ASUS GTX 970 Strix OC review – bring the Maxwell to the owl

It is September and NVIDIA keeps its habit to launch the new graphics card generation. The new Maxwell architecture comes in to run the cards more efficiently. Before we meet the new members you need to know that NVIDIA skipped the 8xx series, jumping to 9XX family, and today we are going to review the GTX 970, in the form of ASUS Strix OC version.

The family is already known and I’ve published the ASUS GTX 780 STRIX review, so you can find out more info about the series from that article. On short, Strix fills the gap between DirectCU II and ROG, having its own personality and features.

Going back to the new NVIDIA products, the first members are GTX 970 and GTX 980. For the moment it is not clear if there will be a GTX 980 Ti version, so for now, 980 is the new flagship.

Asus GTX 970 Strix OC set

 

Specs:

 


NVIDIA GTX 970

Asus STRIX GTX 970 OC


NVIDIA GTX 780

NVIDIA GTX 980

Chipset

GM204

GM204

GK110

GM204

Transistor Count

5.2 B

5.2 B

7.1 B

5.2 B

GPU clock

1050 MHz

1114 MHz

863 MHz

1126 MHz

Boost clock

1178 MHz

1253 MHz

900 MHz

1216 MHz

Memory

4GB GDDR5

4 GB GDDR5

3 GB GDDR5

4GB GDDR5

Memory Clock

7.0 GHz

7.0 GHz

6008 MHz

7.0 GHz

Memory Interface

256-bit

256 bit

384 bit

256-bit

Stream cores

1664

1664

2304

2048

ROPs

64

64

48

64

Texture Units

104

104

192

128

SLI / Crossfire

3x

3x

3x

3x

TDP

145 W

145 W

250 W

165 W

 

Architecture

The Maxwell architecture is the successor of Kepler and it started on GTX 700 series GPUs manufactured in 28nm and continued with GeForce 800M family. Actually the first cards based on Maxwell are GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti, having the code GM107. Maxwell introduced a new design for the Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) that improves power efficiency, and enlarge the L2 cache from 256K to 2MB.

The memory bandwidth was narrowed to 256-bit from 384-bit on its predecessor, but NVIDIA improved its lossless compression technique in order to compensate that and increase the overall performance.

With Dynamic Super Resolution, Maxwell introduces the ability to enhance display quality on sub-4K displays by rendering at higher resolution and then applying an advanced resizing filter that leverages to the monitor resolution.

NVIDIA Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI) improves performance for global illumination. The technology uses a 3D data structure (“voxels”) to capture coverage and lighting information at every point in the scene. This data structure can then be traced during the final rendering stage to accurately determine the effect of light bouncing around in the scene. While VXGI’s software algorithm will run on all GPUs, the performance benefits of VXGI hardware acceleration will only be available on Maxwell GPUs.

GTX 9X0 supports a new anti-aliasing method known as Multi-Frame sampled AA (MFAA) that boosts performance over the common MSAA technique. Utilizing a new hardware feature found in the GeForce GTX 980/970 (programmable AA sample positions), MFAA alternates between multiple AA sample patterns to produce the best image quality while still offering a performance advantage compared to traditional MSAA.

 

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