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The second of our three launch RTX 3080 Ti reviews is the ASUS Strix RTX 3080 Ti. Rather than going all in on their DirectCU cooler we’ve all seen many times in its Strix guise, ASUS have instead adopted a twin fan AIO to ensure that heat will never become an issue.,With the beefier internals of the RTX 3080 Ti when compared to the regular Ampere RTX 3080, allied to awater cooled plate covering the GPU and memory, the GPU Boost 4.0 technology should certainly hit good heights. Instead of using the waterblock to also cool the power section ASUS have instead, somewhat curiously, used a regular blower fan. It’s a bit of a mix of modern AIO and old-school air cooling ideas.,Naturally though, being part of the Republic of Gamers brand, we’re expecting big things from the newest addition to the wildly popular Strix range. Particularly given that we’ve already seen how capable the new RTX 3080 Ti is in Nvidia’s own Founders Edition. More cooling always equals more performance. There is only one way to find out though so let’s crack on with our testing.

Technical Specifications

The primary differences between the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3080 Ti are to be found in all the important places. The Ti has 12 extra Shader Modules which give 48 extra Tensor Cores, 12 extra RT Cores, and 1536 more CUDA Cores. In case that doesn’t feel like enough the Texture Unit quota has been upped from 272 to 320, whilst you have another 16 ROPs to play with too. Video Memory has been increased from 10GB to 12GB and it’s now at 384-bit instead of 320, which brings the bandwidth up from 760 GB/s to 912 GB/. All in all it’s a total improvement from the RTX 3080 that’s so popular.,Away from the difference on a purely architectural level the Strix itself runs at 1830 MHz rated Boost Clock and has a 240mm AIO bolted on. So let’s see that in the flesh.unnamed file 2429

Up Close

The RTX 3080 Ti Strix returns to the giant multi-hued eye packaging we’ve all grown to love in the years that the Strix range has been on the market. Considering you have a radiator as well the box is surprisingly compact, which is useful for those of you who like to hoard your packaging. No you’ve got a garage full of boxes… *whistles innocently*.,unnamed file 2431
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We know why ASUS have gone with the blower idea for their VRM cooling, we just aren’t ever going to be big fans – ha – of it. When you’re spending this much money and they’ve already gone to all the trouble of a custom copper block it surely can’t be much extra work to extend that heatsink across the VRMs too and save the need for a rather cheap looking blower fan and shroud.,
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The business end of the Strix is the 240mm radiator that will – and indeed does as you’ll see later on – keep your temperatures low and allow the card to run at the peak of cool and quiet we all strive for. Nothing worse than starting a game and your PC suddenly turns into a vacuum cleaner sounding thing.,
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Sorting out the cables for an AIO that isn’t mounted anywhere near the graphics card will always be a difficult procedure as anyone who has tried to tidy up their CPU AIO will know. GPU ones are more cable happy, particularly with RGB as well, although at least ASUS have used ROG branded connectors so you feel you are getting good value from your purchase.,
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The Strix RTX 3080 Ti has 24 pins of PCIe power input! Certainly you wont find power draw an issue that limits your overclocking efforts on this particular card, and with a serious amount of liquid cooling too the Strix should be very fast indeed.,
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If you’re a regular peruser of the ASUS Strix range of products you’ll be aware that they come with fan headers allowing the graphics card to bring extra cold air into your system if necessary. A handy feature normally but somewhat less useful on an AIO equipped card.,
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Test Setup, ,Clock Speeds
,The average boost clock speed is, of course, the most important number, and the Ti might not have the outright speed of the RTX 3080 partner cards, but as we know from our time with the RTX 3090 and similarly high-hardware cards, the more cores you have the slower things are. Slow is, naturally, relative. This is still a super fast card as you’ll soon see.,unnamed file 2443  unnamed file 2429

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 saw Gearbox Software return to developing their most famous IP following the somewhat dubious reception The Pre Sequel received. Borderlands has plenty of settings to tweak and, despite looking superficially similar to Borderlands 2, it’s significantly more demanding upon your hardware. At higher resolutions only the most performance rich need apply. Naturally we run with everything at the maximum possible settings.

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Control,

Remedy Entertainment’s Control is one of those games that demonstrates everything available to you in modern engines and with modern hardware. Not only does it have destructible environments but it supports all the hardware tricks, including Ray Tracing and DLSS on hardware with either or both of those features. We’re testing in every possible combination to demonstrate how each can impact your frames per second. The first graph is all resolutions in ‘plain’ mode. The second graph with Ray Tracing on, and the third graph with Ray Tracing and DLSS on for performance impact demonstration purposes.,

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Cyberpunk 2077

Oh Cyberpunk 2077. Rarely has a game promised so much and come out of the gate so absolutely bug-ridden. Thankfully CDPR are working hard to squash most of the bugs, and indeed have, but incredibly ambitious games allied to the world going into lockdown for most of its fine polishing left us all a bit disappointed. It’s still a gorgeous, sprawling title though, which is enough for our purposes. We’re running on the Ultra preset here, as gorgeous – and performance heavy – as it’s possible to make the game with the second graph in Ultra Ray-Tracing mode with DLSS on and off

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Dirt 5

The latest version of Codemasters long running Rally game has plenty of visual splendour. Sure it’s never going to be mistaken for Richard Burns Rally or any of the genuine sims out there, but if you want to get muddy and know your “medium left over crest don’t cut”s from your “5 right tightens” then it’s a good place to start.,unnamed file 2459  unnamed file 2429

F1 2020

Despite being launched at a time when there wasn’t any motorsport – or any sport – in the world, F1 2020 is everything it could realistically be. No, the track list doesn’t match the real 2020 F1 season, but the cars are close to their real-life counterparts and the graphics engine brings all the glorious imagery we’ve come to expect from Codemasters F1 titles. We’re running with it all to the stops, because of course we are

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Gears 5,

A game where we always mentally add “of War” to the title, the most recent addition to the Gears franchise saw The Coalition stick rigidly to the formula that has made this title a success on the Xbox. It’s more of a ‘best of’ than a new title, but still brings all the graphical glory to your screen as befits a game aimed at the console market. With everything turned up to ten the graphics can bring even beefy systems to their knees.

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Horizon Zero Dawn

,Alongside God of War, Horizon is one of the best titles from this generation of games. A massive open world and story rich game with none of the ‘collect 500 tiny things’ that plagues many open world titles, the breath-taking vistas and gorgeous animation of Aloy’s adventures should be experienced by all gamers. The PC release required some fine tuning to be all it could be, but graphically it’s still jaw-dropping and with everything up to the hilt as we have here, few games look better.,unnamed file 2465  unnamed file 2429

,Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition,

The latest version of Metro Exodus – the Enhanced Edition – continues to utilise all of the potential of your graphics card in a way few other games do. No matter what you may feel about the game play style and that post-apocalypse horror aesthetic, it’s worth checking out just to see what graphical splendour modern titles can bring.,unnamed file 2467  unnamed file 2429,

Microsoft Flight Simulator,

A title that doesn’t just require you to have some beefy hardware to maximise the visuals, but also a fairly empty hard drive to squeeze on one of the largest install sizes on the market, the newest instalment in the famous Flight Simulator series is gorgeous. Without any combat you’ve plenty of time with which to appreciate the satellite based ground imagery as well as the hand-crafted airports. With all the detail settings maximised it’s a stern test of your system

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Monster Hunter World,

Capcom’s Monster Hunter World might be, compared to other titles in our test suite, getting a little long in the tooth but it’s still a gorgeous title with beautiful scenery punctuated by boss fights that wouldn’t look out of place in a From Software title. The introduction of the Iceborne expansion pack boosted the graphics a little further, and as always we’re running everything as high as we can push

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Resident Evil 3,

Another Capcom title, the newest instalment of the remade Resident Evil franchise continues to up the ante in graphical glory. As someone old enough to have played the originals, seeing Jill Valentine in all her high definition glory never stops being impressive, and whilst the gameplay doesn’t quite shine as brightly as the two games that bracket this in the Res line-up, it’s still fun to turn everything up to max and murder some zombies

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The Witcher 3,

The original Witcher flew under the radar a little bit in the mainstream, whilst winning an army of fans amongst the RPG hardcore. The Witcher 2 brought everything to it’s knees and was the Crysis of it’s time. The Witcher 3, rightfully, is legendary amongst gamers as the perfect blend of open-world, choices matter, graphically gorgeous role playing. Comfortably one of the best games ever.,unnamed file 2475  unnamed file 2429,

Total Warhammer 2,

Creative Assembly rewrote the book for strategy games with their Total War series, and with Total Warhammer they brought fantasy into that sphere. Total Warhammer 2 took all that was great about the first entry and filled it so full of content that you can play the Mortal Empires campaign for literal years if you wish. The CPU does as much work as the GPU here, thanks to hundreds of units and vast draw distances.,Clearly there is something strange going on, as the resolution change doesn’t actually affect the performance, yet neither does any of the performance resemble what we’d expect from any resolution. It’s here for completeness, but safe to ignore until we figure out what went wrong. Maybe pre-launch drivers.,unnamed file 2477  unnamed file 2429,

Total War Saga: Troy,

A game everyone probably owns thanks to the free 24 hours on the Epic Store, Troy might not have the breadth of some of the more fully-fledged entries in the long Total War series, but it’s still a good way of showing off the well-rounded nature of your system. You need every component to be finely tuned to really pump those frames out.,unnamed file 2479  unnamed file 2429,

Watch Dogs : Legion,

It’s been three games and Watch Dogs still hasn’t quite lived up to its promise, but Legion is much closer than either of the previous two titles were to fulfilling the ‘hack the world’ tagline. It’s a Ubisoft game, so you already know pretty much what to expect, just on PC we get Ray-Tracing and all the good eye candy stuff. Graph one is vanilla and graph two has RT and DLSS (where available).,unnamed file 2481
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3DMARK: Port Royal

One of the first Ray Tracing benchmarks to appear, the value of Port Royal cannot be overstated. Games always take a while to adopt new technologies but benchmark/demos can get on board much faster and show off where your hard-earned is going. With the next generation of consoles supporting Ray Tracing too it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a bigger part of our lives.,unnamed file 2484  unnamed file 2429,

3DMARK: Time Spy

,If you’ve been using 3D Mark since the days when it was largely full of dragons and Matrix-esque FPS games, you’ll appreciate Time Spy taking you on a trip down memory lane whilst also showing the future too. It’s always a  lovely thing to watch which, as people who’ve seen the Fire Strike benchmark a thousand times or more, is a feature we appreciate.,unnamed file 2486  unnamed file 2429

,Temperatures and Power Draw,

Modern graphics cards no longer rely upon the user to overclock them, as the drivers now make the most of any spare power or thermal headroom available to boost the clocks to give the smoothest performance. Thus the temperature graph is a little less important than it used to be unless the manufacturer has created a godly cooler, whilst Power Draw is fun on your energy bill, but most of us just care about performance rather than a handful of Watts here and there. With slight variance in ambient temperatures we’re also including the delta temperature too, so you

know exactly how well the card performs relative to the air temperature

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RTX 3080 vs RTX 3080 Ti Performance


,The ASUS is slightly faster than the MSI, which was slightly faster than the Founders Edition. When the price difference is this extreme though we absolutely don’t care about performance. All we can feel is rage at the audacity of the partners for pricing their products to levels even eBay scalpers would baulk at.,unnamed file 2491  unnamed file 2429,

Conclusion,

Given how genuinely surprised we were by the Nvidia pricing, and absolutely flabbergasted to the point of mute incredulity at the price of the MSI SuprimX, perhaps ASUS are being clever by refusing to reveal the price of their ASUS Strix Watercooled take on the RTX 3080 Ti.,It’s not like the ASUS Strix range is famously affordable, or that graphics cards with built in AIO watercooling solutions are famously the same price as their air-cooled cousins. If you’d have asked us before we discovered any prices we’d have guessed that the ASUS tax was in full effect and this card would rock up at around £1000. Then we discovered even the vanilla Nvidia FE card was £1049, and the MSI SuprimX – which matched the Strix in pricing on the plain RTX 3080 format – an insane £1749.,But right now, we’ve no idea how much this is going to cost. Reviews are sadly not written as you read them because it’s quite difficult to type them live. Right now it’s Tuesday afternoon on the first of June. Not a clue how much this will retail for. So what can we tell you about it without alluding to the price?,The temperatures are fantastic. No matter how good air-cooling will become it will never match a watercooled setup for low temperatures. It’s why nearly all of us use AIOs on our CPUs. The Strix continues this good work with a maximum temperature obtained of 48°C, a delta of 26°C above ambient. This gives you plenty of thermal headroom of which the GPU Boost technology can take full advantage and it does so with the Strix having an average boost clock 15 MHz higher the MSI, which was itself 80 MHz higher than the Founders Edition. The performance results bear out this closeness between the two partner cards, with them neck and neck throughout our testing.,We’re not super keen on the decision to go with a blower fan for the power section of the card and use the watercooling solely for the GPU and GDDR6X. It can’t cost much more to build a slightly bigger copper block that covers everything. As we say though, we don’t know the price of this yet. If it rocks up around £1100 then clearly that decision is a wise one for cost reasons, and if it rocks up at usual Strix pricing then it’s unconscionable. We’re not very keen on the looks if we’re honest. The actual card itself looks a bit cheap thanks to that blower shroud, although the radiator end is very nice if you ignore the spaghetti. It’s designed to go in your roof, where your CPU AIO sits, so make sure you’ve got at least 240mm of intake room in your case to put it somewhere else, and accept it’ll be blowing warm air into your case rather than out of it.,*

Update*,

We now know the price. You know how obscene we found the MSI price of £1749, well the ASUS Strix LC is £1799. We expected it to be around the same as the MSI to be honest, because although it’s a watercooled card and thus there is an AIO cost to eat, the actual card is very plastic and cheap looking whereas the MSI at least looks like a premium product. But £50, fair enough. After all, when the MSI is offensively expensive when compared to the Founders Edition then the ASUS being ever so slightly more offensively expensive doesn’t really change anything. They have already crossed the Rubicon. Buy the Nvidia Founders Edition if you must but vote with your wallets here. How dare they treat the customers so poorly they feel they can jack the price an extra 77% over the FE card and know you’ll have to pay it. If you absolutely must have an ASUS Strix the air-cooled model is a still stupid but not quite as stupid £1599. Don’t though, save your money, buy Nvidia FE. If you’re not gaming at 4K save your money and grab a regular RTX 3080.,

作者 frank

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