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ASUS GeForce GTX 980 4GB STRIX OC Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Nov 15, 2014 6:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: ASUS

Close up with the ASUS GTX 980 4GB STRIX OC




After pulling the card out of the box, you could really just about mistake it for the GTX 970 4GB version we recently looked at. However, if you look more closely, you will notice that while the cooler is the same size and design, the PCB on the GTX 980 4GB STRIX is actually a little longer, making the card look slightly larger overall.


Most of the card is taken up by the large DirectCU II cooler that nearly covers the entire PCB. Here you can see a number of heat pipes coming out of the bottom of the card, and the heat pipes coming out of the top of the card. Of course, these are designed to draw the heat away from the GPU area. We've got the same dual fan design, and behind the fans we've got that massive aluminum heat sink, which did a fantastic job of cooling the lower-end GTX 970 version of the card.






While the GTX 970 version of the card was able to shrink the power connectivity down to just a single eight-pin PCIe power connector, the larger GTX 980 version on the other hand moves from the stock dual six-pin PCIe power connector setup to a single six-pin PCIe power connector sitting alongside a single eight-pin PCIe power connector.


Staying across the top of the card, but moving closer to the front, you can see our two SLI connectors that give us the ability to run up to four cards in Quad SLI. Looking above, you can see these are slightly raised due to the cooler that shoots over the top of the card. Thanks to the flexible SLI bridge, we don't really need the raised connectors when using just two cards. However, when we move to three or four card setups where a solid bridge is used, it wouldn't be possible to use the three or four bridge connectors without the height increase.




It's nice to see that unlike the GTX 970 version of the STRIX card, ASUS has opted to leave the default I/O setup here. That means, alongside the Dual-Link DVI connector and HDMI port, we've got three full-size DisplayPort connectors to round things off. You can see there are some vents here to let some of the hot air out of the back of your case. You can also see just how far the PCB and cooler shoot past the top of the I/O panel.





As the name would suggest, we're dealing with a card that has already been overclocked, just like the GTX 970 version of the card we recently looked at. Out of the box, a reference GTX 980 4GB comes with a core clock of 1127MHz, which is then boosted to 1216MHz. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that comes in at 7012MHz QDR.




Looking above, you can see the memory clock hasn't changed, and it remains at 7012MHz QDR. As for the core clock, that has been increased up to 1178MHz. This also means that the boost clock has been increased, and now comes in at a solid 1279MHz.

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