 8.5 percent increase which goes up to 10 percent (1,657MHz) in OC mode, which again is what we've tested at. Boost speeds for the two modes are 1835MHz and 1,860MHz respectively, and our sample was at a constant 1,974MHz under load. Asus has not bothered to overclock the memory, which is disappointing for a card this expensive.

At 134mm tall and 298mm long, the Strix isn't using the 150W TDP of the GTX 1070 to target small form factors, although thankfully the card is at least confined to two slots. Instead, the big cooler should allow Asus to cool the GPU effectively at very low noise levels.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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Asus deviates from the reference display outputs slightly, replacing the third DisplayPort connector with a second HDMI 2.0b port. Since VR headsets seem set on using a HDMI port, this allows users to leave their VR headset and display connected, even if their display is running via HDMI, instead of plugging and unplugging. This is a good move in our books, as many will be investing in the GTX 1000 series for its VR capabilities.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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The Strix card does employ plastic, rather than metal, for its cooler shroud, but the build quality is still high and aided by the metal backplate, which is practically a necessity for a card this long and heavy. Aesthetically, it's an all-black design. This is frankly a little plain but Asus has a trick up its sleeve. Yep, you guessed it, the front and back have RGB lighting fitted! We jest, but with this present an all-black theme does make sense. What we're less keen on is that the Aura lighting system requires a separate app for control – it isn't integrated into GPU Tweak II like it is with EVGA's Precision XOC.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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The DirectCU III cooler strapped to the PCB is a bit of a beast. It's got four 8mm heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU, and a fifth 6mm one which doesn't.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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Thermal pads connect all of the MOSFETs and half of the memory chips directly to the heatsink, while a separate metal contact plate draws heat away from the remaining GDDR5 packages. The apparatus is cooled by a trio of Asus's patented Wing-Blade fans, which operate semi-passively, and the heatsink fins direct airflow out towards your motherboard and into your case.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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The card also features FanConnect, essentially a pair of four-pin fan headers so you can hook up case fans that are controlled by your GPU's temperature rather than your CPU. Front, bottom or side intake fans would probably be most appropriate, although it does give you an extra job when cable routing.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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The GTX 1070 Strix employs Auto Extreme technology, meaning its production is 100 percent automated and flux-free. You also get the full selection of Super Alloy Power II components and all the usual claimed benefits that these bring for efficiency, overclocking potential and the like. Asus lists the card as being a 5+1 phase power design but to our eyes it appears to be 6+1. Still, either way it is an upgrade over the 4+1 reference design. Asus has stuck with the standard 8-pin input, but this shouldn't be a limitation for a 150W TDP GPU, even an overclocked one.

Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Strix Review - The Card
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The card is supplied without any real accessories and carries a three-year warranty.

Specifications

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, 1,657MHz (1,860MHz boost)
  • Pipeline 1,920 stream processors, 120 texture units, 64 ROPs
  • Memory 8GB GDDR5, 8GHz effective
  • Bandwidth 256GB/sec, 256-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 12, Vulcan, OpenGL 4.5
  • Outputs/Inputs 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, Dual Link DVI-I, 2 x HDMI 2.0b
  • Power connections 1 x 8-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 298mm long, dual-slot
  • Warranty Three years

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