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Asus made its new ROG Strix cards 400W behemoths to give Nvidia Ampere room to breathe

(Image credit: Asus)

Asus hosted a Republic of Gamers event today to piggbyback off the excitement of Nvidia's Ampere unveiling, revealing a bunch of new ROG goodies including graphics cards, monitors, keyboards, and high-quality gaming headsets. Obviously the new RTX 3090, RTX 3080, and RTX 3070 cards are the big news, and Asus has several models with different designs and cooling.

Asus showed new 30-series models under its ROG Strix, TUF, and Dual graphics card ranges. Both the ROG Strix and TUF lines will get all three of the new Ampere cards, while the lower-cost Dual is only going to be rolling out with the RTX 3070.

Presumably that's because the smaller dual-fan design doesn't quite have the cooling chops to cope with the beefy GPUs that the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 possess. The ROG Strix is a 2.9-slot card (I guess so Asus can absolutely say it's not a triple slot device), to cope with the increased airflow necessary, and the TUF shroud is likely to take up at least a 2.6-slot design, while I expect the Dual is going to remain resolutely dual-slot. 

If I'm honest, the thing I'm looking forward to most from the new Asus cards is the middle fan of the ROG Strix cards spinning in the opposite direction! Asus claims this is for better airflow, and that "turbulence between fans is reduced thanks to a reversal of the center fan’s rotational direction." Definitely want to get some RGB highlights on that.

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Asus RTX 3080 TUF

Asus RTX 3080 TUF (Image credit: Asus)
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Asus ROG Strix RTX 3090

Asus ROG Strix RTX 3090 (Image credit: Asus)

Asus ROG Strix RTX 3090

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Asus RTX 3070 DUAL

Asus RTX 3070 DUAL (Image credit: Asus)
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Asus ROG Strix design

Asus ROG Strix design (Image credit: Asus)
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Nvidia Ampere ray tracing performance

Nvidia Ampere ray tracing performance (Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia's redesigned cooler and Asus' new Strix design both show that cooling needs to be seriously on point for these graphics cards. The ROG Strix uses three 8-pin power connectors, and can pull up to 400 watts. The TUF and Dual cards stick to a dual 8-pin power draw. Asus is backing Nvidia's claim of 1.9x performance-per-watt over the last-gen graphics cards, so as power-hungry as Ampere might be, we should be getting much higher framerates out the other side.

On its ROG website, Asus says these aren't its only new designs. It has more 30-series cards coming, "including a handy Turbo design that exhausts hot air directly from cases. It’s perfect for small-form-factor builds or enclosures that can use a helping hand in keeping system temperatures in check. Stay tuned."

Asus hasn't listed any pricing for its own Ampere cards, but Nvidia has the RTX 3090 starting out at $1,499, the RTX 3080 at $699, and the RTX 3070 at $499. I have a feeling the ROG Strix RTX 3090 is going to be one frighteningly expensive GPU.

Dave has been obsessed with gaming since the days of Zaxxon on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. Thankfully it's a lot easier to build a gaming rig now there are no motherboard jumper switches, though he has been breaking technology ever since… at least he gets paid for it now.