Introduction

When I first heard of the GTX 1070Ti, my first thought was that it is a more of a rumor than anything else. AMD’s launch of their Vega 10 architecture based cards the Vega 64 and the cut down version the Vega 56 have seen quite a stir in the market. AMD somehow managed to enter into the price fiasco with their latest hardware. While the specs of the Vega cards are whopping, they actually could not live up to the expectations. The Vega 64 could not meet or beat the Nvidia’s flagship GTX 1070Ti so much so that it even struggles to keep up with the GTX 1080. Not to mention that Pascal architecture is more than a year old when the cards based on the Vega 10 architecture were released.

It seems like Nvidia felt that the Vega 56 has the potential to take the mid to high end market segment by taking over the popular GTX 1070 in that segment. Initial benchmarks have shown the mix results when it comes between the Vega 56 and the GTX 1070. Nonetheless, the Vega 56 was able disturb the commanding position in that market segment and is initial announced price of $399 was too good to nail the competition.

Though these announced prices have to be seen, this makes the case for the Nvidia to do something about it. While I was expecting them to reduce the prices of the GTX 1070, it was not the case at all. They decide to launch yet another Pascal based graphics card to compete against the Vega 56 by offering more performance than the GTX 1070 but less than the GTX 1080 and yet be able to drive the Vega 56 out of the competition. In my opinion the rationale behind this move could be that they have already sold bulk of their GTX 1070 cards. So, no point in reducing their price but to launch Ti version of them with more shader units to fight with the promising Vega 56 and keep the market share in this segment going while working on Volta and get more revenue with the sale of GTX 1070Ti even if it would down the sale of the GTX 1070. The $449 price for the FE of the GTX 1070Ti is high than the announced price of the Vega 56 but floating against the current prices of the Vega 56 in the market.

We have seen quite a debate among the users regarding the possible market position for the GTX 1070Ti and if it makes sense or not particularly given the fact that the prices of the GTX 1080 are already much lower than the initial pricing and what’s the point in buying GTX 1070Ti when one can go for the GTX 1080.

When it comes to PC Components, AsusTek is among one of the best names we have in the market. It was founded in 1989 in Taiwan. Ever since its foundation, Asus has seen a phenomenal growth and diversity in its business line. When it comes to Asus, the first associated name that comes to mind is ROG or Republic of Gamers. ROG brand was introduced in 2006 and it focuses on main stream gamers/enthusiasts with products ranging from Motherboard, Graphics Cards to Peripherals. ROG is now pinnacle of the Asus products lineup. Strix has been a new addition in ROG lineup and here is what Asus is saying about it: “ROG Strix is the newest recruit into the Republic of Gamers. A series of specialized gaming gear designed for the rebel in all of us, Strix exemplifies ROG’s premier performance, innovative technology, and leading quality, but with its own confident and dynamic attitude. Featuring bold designs and bright colors, this exciting new series possesses a spirit of fierce individualism that charges every gaming experience with thrilling energy. ROG Strix equips players with the necessary speed and agility to dominate their game. A new generation of force has arrived. Join the Republic and experience the power of ROG Strix.”

Today, I will be reviewing another beauty from the Asus which ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070Ti A8G edition. This graphics card has 2.5 slot design for optimal cooling effectiveness and it does that with the silent operations. Aura plays important role in adding a much subtle touch to the looks and feels of the card. How this card has performed? Let’s find out.

  • Product: GeForce GTX 1070Ti Strix A8G
  • Manufacturer: Asus
  • Price: $500/- [At the time of the review]

Specifications

 

Packaging and Unboxing

The ASUS GeForce GTX 1070Ti Strix graphics card comes in a standard cardboard box. On the front side, we have a ROG brand name and the logo printed on the top left side. The graphics card model is printed under the picture of the card. Asus, AURA Sync and Advanced Binned are printed on the bottom left side. The Asus has carefully selected chips for maximum performance potential, hence the word binned. Salient features of the Pascal are printed on the bottom right. Strix in multi-color is printed diagonally crossing from the upper left side to the bottom mid. It signifies the RGB effect on the card. This card is VR ready.

Let’s take a look at the back side of the box. ROG brand name and logo are printed on the top left side. STRIX GAMING GRAPHICS CARD is printed right next to the ROG logo. The graphics card’s model is printed on the top extending towards the right end. The card comes in 3 years limited warranty. There are 6 pictures highlighting the salient features like MaxContact technology, Wing-Blade IP5X certified fans, AURA SYNC etc. Under the ROG logo is another picture featuring the VR Readiness of the card.

This side of the packing box has Minimum system requirements info printed in 15 different languages. UPS, EAN, Part No, Serial No label are printed on the right side of the box. These requirements are:

  • Minimum 500W PSU.
  • PCIe Compliant motherboard with a dual-width x16 graphics slot.
  • 350MB of free disk space.
  • 8GB System memory (16GB recommended)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 and above (x32, x64)
  • 1x 8-pin PCIe connectors

This side of the box has ROG brand name and logo printed on the top side while the graphics card model no is printed on the bottom section. Advanced Binned and 8GB GDRR5 memory are printed above the graphics card’s model.

This side has the ROG brand name and the logo printed on the left side. Strix Gaming Graphics Cards is printed right next to the ROG. The graphics card model is printed on the left side along with the Advanced Binned, 8GB GDRR5 Memory, VR Ready info labels.

Opening the box would reveal another container box with the STRIX printed on the middle.

Let’s open the box to see its contents. We can see a black color container with the Asus brand name printed on the middle. This is nicely placed inside the top protective covering. This container has the User Installation guide and the installation disk.

Removing the top protective container would reveal the graphics card wrapped inside a protective antistatic sheet. Stylish Velcro strips with Republic Of Gamers name and logo printed on them are included.

Accessories

Accessories include the installation guide, the Installation CD, Velcro Strips.

What’s new?

Before taking a look at the card itself, let’s first discuss what this new chip is all about. The GTX 1070Ti falls between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080. It has more Cuda Cores than the GTX 1070 with the same memory speed and interface. Memory type is same as that of the GTX 1070 which makes it slower than the GTX 1080. Another key factor is the TMU on this chip which are 152 as compared to the 120 on the GTX 1070. Resultantly we have a better texture fill rate of this chip with 246.2 GT/s as compared to the 192.8GT/s on the GTX 1070.

Tech4Gamers GTX 1070 GTX 1070Ti GTX 1080
GPU GP-104 GP-104 GP-104
Technology (nm) 16 16 16
Die Size (mm²) 314 314 314
Transistors 7200M 7200M 7200M
Base Clock (MHz) 1506 1607 1607
Boost Clock (MHz) 1683 1683 1733
Cuda Cores 1920 2432 2560
Memory Speed 8Gbps 8Gbps 10Gbps
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) 256 256 320
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDRX
ROP 64 64 64
TMU 120 152 160
Texture Fill Rate (GT/s) 192.8 246.2 261.3
Pixel Fill Rate (GP/s) 102.8 103.7 104.5
Thermal Limit (°C) 94 94 94
Graphics Card Power (W) 150 180 180
NVIDIA MSRP $449 $449 $549

Closer Look

Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070Ti A8G is a beautifully designed graphics card. It carries the same shroud design as was introduced with the release of the Pascal generation cards. It is a 2.5 slot design yet with aesthetically pleasing looks and feel to it. Aura Sync adds the subtle touch when in operation and it speaks for itself. This design really complements the ROG series motherboards from the Asus. My test bench features the Asus ROG Rampage V Edition 10 and this card has complemented the looks of the motherboard very well.

Let’s dig deep in the design elements of this card and explore the might and the beauty of it. This card has the most unique and stylish cooler shroud than other brands in the market. Cooler shroud is made of plastic. Top and bottom cut outs on the cooler have LEDs on them, which can be controlled with AURA Graphics Card software available onthe  Asus website. Central fan has ASUS brand name printed in white color on its fan hub whereas the other two fans have ROG Eye printed on the fan hub. With the curves, edges, grooves Asus not only has able to maintain the typical Strix looks it is known for but has given the user what could be described as one of the most stunning design.

Asus has increased the width of fin stack by 40%, which has enabled them to have more sink surface area for more effective heat dissipation across the complete surface by doing that they have made the card to be effectively a 2.5 slot design. Asus is claiming this design to bring 30% more cooling and 3X quieter gaming performance.

Asus MaxContact is an industry-first GPU cooling technology that features an enhanced nickel plated copper plate that makes direct contact with the GPU. This plate is 10 times flatter than the traditional plates. MaxContact utilizes precision machining to provide a surface that makes up to 2X more contact with the GPU than traditional heat spreaders, resulting in improved thermal transfer.

This card has 3 90mm fans with wing-blade design. Central fan has Asus sticker pasted on the fan motor hub. The left and the right fans have ROG sticker pasted on them. These fans have IP5X certification which means they are more dust resistant which would improve their reliability and a longer lifespan. Patented wing-blade fans delivers maximum air flow and 105% greater static pressure over the heat sink, while operating at an up to 3X quieter volume than reference cards.

Innovative 0dB technology stops the fan completely when the GPU temperature remains below a 55C, letting you enjoy light gaming in complete silence. Please note that thermal limit would vary from model to model and brand to brand. 55C is for the Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070Ti A8G.

Let’s take a look on the top side of the graphics card. STRIX is printed on the lower left part of the shroud. GeForce GTX is printed on the upper part of the shroud opposing the STRIX. Fins are straight not angular as can be seen from the fin stack. Shroud is not fully covering the fin stack which is a must for effective heat dissipation. “Republic of Gamers” brand name and logo are on the top left side of the shroud. They have LED underneath and light up under operation.

The card requires one 8-pin power connector to power it up. The connector has LED beneath to indicate action. Static white color would mean the normal power. Blinking would indicate the power related issue.

Let’s have a look at the top front side of the graphics card. Shroud end is not fully covering the heat sink. 5 heat pipes are terminating at this side. Underneath we have two PWM fan headers. ASUS FanConnect II features two 4-pin, hybrid-controlled headers that can be connected to both PWM and DC system fans for optimal system cooling. The connected fans reference both the GPU and CPU, operating automatically based on the one with the higher temperature. One fan power connector and the RGB LED power connector are visible on the left side.

This end of the shroud has extended over the PCB and the heat sink which adds to the looks of the card from the front side and gives the impression of one complete design.
On the back side of the graphics card, we have a same metal back plate as has been on the other models under Pascal generation. It has printed lines in a pattern to signify Strix concept. We’ve large size ROG Eye in white background. This section is implemented with RGB LED and really adds to the cool looks on the card when in use. We can see an 8-pin power connector. There are what seem to be soldered overclocking tweaking points right next to the power connectors. One of the screws on the GPU bracket is covered with white sticker. Peeling or tearing that would void the warranty.

Two SLI fingers are visible and that section is not being covered by the back plate. VRM section is exposed as well for effective heat dissipation. ASUS and STRIX are printed on the top side of the back plate.

The rear side has the IO panel for the output. We have two HDMI ports, two Display Ports and a DVI-D port. This configuration allows the user enjoy immersive virtual reality experiences anytime without having to swap cables by having a VR Device connected with other displays at the same time. Backside implementation allows the better cable management as well.

The bottom side of the card clearly shows the two fin stacks on the cooler. Thermal pads have been used on possible point of contacts between the PCB and the cooler. PCB color is black.

This card has 6+1 power phases using Super Alloy Power II components. These components would enhance the efficiency, reduce the power loss and would achieve sustained thermal levels.

All ASUS graphics cards are now produced using Auto-Extreme Technology; an industry-exclusive, 100% automated production process that incorporates premium materials to set a new standard of quality. Auto-Extreme Technology ensures consistent graphics card quality as well as improved performance and longevity. This new manufacturing process is also environmentally friendly, eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing power consumption by 50%.

Test Bench

Following test bench setup was used to test the performance of the graphics card:

  • Intel i7 6850k
  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Ballistix Elite 4x8GB @ 3000MHz
  • Noctua NH-U12S
  • Corsair AX1200i
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD for OS
  • Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD for Steam Games
  • WD Black 6TB for Origin and Uplay games

The CPU is overclocked to the 4.0GHz to avoid any bottlenecking. The following games have been tested: –

  • Battlefield 1 [DX11, DX12]
  • DOOM [Vulkan]
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Metro Last Light Redux
  • The Witcher 3
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider [DX11, DX12]
  • Mass Effect Andromeda
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • Wolfenstein II The New Colossus [Vulkan]
  • Ashes of the Singularity – Escalation [DX11, DX12]

Microsoft Windows 10 x64 version 1702 was used. Nvidia graphics driver version 388.13 were used. FPS were monitored using MSI After Burner 4.40. Game settings were set from within the games not from the GeForce Experience. All the reported framerates are average.

Following synthetic benchmarks were used:

  • 3dMark
  • Unigine Superposition

Previously, Unigine Heaven and Valley were a part of our testing, but they have been dropped and only superposition will be featured from onwards. Let’s take a look on performance graphs.

3dMark

The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Unigine Superposition

The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Battlefield 1 DX11

The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G is at par with the other GTX 1070Ti and has taken lead over the GTX 1070 and the Vega 56.

Battlefield 1 DX12

The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

DOOM

DOOM was tested using Vulcan API and Ultra settings using TSSAA 8TX. The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Metro Last Light Redux

Metro Last Light Redux was tested on maxed out settings. The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Grand Theft Auto – V

Grand Theft Auto – V was tested with maxed out settings on Ultra with 4x MSAA. The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.
Mass Effect Andromeda

This game was tested with maxed out settings and the Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Call of Duty: WWII

The Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC 8G has taken lead over the Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G. The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken lead over the Vega 56 and the GTX 1070.

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus

The ASUS GeForce GTX 1070Ti Strix A8G has taken a lead over the GTX 1070 and the other GTX 1070Ti but Vega 56 has a commanding position in this game.

Rise of the Tomb Raider DX11

The Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC 8G has taken lead over the Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G. The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken lead over the Vega 56 and the GTX 1070.

Rise of the Tomb Raider DX12

The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

The Witcher 3

Both 1070Tis have gone neck to neck and taken the lead over the GTX 1070 and the Vega 56.

Ashes of the Singularity – Escalation DX11

We have reported the average FPS of all the benches which is why the overall frames are looking at lower side. The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Ashes of the Singularity – Escalation DX12

We have reported the average FPS of all the benches which is why the overall frames are looking at lower side. The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Watch Dogs 2

The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has taken an overall lead as compared to the GTX 1070, Gigabyte GTX 1070Ti Gaming OC and the Gigabyte RX Vega 56 8G.

Overclocking

Due to NDA, the Overclocking results are not allowed at this time.

Acoustics

Fans were left on the default fan curve. Foneso Digital Sound Level Meter version A0 was used to test the sound level. 40dB is an excellent figure while under furmark test.

Thermals

Room temp was 22.3°C at the time of the testing. The card was tested on the open air bench setup. 67°C was hit under load on the stock clocks.

Power Consumption

The Corsair AX1200i is a digital PSU with monitoring enabled on the power consumption. Corsair Link was used to check the power consumption under stock clocks and overclocked clocks. Furmark and AIDA64 were run at the same time to check the combined power consumption of the system. This represents the worst case scenario when it comes to the power consumption.

Aura Sync

Featuring Aura RGB Lighting on both the shroud and the back plate, ROG Strix graphics cards are capable of displaying millions of colors and six different effects for a personalized gaming system. ROG Strix graphics cards also feature ASUS Aura Sync, RGB LED synchronization technology that enables complete gaming system personalization when the graphics card is paired with an Aura-enabled gaming motherboard. There are 6 modes which user can configure and select for the color effect.

  • Static mode. Single color of user’s choice would remain lit.
  • Breathing mode would fade in and out the user’s selected color.
  • Strobing mode flashes the user’s selected color.
  • Music Effect mode would produce the pulses of user’s selected color.
  • Breathing mode will enable the user to select the color which will be then faded in and out.
  • GPU Temperature will change the color depending upon the load and the temps under thiose loads.

Software

Asus has designed comprehensive software to control and monitor their graphics cards. This software is known as GPU-Tweak-II. It has typical red and black color theme on it which represents ROG traditional colors. Though in recent times, ROG has taken a deviation from the Red/Black combo and is setting yet another tradition when it comes to colors on the brand.

Main window of the software shows three main indicators which are: –

  • VRAM Usage
  • GPU Speed
  • Temperature

Red bar on these circles show the corresponding value of the indicator. On top we have model no of the graphics card on the left side with three buttons to its right, Home, Info and Tools.

The home button is default and can be clicked at any time to bring the main window back on the screen. Info button will show the Graphics Cards specs with built-in GPU-Z implementation. Tools button has Game XSplit Game Caster, AURA Graphics Card and the ROG Furmark buttons to launch the corresponding app.

Below the model no, we’ve a triangle featuring the blend of most important factors that end user would want. They are Performance, Coolness, and Silence. A perfect combination of these three is what Strix is all about. One can have utmost performance with exceptional cooling yet silent operations. Our card has boosted to 1974MHz at just 40dB sound on the fans with 67C temps clearly indicating what Asus has achieved here. Red color span within triangle would vary with each profile showing how the card would manage all three with respective profile.

Next we have 4 profiles which are OC Mode, Gaming Mode, Silent Mode and My Profile. Gaming is a default mode with boost clock of 1683MHz. OC Mode will increase the Power factor of the card and it has boost clock of 1759MHz. My Profile will allow the user to create custom profile based on user’s own settings. This can be done in Professional Mode where all the settings like Voltage Control, Power Level, Base Clock, Memory Clock, Fan Speed can be configured. Fan can be set on Auto or Custom fan curve.

Monitoring window can be activated by clicking on the Monitoring button at the bottom left side of the main window. Monitoring window shows all the critical variables for monitoring. Values are mentioned in Min, Max and Current value is shown on the graph. User has the option to monitor only the desired variables. Monitoring window can be disconnected from main window by clicking once on the chain button between both windows.

The Gaming Booster option is at the bottom of the main window. Clicking this would open a new window. Here we’ve three options. Visual Effects, System Services, System Memory Defragmentation. Visual effects reduces the windows visual flares like animations, animated themes to reduce the performance hit these settings could have on the performance. System Services would allow to stop the not needed services to boost the performance. System memory defragmentation would help restore the wasted memory space and would boost the application handling.

In crux, this software has everything, user would have dreamt of to monitor and control their graphics cards. Plus, interface is easy to understand and once, you have launched it, it will get you going.

Conclusion

The Asus Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G is the second GTX 1070Ti on my bench and has packed quite a punch to deliver good gaming experience. It is a 2.5 slot design with exceptional cooling performance. It has 3 90mm fans. These fans have IP5X certification which means they are more dust resistant which would improve their reliability and a longer lifespan. Patented wing-blade fans delivers maximum air flow and 105% greater static pressure over the heat sink, while operating at an up to 3X quieter volume than reference cards. With 0dB technology, the fans won’t spin until the temperature exceeds the 55°C. Even under load, the fans remain silent.

Asus has increased the width of fin stack by 40% which has enabled them to have more sink surface area for more effective heat dissipation across the complete surface by doing that they have made the card to be effectively a 2.5 slot design. Asus is claiming this design to bring 30% more cooling and 3X quieter gaming performance.

Asus MaxContact is an industry-first GPU cooling technology that features an enhanced nickel plated copper plate that makes direct contact with the GPU. This plate is 10 times flatter than the traditional plates. MaxContact utilizes precision machining to provide a surface that makes up to 2X more contact with the GPU than traditional heat spreaders, resulting in improved thermal transfer.

ASUS FanConnect II features two 4-pin, hybrid-controlled headers that can be connected to both PWM and DC system fans for optimal system cooling. The connected fans reference both the GPU and CPU, operating automatically based on the one with the higher temperature.

The card has RGB LED lighting solution. The metal backplate has a ROG Eye which lights up. The top side has the Republic of Gamers and ROG Eye with the LED lighting and then there are LEDs under the shroud towards the fans side. The lighting control can be done from the Aura Sync and users can sync their total lighting system if using Asus motherboard and ROG peripherals. The GPU Tweak II has all the bells and whistles to control and monitor the behavior of the graphics card.
The card has a boost clock of 1683MHz. The card has 2432 Cuda Cores. Texture fill rate is 255.8GT/s and the pixel fill rate is 107.7GP/s. The card has 64 ROPs and 152 TMUs. The memory is clocked at 8Gbps with 256-bit interface and has the bandwidth of 256.3GB/s.

This card comes in 3 years warranty.

Value

The prices of the GTX 1070Ti are messed up. This card has not yet been released in the local market hence I will quote its International price at the moment which is $500. The GTX 1080 in the International Market are starting as low as $500 which makes the GTX 1070Tis not so much of a good value proposition though those $500 category GTX 1080s don’t have adequate cooling. The true value will come from the FE edition of these cards where the GTX 1070/1070ti are retailing at $449 and the GTX 1080 are retailing at $549.

Performance

I did not encounter any issue while gaming with this graphics card. It chewed and digested everything that I threw at it. 4k is still a demanding resolution to game at particularly on maxed out settings and I did not see this card to be an exception to that. But, with fewer settings adjustment one can get very good performance on 4k.

I will leave the value up to the users to decide as I have spoken my mind above on that aspect. Strictly taking into consideration the competition between the GTX 1070, GTX 1070Ti and the Vega 56 the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1070Ti A8G has smashed the competition and has won our Performance Award.

I am thankful to the Asus Pakistan for giving me the opportunity to review their ASUS GeForce GTX 1070Ti Strix A8G graphics card.

Tech4Gamers Performance Award