ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 Gaming 8G Review

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Today on the review rig, we have the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 to share with you. The 1070 Strix promises to have good and quiet cooling, your now typical RGB LEDs, and superior performance over any Founders Edition (FE) cards due to the factory overclock. There are a couple of neat features here, one of which is FanConnect, which you will later see why this sets the card apart from the others. Read on below to see if they have again accomplished what they set out to do!

Specifications

Below is our list of specifications for the 1070 Strix from the ASUS website for the card. As we might expect, it’s all GTX 1070 under the hood. From the 8GB of GDDR5 (runs at 8008 MHz), 256-bit Memory Interface, to the GP104-200 core and its 1,920 CUDA cores. Core clocks on the Strix, in Gaming mode (default) show a boost clock of 1,835 MHz (actual of 1,974 MHz). OC Mode raises that up a bit to 1,860 Mhz. You can engage this mode with a simple click in the GPU Tweak II software.

Outputs are of the typical fare with 1x DVI-D, 2x HDMI (v2.0), and 2x DisplayPorts (v1.4). So you are “VR Ready” and have a slew of options to choose from. More specifications can be found in the table below or at the ASUS website for the ROG Strix 1070.

ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 8G Gaming
Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1070
Bus Standard PCI Express x16 3.0
Video Memory GDDR5 8 GB
Engine Clock
  • OC Mode – GPU Boost Clock : 1860 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1657 MHz
  • Gaming Mode (Default) – GPU Boost Clock : 1835 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1632 MHz

*Retail goods are with default Gaming Mode, OC Mode can be adjusted with one click on GPU Tweak II

CUDA Cores 1920
Memory Clock 8008 MHz
Memory Interface 256-bit
Resolution Digital Max: 7680 x 4320

Interface

 

DVI Output : Yes x 1 (Native) (DVI-D)
HDMI Output : Yes x 2 (Native) (HDMI 2.0)
Display Port : Yes x 2 (Native) (Regular DP)
HDCP Support : Yes
Power consumption (W) / Power Connectors 150 W+ / 1x 8-pin
DirectX / OpenGL Version Support DX12_1 / Open GL 4.5
Card Dimensions (mm) 298 x 134 x 40 mm (11.73″ x 5.28″ x 1.57″)

 

Features

The ROG Strix 1070’s cooler uses their updated DirectCU technology to help keep the card quiet and cool… 30% cooler and 3x quieter performance according to ASUS. The latest version is the DirectCU III. This features Direct-GPU contact from the heat pipes which helps get more heat away from the GPU without another medium in the way.

What heatsink solution is complete without fans, right? ASUS uses their patented Triple Wing-Blade 0 dB Fans on the DCUIII cooler. The fan blade design is said to give you maximum airflow with 105% more air pressure while being 3x quieter than FE cards. Like many cards, the fans remain off until it hits around 60C so its silent desktop and light work.

The 1070 Strix also has ASUS FanConnect technology which helps for more efficient system cooling when used. In a nutshell, your case fans and such are based of the CPU temperature, but we know when gaming the GPU is typically the hottest device in the system. Because of this, the card may be doing its thing getting the heat away, but the case isn’t removing the additional heat load it as it should. To solve this problem, simply hook up 2 (max) case fans to their two 4-pin headers and let the ASUS FanConnect software ramp up those fans for the best cooling solution for the entire system.

The Strix also comes built to be overclocked. It is a different PCB than reference, as well as having superior PWM area compared to the FE. They use a 6+1 power phases to deliver clean power to the GPU and memory. The Super Alloy nomenclature includes 20% quieter chokes, 20% cooler DrMOS MOSFETS, a 2.5x increase in lifespan, and the POSCAP to improve overclocking capabilities.

Last but not least is the AURA RGB Lighting. Since every component has RGB LED’s these days, I’m pretty sure we all know what this is, right?! On the 1070 Strix, it has those RGB LED’s on the shroud and back of the GPU. There are several effects which can be controlled through their AURA VGA software allowing color and light action to merge seamlessly with any build theme.

ico-dcuiihetpips
DirectCU III Technology with Direct-GPU Contact Heatpipes
30% Cooler and 3X Quieter Performance
Exclusive DirectCU III cooling technology features direct-GPU contact heatpipes that transports more heat away from the GPU and outperform reference designs, achieving up to 30% cooler gaming performance.
* Image for illustration only. Actual design may vary.
ico-trplwingbldfan
Patented Triple Wing-Blade 0dB Fans
Max Air Flow with 105% More Air Pressure
DirectCU III features triple 0dB fans engineered with a patented wing-blade design that delivers maximum air flow and improved 105% static pressure over the heat sink, while operating at 3X quieter volumes than reference cards. The 0dB fans also let you enjoy games in complete silence and make DirectCU III the coolest and quietest graphics card in the market.
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ASUS FanConnect
30% Cooler and 3X Quieter Performance
When gaming, GPU temperatures are often higher than CPU temps. However, chassis fans usually reference CPU temperatures only, which results in inefficient cooling of the system. For optimal thermal performance, ROG Strix graphics cards feature two 4-pin GPU-controlled headers that can be connected to system fans for targeted cooling.
* Image for reference only. Actual PC layout may vary.
6+1 Phase Super Alloy Power II
Enhanced Durability and Efficiency
ASUS engineers have integrated premium alloy components into their graphics card designs to reinforce overall reliability. Super Alloy Power II components greatly enhance efficiency, reduce power loss and achieve thermal levels that are approximately 50% cooler than previous designs.
  • 2x quieter chokes
  • 20% cooler DrMOS
  • 2.5x lifespan on caps
  • POSCAP to maximize overclocking
ico-aura
Aura RGB Lighting
Where Style Meets Performance
Featuring Aura RGB Lighting on both the shroud and backplate, ROG Strix graphics cards are capable of displaying millions of colors and six different effects for a personalized gaming system.
Modes: Static, Breathing, Strobing, Color Cycle, Music effecct, and GPU Temperature

GPU-Z

Our always gratuitous GPU-Z screenshot. Yep, its a 1070, and the clocks match up from the specifications. All good here!

GPU-Z v1.20

Retail Packaging

The slideshow below shows the retail packaging for the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070: A fairly plain, mostly black box with a picture of the card as well as the model. The back shows off some specifications as well as some of the features mentioned above. The card sits inside of another box with “Strix” across the top. When opening that box, you are greeted with a smaller box which holds some of the accessories. Below it lays the card itself packed in an anti-static bag siting well protected in form-fitting foam.

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Meet the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 8G Gaming

Our first glimpse of the GPU shows the sharply-lined black shroud and the three fans moving air across the DirectCU III heatsink hiding below. If you look closely, you can see the RGB LEDs almost looking like eyebrows, both above and below the fans. Overall a pretty good looking design. Flipping the card around shows a nicely designed and aesthetically-pleasing backplate. The Republic of Gamers symbol, on the left in white, is also backlit by an RGB LED. Again, it’s a solid-looking card and because its only real color hues come from the RGB LEDs, it will easily fit in any themed build. Just change the color!

ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070

Back

A Twist!

Now the other way!

Bottom’s Up!

Topside

A Closer Look

The first picture shows the gunmetal I/O plate and the outputs. There are plenty to go around for VR gaming and multiple monitors with the 2x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, and 1x DVI-D. Power comes from a single 8-Pin located on the top side of the card. This gives you a clean 225 W of total power. Plenty for what headroom NVIDIA allows.

Outputs – DVI-D, 2x HDMI (v2.0), DisplayPort (v.14)

8-Pin Power Required!

Taking off the DirectCU III cooler exposes the non-reference PCB. I left the metal heatsink on the memory just for the picture’s sake. The next thing that may jump out to you is the sloppy thermal paste application. Not sure what happened there, but it didn’t seem to have an effect on temperatures as they were within the typical range, if not lower than others. I’m not sure if this is a one off or what, but it doesn’t look pretty anyway. Looking at the base of the heatsink we see the copper exposed direct contact heatpipes. Also there is more of the thermal paste which ran down the pipes. The VRM area makes contact with the heatsink through a thermal pad connected to the heat pipes and fin array. No worries here!

Heatsink Removed

Base of the Heatsink

In the last slideshow are pictures of the GP104-200 core, controller, the Micron GDDR5, and some IR MOSFETs.

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Monitoring/Overclocking Software – GPUTweak 2 and VGA Aura

Below is a screenshot of GPU Tweak III which is a monitoring and overclocking tool for your card. Here you can switch into OC Mode with one click, monitor any critical part of the GPU with its real time graph, or take manual control and overclock the core and memory, and adjust the fans yourself.

GPUTweak

Below is the VGA AURA software where you can control all the LEDs on the GPU.

Aura GPU

Test System

GPU Test System
CPU Intel 7700K @ 4.2 GHz (to match previous testing)
Motherboard ASUS Maximus IX Apex
RAM 2×8 GB DDR4 GSkill Trident Z @ 3000 MHz 15-15-15-35 2T 1.35 V
Graphics Card ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 8G Gaming
Stock: Core -1633 MHz, 1974 MHz (Actual Boost), / 2000 MHz Memory
Overclocked: Core – 1724 MHz, 2076 MHz (Actual Boost) / 2105 MHz Memory
Storage OCZ RD400 (512 GB)
Power Supply SeaSonic SS-1000XP (80+ Platinum)
Operating System Windows 10 x64 (Fully Updated)
Graphics Drivers 378.92
Other Equipment
Digital Multimeter, Kill-A-Watt

Benchmarking Method/Settings

Note all testing below uses 1920×1080 screen resolution (settings also carry over to 2560 x 1440 and Surround/Eyefinity testing if applicable).

All Synthetic benchmarks were at their default settings, with game benchmarks at noted settings:

  • 3DMark Fire Strike – Extreme, default setting.
  • 3DMark Time Spy – Default
  • Unigine Valley Benchmark v1.0 – 1080p, DX11, Ultra Quality, 8x AA, Full Screen
  • Unigine Heaven (HWbot) – Extreme setting
  • Crysis 3 – Very High settings with 8xMSAA/16xAF (2nd level when you procure and use the Crossbow to get across the level and kill the Helicopter)
  • Metro:LL – DX11, Very High, 16xAF, Motion Blur – Normal, SSAA Enabled, DX11 Tessellation – Very High, Advanced PhysX – Disabled, Scene D6
  • Dirt: Rally – 1080p, 8x MSAA, everything on Ultra that can be, enable Advanced Blending
  • Grand Theft Auto V – 1080p, high settings (see article below for details).
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor – 1080p, everything Ultra that can be (Lighting quality High), FXAA and Camera + Object Blur, DOF/OIT/Tessellation enabled.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider – 1080p, SSAA 4X, VSync Off, DirectX 12 On, Very High Preset
  • The Division – 1080p, Ultra Preset, VSync Off
  • Far Cry: Primal – 1080p, Ultra Preset, VSync Off
  • Ashes of the Singularity – 1080p, DX12, Crazy Preset

More details found in our article: Overclockers.com GPU Testing Procedures

GPU’s Used for Comparison:

Synthetic Benchmarks

Our first benchmark, Unigine Valley, shows the Strix 1070 scoring 3,869 points, putting itself right between the other 1070’s, all within 3% of each other. In Heaven, it scored 4,735 points beating out the MSI 1070 Aero ITX by almost 4% and being 4.5% behind the Quick Silver 1070. The Quick Silver does have a slight clockspeed advantage though, which explains the difference there.

Unigine Valley and Unigine Heaven

Moving on to 3D Mark Fire Strike, the Strix hits 8,226 points again landing in the middle of either 1070. This time, however, there is 1% between them. In 3DMark Time Spy the 5,894 points again puts it in between the MSI 1070s.

3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) and 3DMark Time Spy

Gaming Benchmarks

Moving on to the games, we see much of the same story as far as where the Strix performs compared to the rest of the lineup we chose. Clearly all games are playable, yes, even Crysis 3 averaging over 55 FPS, with Dirt:Rally reaching 79.9 FPS and Metro: Last Light at 75 FPS. The 1070 is a nice sweetspot for Ultra settings at 1080p resolutions.

Crysis 3, Dirt: Rally, Metro: Last Light

Clearly across all three games here, we see playable FPS with all titles here 90+ FPS.

Far Cry: Primal, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and GTA V

In the last set of games, the FPS come back down to earth a bit. In Rise of the Tomb Raider we are again a bit below 60 FPS reaching 55.3, but the reality is there are plenty playable frame rates as minimums weren’t terribly far away. The same with Ashes of the Singularity, it averaged 57 FPS and was also buttery smooth. The Strix also manages to best its peers in this title, no doubt due to newer drivers in an newer title. No issues with The Division either reaching an 88.7 FPS average. Here also it manages a couple more frames than the other 1070s.

Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Division, and Ashes of the Singularity

2560×1440 Results

Moving on up in resolution, the FPS drop is a bit noticeable but still plenty playable for most titles. About the only ones you will have to adjust some settings for are Crysis 3 and ROTR. The 35 FPS AOTS has was not as choppy as one may think. You can really play a lot of titles at 2560×1440 with the 1070, especially an overclocked one like the Strix.

2560×1440 Results

Pushing the Limits

The fun part… how far did she go?!!! I was able to push the Strix to a stable boost of around 2,120 MHz on the core and the memory up to 8,852 MHz. For the test I set the fan to 70% to keep things nice and cool and stabilize the boost a bit. At this point, we were banging off the power limit a bit so this was the end without sacrificing more stable clocks speeds (*shakes fist in the air towards NVIDIA). That ended up scoring over 6,500 points, so not too shabby at all without any tweaks.

Temperatures and Power Consumption

The DirectCU III cooler kept the card settled to a maximum of 64C while overclocked and 62C at stock. The card stayed incredibly cool during these tests and in gaming. The cooler was also very quiet in these situations with the fan barely ramping up. At 70% she was definitely audible, but, outside of setting it manually, I doubt it will reach those speeds in most situations.

Temperatures

Power consumption on our test system peaked at 289 W. A quality 500 W PSU is plenty for a system like this.

Power Consumption

Conclusion

The ASUS Strix line has always embodied a certain level of quality and had an overall positive vibe from consumers. Its latest iteration in GTX 1070 form won’t change things a bit. It looks good and fits with any theme, performs well with its high factory overclock, and runs cool and quiet with the DirectCU III cooler. There really isn’t much to complain about.

If I had to nitpick at something, it would be this card’s sloppy TIM application. Again, there was good contact as temps were great, but that was a sloppy application on this sample. I took a cursory look around the web and didn’t find any other complaints about it, so this is likely a one-off situation.

Pricing on the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 at newegg.com is $439.99. This puts the card right in the middle of the higher end 1070s like the Gigabyte AORUS Gaming, and the MSI Gaming X, and cheaper than the EVGA FTW 2. That tells me it’s priced right among its direct competition. If you are looking for a GTX 1070, make sure the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 is on your short list.

Click here to find out what this means.

– Joe Shields (Earthdog).

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Discussion
  1. Has anyone ever checked if disabling the Aura effects completely (for people that don't have a window for example) give you extra "room" for OC, since technically the card is using less power ?
    Here's a link to updated GPUTweak. You need to go to your card's support page. I have made the same mistake when searching "GPUTweak" The link is old and so is the software. I did mention that to someone but I guess it's still up there.

    http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/vga/app/GPUTweak2_Ver1473_20170627.zip?_ga=2.18029310.633957361.1499085700-1959866619.1466682659
    I built my system primarily using ASUS components; ROG motherboard, graphics card, and monitor, and have been mostly happy with it.

    This ROG STRIX 1070 graphics card does have some downsides, though. To start with, I experienced a failure of the graphics card within the first month. ASUS was quick to authorize repairs. I was cautioned to pack the card very carefully, so I used the, very nice, original box cushioned by premium packing materials and enclosed in a very sturdy outer box. The card was returned fairly quickly, but banging around loose in an over-sized cardboard box. When I inquired about my original box, I just got a "Sorry." The card has worked well ever since, though.

    The GPU Tweak II software is in desperate need of an update. It was released over 2 years ago, long before the release of the 10xx series graphics cards. The fan control didn't work well for me. I got much better control, and better results, just plugging my case fans into the motherboard. I am also disappointed that the profile control for the fan card will not let me reduce fan speed to less than 40%. I like to run my own profile, and luckily the Fractal Design case I have has good airflow and great sound dampening.

    The Aura light controls are OK, but my case is not windowed, so it's useless to me. My next build will probably be windowed to take advantage of the new LED trend.

    Speaking of my next build, I think I'll have to go back to EVGA. My old X58 FTW is still working flawlessly, and overall I think I was more satisfied with their products, but YMMV.