Nvidia's Pascal architecture already packs a mean punch, but why stop at reference specs? Asus sure didn't, not with its new ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080. Sporting a custom cooling solution and premium components, Asus says the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 (opens in new tab) runs cooler and performs better than any Founders Edition SKU.
In the default Gaming mode, the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 features a base clockspeed of 1,759MHz, up from 1,607MHz on Nvidia's reference blueprint, and boost clockspeed of 1,898MHz, up from 1,733MHz. To wring a little bit more performance out of the card, there's an OC mode that gooses clocks to 1,784MHz (base) and 1,936MHz (boost).
Those increased clocks translate into 6.5 percent faster performance in 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme and 7.4 percent faster gaming performance in Hitman compared to the Founders Edition, according to Asus (opens in new tab), though it didn't provide details on the test setup it used for its comparison.
One of Pascal highlights is that it's a more efficient architecture than Maxwell. Nevertheless, Asus slapped its DirectCU III cooler on the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080. The custom cooler has three patented triple wing-blade fans that supposedly keep the card 30 percent cooler than reference while running three times quieter. In addition, there are GPU controlled fan headers on the card.
"When gaming, the GPU often runs hotter than the CPU, but chassis fans usually only reference CPU temperatures, resulting in inefficient system cooling. Asus FanConnect solves this issue with two 4-pin GPU-controlled headers that can be connected to system fans to provide targeted supplemental cooling for optimal thermal performance," Asus explains.
The use of Super Alloy Power II components also helps the card run cooler while reducing power loss and generating two times less component buzzing under full load, Asus says.
Finally, the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 brings the bling through Aura RGB lighting on both the shroud and backplate. Users can customize the lighting scheme with millions of color options and half a dozen effects.
Asus didn't say how much the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 will cost, but did say it will be available today.