Asus' Strix graphics cards spin down under lighter loads

Asus has introduced a couple of hot-clocked graphics cards under a new brand name: Strix. The name comes from the ancient Roman word for owl. It means "the keenest hearing and sharpest eyesight," Asus says, adding that "Strix is in your blood, as it is in ours." O RLY?

Anyway, the cards look pretty slick. One is based on AMD's Radeon R9 280, while the other has Nvidia's GeForce GTX 780 onboard. Both feature an updated dual-slot cooler whose fans turn off completely in certain conditions. According to the official press release, the fans only need to spin up when gaming at resoutions above 1080p and when the environmental temperature exceeds 65°C. The cards should be completely silent when the fans are stopped.

Under the fans sits a massive radiator punctured by multiple 10-mm heatpipes. Asus claims the heatsink's surface area is 220% larger than that of the stock cooler, though it isn't specific about whether that comparison refers to the Radeon or the GeForce. Both cards are claimed to be cooler, quieter, and more power-efficient than their stock counterparts.

They're faster, too. The Strix R9 280 is clocked at 980MHz, a modest jump from the GPU's 933MHz stock speed. It's also equipped with 3GB of RAM running at 5.2GT/s, which is marginally faster than the 5.0GT/s default. The Strix GTX 780 has 889MHz base and 941MHz boost frequencies, up slightly from the GeForce's 863/900MHz reference speeds. The GeForce's 6GB of onboard memory doubles what's available in the reference card, but its 6.0GT/s transfer rate is unchanged.

The Strix cards also come with the latest version of Asus' GPU Tweak software. This utility has frequency, voltage, and fan speed controls in addition to a new online streaming tool for folks who like to be watched while they're gaming.

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