Asus Strix GTX 980 Ti OC Edition
If you've been reading TR the past few weeks, this sight may look familiar to you.
That's a video card adorned with Asus' extra-beefy DirectCU III cooler. We've seen this same cooler deployed on the Radeon R9 Fury and 390X. Here, the new Asus cooler design makes it way to the GeForce side of the aisle aboard the Strix GTX 980 Ti. The Strix is a relative newcomer to the scene and appears to be out of stock most places, but it's listed for $669.99 on Amazon.
Thanks in part to that humongous cooler, the Strix has easily the highest default clock speeds of any card in this group, with a 1216MHz base and 1317MHz boost, along with 7.2-Gbps memory.
In order to achieve that feat, Asus has given the Strix an outsized custom circuit board with a massive 12+2-phase power delivery section. The card is nearly as tall as the cooler, and the cooler sticks up 1.7" above the top of the PCIe slot cover. At 12" long, the Strix is both the longest and tallest card of this bunch—and it's not really close.
Asus isn't kidding about the DirectCU thing, either. The copper heatpipes really do come into contact with the surface of the GPU, although only three of the card's five pipes appear to touch the chip in this case.
If you require a light show from your graphics card, Asus has you covered. The Strix logo atop the cooler glows and pulses like a heartbeat. Around back, the board is clad with a metal backplate, just like the other guys.
Asus supplies its own config and overclocking utility, known as GPU Tweak II, and it also includes a full year of XSplit Gamecaster service with the purchase. Asus looks to be participating in the MSG V bundle at Newegg, as well.