The GPU Tweak II software
As any respectable graphics card maker does these days, Asus provides its own first-party management utility for the Strix GTX 1080: GPU Tweak II. Let's take a brief tour of the software and see what kind of control it offers over the Strix.
When it's first launched, GPU Tweak II presents users with the "Simple Mode" interface, along with a handy "GPU Tweak II Monitor" app that graphs most every performance parameter one might care about when turning the knobs and dials of a graphics card. I imagine most people will use the Simple Mode interface to switch between the Strix's Gaming Mode and OC Mode clock profiles and to monitor the card's temperatures.
A "Gaming Booster" button in this view promises to speed up one's system by turning off visually intensive Windows features like Aero, disabling Windows processes and services, and a "System Memory Defragmentation" routine. Gaming Booster doesn't say which Windows processes and services it's messing with before it runs, so I would never actually run this utility. Like many other "system optimizers" out there, this one seems like it has too much potential to harm and too little potential to help. If you really care about rogue processes running on your system, the Startup tab in Windows 10's Task Manager offers a much finer-grained look at those services and their impacts on performance.
The "Professional Mode" UI that's invoked using the button in the lower right corner of the GPU Tweak UI offers many more options for manual tuning, including core clock speeds, core voltage, memory clocks, fan speeds, the GPU power and temperature targets, and a frame rate cap. These controls all work as you'd expect if you've used MSI's Afterburner or a similar overclocking utility.
GPU Tweak also includes a subset of the extremely handy GPU-Z utility baked right into the app. If you want to know all of the basic specs of your graphics card, the Info tab will tell you all of that information and more.
The Tools tab serves as a launcher for Asus' own Aura RGB LED control utility and for Xsplit's Gamecaster utility, if you have it installed. Each shortcut will prompt you to install the associated app if you haven't already. If you already have Xsplit or Aura installed, clicking on the shortcut will launch the app as you'd expect.
The Aura utility
Unlike Gigabyte's Xtreme Gaming utility, which condenses both tweaking and lighting controls into one app, the Aura app that controls RGB LEDs on Asus hardware is an independent utility that needs to be downloaded and installed separately.
Once it's running, the Aura app offers most of the knobs one might need to control RGB LEDs to the fullest, including a temperature-sensitive mode that varies the colors of the Strix's RGB LEDs according to its load temperature and a "music" mode that puts on a psychedelic light show in time with the tunes of your choice. The color wheel that the Aura UI presents for picking a given color isn't particularly well-aligned with what shows up on the card, however, so some trial-and-error might be needed to get the shade you want to actually appear on the Strix.
Some other colors—like pure white—result in the expected white on the ROG logo, but a violent purple elsewhere on the card. Asus says this is a limitation of the RGB LEDs themselves, and other reviewers got similar results when they played with the Aura software. I also think Asus could make life easier for the truly RGB LED-obsessed by offering hexadecimal or distinct RGB value entry fields for primary values from zero to 255, as some other RGB LED control utilities do, for ultra-fine tuning of the colors that show up on the card.
Overall, Asus' software package for the Strix is about as good as any I've used for graphics-card tuning, and users will find most everything they need to extract all the performance and bling they might want from their Strix cards.
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