This is our first graphics card that we have reviewed in our new test bench and subsequently that means we do not have a whole lot of cards to compare it to right away. Lucky for us the GTX 970 has been out for a while now so we know where it stands in terms of performance with other cards. When comparing to AMD the card beats out the Radeon R9 290X in most tests, but the newer Radeon R9 390X will beat it thanks to it 8GB of VRAM. Keep in mind the GTX 970 beats out the R9 290X at lower thermals and power consumption. The card of course sits below NVIDIA’s own GeForce GTX 980 in their product stack. This makes it a perfect card for 1440p gaming, but lacks the extra umph the GTX 980 has for 4K gaming.
ASUS’s STRIX line bring with it some old technologies, but also adds some new ones as well. First off you have the 0 dB technology on the fans. This means that the fans will not spin up at all until the card reaches a temperature threshold.. So you can do all of your basic tasks and even some light gaming without the fans even turning on at all! Even after the fans spin up they are not loud at all, if you have this card in a case you really wouldn’t even be able to hear the fans. This makes it the perfect card for a home theater gaming setup. ASUS uses their DirectCU II cooling solution on this card and it does a great job as well. In our extreme temperature test the card maxed out at 68°C, that is quite impressive when we see most cards reach the 80’s in that test.
ASUS also made some other customizations to the card. The have gone with their own custom PCB for the card. This allows for their own 6-phase DIGI+VRM power design and the use of their Super Alloy components, which are said to have 30% less power noise and 2.5X greater durability. The have turned the dual 6pin power connectors into a single 8pin connector for less cable mess in your system. Finally they changed the display outputs to a more conventional layout and made the SLI fingers easier to access.
This card comes with a factory overclock of 1114 MHz core and 1253 MHz GPU Boost. While this is not the fastest GTX 970 out there the overclock will give you a performance boost over a reference card.
All in all I think that ASUS has done a great job putting their own flavor on the GTX 970. It is a card that we can definitely recommend! Right now you can pick up this card at our favorite online retailer for $339.99. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card a 10 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
– Factory overclocked
– DirectCU II cooler with 0 dB technology
– Custom board design
– Extremely quiet
– Single 8pin power connector
– Sleek backplate
– Not much of an accessories package
– Not the fastest GTX 970 out there