ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Strix OC
ASUS was the first manufacturer to send a custom 1080 Ti to our test lab. The Strix OC is very different from past models: for the first time in years ASUS has released a card that is thicker than three expansion slots and what's more, the DirectCU design is no longer present. Due to the extra space the cooling block is 40 percent larger compared to that of the GTX 1080 Strix. The heatpipes also no longer make direct contact to the GPU, instead they end up in a copper base plate.
We've talked about this matter with the designer of the graphics card. According to ASUS the DirectCU heatpipes still provide better heat dissipation in lab tests, since the thermal conductivity of the heatpipes is many times higher than that of the copper base plate. This is even the case when not all heatpipes make direct contact with the GPU. However, during production the mounting of the cooler and amount of thermal paste will slightly differ, both of which are deviations that DirectCU is especially sensitive to compared to a base plate. Partly due to this reason ASUS has chosen to stop using the DirectCU design.
In addition to the cooler, ASUS has also redesigned the PCB. The Strix OC features a 10+2 phase power circuit and is assembled on ASUS' automatic production line, although you can't really tell due to the presence of a backplate. Two 8-pin power connectors are responsible for power delivery, while five monitor connections can be found on the rear I/O: two times DisplayPort, two times HDMI and a single DVI port. The second HDMI port can be useful when you want to connect a HDMI monitor or television in addition to a VR headset. ASUS also offers extra features such as FanConnect II, which allows you to connect case fans and synchronizable RGB lighting. You will also get Dawn of War 3 if you purchase this card before June 26th.