I will be taking a spin on Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G edition today. This card is based on Turing TU106 GPU which is a cut down version of the fully enabled TU104. The TU106 GPU incorporates all of the new Turing features found in TU102 and TU104, including the RT Cores, Turing Tensor Cores, and the architectural changes made to the Turing SM but the NVLink support. The full TU106 chip contains three GPCs, 36 SMs, and eight 32-bit memory controllers (256-bit total). In TU106, each GPC includes a raster unit and six TPCs. Each TPC contains a PolyMorph Engine and two SMs. Each SM includes the new RT Core. Like TU102, each SM also includes 64 CUDA Cores, 256 KB register file, 96 KB L1 data cache/shared memory cache, and four texture units. The full TU106 chip contains 10.8 Billion transistors and includes 2304 CUDA Cores, 288 Tensor Cores, and 36 RT Cores. As mentioned above the TU106 does not have a support for NVLink and SLI hence multi-cards solution on RTX 2070 based on TU106 is not available.
The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G edition retains the design of Strix cards introduced with Pascal generation. We have seen fans in the RTX 2080 and 2080Ti getting a worthy upgrade but RTX 2070 retains the Wing-Blade design from the Pascal series design. Aura RGB lighting is on the board and there are two fan headers and an RGB header as well. The card is using Asus MaxContact technology allowing 2X more contact with GPU for better thermal performance. This is a 2 slot design with emphasis on the cooling department. These cards are produced using Asus Auto-Extreme Technology. The frame is more reinforced to prevent torsion and lateral bending of the PCB. Another key feature differentiating this card from the previous generation is the Dual BIOS. These cards have two BIOS on the board. There is a switch located on the top left side of the PCB. P and Q modes are designated for these BIOS. P mode enables the performance mode with an emphasis on better cooling to gain more performance and Q mode has a focus on silent operations where the fans will operate at much lower RPM at the cost of the thermal performance. This card has a base clock of 1410MHz with the boost clock of 1845MHz (OC Mode) with 8GB GDDR6 Micron chips. The boost clock in default mode (Gaming mode) is 1815MHz.
Product: ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G
Price: Rs.104,000/- [At the time of the review]
The front side of the packing box has ROG eye and Republic of Gamers printed on the top left followed by the ROG Strix Gaming Graphics Card text. The main background has ROG eye logo printed in multiple colors. GeForce RTX 2070 is printed at the bottom right. Asus AURA Sync, OC Edition, and 8GB GDDR6 info labels are printed at the bottom left side. There is a picture of the graphics card on the left side.
The top side of the packing box has GeForce RTX 2070 printed in the white and green colors. OC edition and 8GB GDDR6 are printed at the bottom. The right side has ROG brand logo and name printed.
The backside of the packing box has ROG brand logo and name printed on the top left side followed by the ROG Strix Gaming Graphics Card and GeForce RTX 2080 text. This card carries limited 3 years of warranty. There are 6 pictures in the center focusing on the salient highlights of the card like MaxContact Technology, Auto-Extreme Technology, AURA Sync Compatibility, Dual BIOS, and GPU Tweak II. Main specifications and key features are printed on the left side.
The left and right sides are identical. There is a ROG brand logo name printed on the top. ROG Strix Gaming Graphics and OC edition, an 8GB GDDR6 text is printed in the middle. The lower portion has a green color background with GeForce RTX 2070 printed in the white color.
The bottom side of the packing box has minimum system requirements printed in 15 different languages. There is a sticker pasted on the right side showing the Part No, Serial No, EAN, and UPC labels and info. These requirements are: –
- Minimum 550W PSU or greater power supply.
- PCIe Compliant motherboard with dual-width graphics slot.
- 5GB of free disk space.
- 8GB System memory (16GB recommended)
- Microsoft Windows 7 x64/Microsoft Windows 10 x64 (April 2018 Update or later)
- 1x 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe connectors
There is a cardboard-based box inside the main packing box. It has Strix printed on the top cover. Opening it will show a black color Styrofoam pad placed on the top and there is container placed in the middle with Asus name printed in gold color. User guide and installation disk are inside this container. Removing this top layer will show the graphics card wrapped inside anti-static cover. Two ROG branded Velcro strips are also included.
- 1x Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G graphics card
- 2x Asus ROG branded Velcro Hook and Loop
- 1x Quick Guide
- 1x Installation disk
- 2x 6-pin to 1x 8-pin adapter cable
Design and Features
Here is what Asus is saying about this graphics card, “The ROG Strix GeForce RTX™ 2070 teams up NVIDIA®’s A-list GPU with an elite cast of specialists, setting the stage for epic gaming action. Gargantuan power delivery provides the muscle to push overclocking boundaries while cooling that’s honed to perfection keeps the spotlight squarely on Turing™’s performance. And with an arsenal of utilities that allow you to customize and tweak this extreme hardware, you call the shots.”
It is time to take a closer look at the design of the graphics card before proceeding to the testing. Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G 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 feels 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. The dimension of the graphics card is 11.83×5.14×1.93 inches or 30.5×13.06×4.89 CM. The card is following the PCIe 3.0 bus interface. It packs 8GB GDDR6 memory rated at 1750MHz using 256-bit bus width at 448 GB/s bandwidth. The base clock of the card is 1410MHz in all the modes. The default mode is Gaming Mode with 1815MHz boost clock and 1845MHz boost clock under OC Mode. Please, note that you will need to install GPU Tweak II to access these modes. BIOS switch has nothing to do with these modes. This card has 2304 CUDA Cores with a maximum supported digital resolution of 7680×4320. The card is drawing power using 1×8-pin and 1×6-pin connectors. This card packs 64 ROP units and 144 TMUs. The pixel fillrate is 90.2 GP/s and Texture fillrate is 203.0 GT/s.
Let’s dig deep in the design elements of this card and explore the might and the beauty of it. This card has a stylish cooler shroud that differentiates the Strix cards form others. The cooler shroud is made of hard plastic. Top and bottom cutouts on the cooler have LEDs on them which can be controlled with AURA Graphics Card software available on Asus website. The central fan has Asus branding printed in white color on its fan hub whereas the other two fans have ROG Eye printed in their centers. With the curves, edges, grooves Asus not only was 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 taken a different approach (much needed for Turing) with the ROG Strix GeForce RTX series coolers design. They have increased the width of fin stack by adding 20% more to the surface area over the previous generation Strix cards making the design to be over 2.0 slot one. This has enabled them to have more sink surface area for effective heat dissipation across the complete surface.
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 an improved thermal transfer. This card is using a single heatsink with aluminum fins and five 8mm (not confirmed on the thickness) nickel-plated copper heat pipes. There are two nickel plated copper plates. One is making contact with the GPU and the other is making contact with the MOSEFT/VRMs of this card. The heat pipes are terminated at the front.
The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G has three 90mm fans with the wing-blade design. The central fan has Asus branded sticker pasted in the center. The left and the right fans have ROG branded stickers pasted in the center. These fans have the IP5X certification which means they are more dust resistant which would improve their reliability and a longer lifespan. The patented Wing-blade fan design is cool and quiet with 105% greater static pressure over the heatsink compared to traditional axial fans. IP5X dust resistance seals the fan’s internals from particle ingress to keeps things running smoothly. These fans are using the Asus 0dB technology. Please, note that due to dual BIOS nature the 0dB works under the Q-Mode only. They don’t spin until the temperature exceeds 55°C. If you want to enable the 0dB technology for P-mode then use GPU Tweak-II to enable it.
As mentioned above, among the key differentiating design features of this card over the previous generation is the Dual BIOS implementation. The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 20xx cards come with two BIOS. In order to differentiate the two, they are labeled as P-Mode and Q-Mode. P-Mode focuses on the performance with adequate cooling over the acoustic whereas the Q-Mode is focused on the silent operations which come at the cost of thermal performance. I have tested the thermal performance of the graphics card under both modes which can be checked in the testing section. There is a switch on the top side of the PCB. P-Mode is on the right side and the Q-Mode is on the left side. The default mode is P-mode. Another important observation is that once the Windows is loaded, switching to the other BIOS will not take effect until the PC is restarted.
Another key design feature is the provision of the LED On/Off button located on the backside of the graphics card. This will allow the users to turn the RGB lighting completely on or off at their disposal. This was not possible in the previous design. Seems, Asus has taken the note of the feedback by the users. This somehow has a limitation as it will disable/enable the entire lighting zones on the card. There are three zones. One on the ROG Eye located on the backplate, one on the top side and one on the shroud itself. There is no control over the dedicated zones lighting. Builders/gamers who would prefer stealth look would appreciate this feature.
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 RTX is printed on the upper part of the shroud opposing the STRIX. The fins are straight design not angular. 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. Asus has implemented reinforced frame in this generation of Strix cards which has increased the structural integrity of these cards 3X by using a metal brace which is mounted to both backplate and I/O shield. This metal brace prevents excessive torsion and lateral bending of the PCB.
The card requires 1×8-pin and 1x-6pin power connectors to power it up. Both connectors have LEDs beneath them to indicate their action. Static white color would mean the normal power. Static red light would indicate the power related issue.
Let’s have a look at the top front side of the graphics card. The Shroud’s end is not fully covering the heat sink. Heads or terminating ends of the 5 heat pipes are visible. 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. Normally there is no way to reference the PC Chassis fans to regulate their speeds based on the graphics card’s temperature. Asus has taken care of this particular situation in their Strix cards as up to fans can be connected and controlled based on the graphics card’s requirement. 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. There is a 4-pin RGB header having 12V GRB pin format. The user can connect supported RGB LED strip with the graphics card as well. This will come handy when using on the Asus AURA Sync enabled motherboard and in that particular scenario think of it adding one more header at the user’s disposal. The connected fans can be controlled using the GPU Tweak II. 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. Once cool thing that Asus has smartly done is taking the advantage of the extended shroud as the PCB is installed on the extended portion of the shroud on the inner side.
On the back side of the graphics card, we have the same metal backplate as has been on the previous generation. It has printed lines in a pattern to signify Strix concept. We’ve large size ROG Eye in the white background which is a diffuser. This section is implemented with RGB LED and really adds to the cool looks on the card when in use. We can see two power connectors. There are what seem to be soldered overclocking tweaking points on the left side before the BIOS switch. One of the screws on the GPU bracket is covered with a white sticker. Peeling or tearing that would void the warranty though recently warranty terms have been redefined dropping this requirement in the US region. I am not sure if this is done worldwide yet. There is a sticker pasted on the bottom right side with the serial no of the card. The LED on/off button is located under the BIOS switch. There is no NVLink connector on the top side of the PCB as GTX 2070 does not support NVLink/SLI. Though I did not open the card it seems like there is no thermal pad between the backplate and the PCB.
The rear side has the I/O shield for the output. It is not in a silver color as Nvidia has opted for a black color I/O shield on their RTX cards which definitely adds to the overall look and feel of the graphics card. We have two HDMI 2.0b ports, two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, and a USB Type-C port. This configuration allows the user to 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 the possible point of contacts between PCB and the cooler. PCB color is black. The visible thermal pad seems to have slipped through the QC as it is already torn.
Asus graphics cards are 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. It allows the soldering to be done in a single pass reducing thermal strain on the components and avoiding the use of harsh cleaning chemicals. The end result is a less environmental impact, lower manufacturing power consumption, and a more reliable product.
The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G has 10 power phases using Super Alloy Power II components. These components would enhance the efficiency, reduce power loss and would achieve sustained thermal levels. They are using solid polymer capacitors, and an array of high-current power stages to fuel Turing™’s cores.
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. A 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 the 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 the loads.
GPU Tweak II
Asus has designed comprehensive software to control and monitor their graphics cards. This software is known as GPU-Tweak-II. It has a 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.
The main window of the software shows three main indicators which are: –
- VRAM Usage
- GPU Speed
The red bar on these circles shows 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 the 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 have a triangle featuring the blend of most important factors that end user would want. They are Performance, Coolness, and Silence. An optimal combination of these three is what Strix is all about. One can have an utmost performance with exceptional cooling yet silent operations. Our card has boosted to 1965MHz at a lower sound level on the fans with 58°C temps (P-Mode) 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 the respective profile.
Next, we have 4 profiles which are OC Mode, Gaming Mode, Silent Mode, and My Profile. Gaming is a default mode with a base clock of 1410MHz and boost clock of 1815MHz. OC Mode has a base clock of 1410MHz and boost clock of 1845MHz. My Profile will allow the user to create a 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. The 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. The user has the option to monitor only the desired variables. Monitoring window can be disconnected from the main window by clicking once on the chain button between both windows. This is where the user can also control the fans (if any) connected to the graphics card’s fan headers.
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 reduce the windows visual flares like animations, animated themes to reduce the performance hit these settings could have on the performance. System Services would allow stopping 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, the user would have dreamt of to monitor and control their graphics cards. Plus, an interface is easy to understand and once, you have launched it, it will get you going.
Following test bench setup is used:
- Intel i7 8700k @ 5.0GHz using 1.350V
- Asus Strix Z390-E Gaming
- Ballistix Elite 4x4GB @ 3000MHz
- Asus Ryuo 240mm AIO
- Thermaltake TP RGB 750W Gold PSU
- HyperX 120GB SSD
- Seagate Barracuda 2TB for games
The graphics cards included in the test bench are:
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC Black Edition
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070Ti Windforce OC Edition
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
- Asus Strix GeForce GTX 1080Ti O8G
- Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G
Following games have been tested:
- Battlefield 1 [DX11, DX12]
- DOOM [Vulkan]
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Metro Last Light Redux
- Far Cry 5
- Assassin’s Creed Origin
- The Witcher 3
- Rise of the Tomb Raider [DX11, DX12]
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider [DX11, DX12]
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [Vulkan]
- Middle Earth: Shadow of War
- Ashes of Singularity: Escalation [DX11, DX12]
Software information is as under:
- MSI Afterburner v4.50
- HWInfo 64 v 5.88-3510
- Unigine Superposition
For GeForce GTX graphics card, Nvidia’s driver 398.36 are used and for GeForce RTX graphics cards, Nvidia’s 411.70 drivers are used. Microsoft Windows 10 x64 version 1607 was used. All the reported framerates are average. Previously Unigine Heaven and Valley were a part of our testing but they have been dropped in favor of superposition.
Let’s take a look on performance graphs.
Battlefield 1 DX11
On 1080P, there is a 5.88% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 11.45%. At 4K, the performance gain is 15.18%. This is a marginal performance gain over the Pascal’s mainstream GTX 1080 FE.
Battlefield 1 DX12
On 1080P, there is a 14.59% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 17.37%. At 4K, the performance gain is 14.67%.
On 1080P, the GeForce GTX 1080 and Asus Strix RTX 2070 OC were neck-to-neck. So real, performance testing result would come from higher resolution testing particularly the 4K. On 1440p, the performance gain is mere 6.31%. At 4K, the performance gain is 12.43%.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
On 1080P, there is a 14.47% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 18.74%. At 4K, the performance gain is 10.68%.
Metro Last Light Redux
On 1080P, there is a 14.03% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 19.11%. At 4K, the performance gain is 24.13%.
Grand Theft Auto – V
On 1080P, there is a 5.48% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 8.86%. At 4K, the performance gain is 10.36%.
Far Cry 5
On 1080P, there is a 7.03% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 11.57%. At 4K, the performance gain is 12.24%.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
On 1080P, there is a 14.16% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 17.44%. At 4K, the performance gain is 21.56%.
Assassin’s Creed Origin
On 1080P, there is a 1.12% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 12.98%. At 4K, the performance gain is 18.75%.
Rise of the Tomb Raider DX11
On 1080P, there is a 1.08% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 9.19%. At 4K, the performance gain is 9.34%.
Rise of the Tomb Raider DX12
On 1080P, there is a 4.60% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 4.51%. At 4K, the performance gain is 17.44%.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider DX11
On 1080P, there is a no performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080 as both were tied. On 1440p, the performance gain is 7.24%. At 4K, the performance gain is 12.82%.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider DX12
On 1080P, there is a 9.43% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 12.32%. At 4K, the performance gain is 13.15%.
The Witcher 3
On 1080P, there is a 9.16% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 12.57%. At 4K, the performance gain is 20.16%.
Ashes of the Singularity – Escalation DX11
On 1080P, there is a 3.87% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 2.96%. At 4K, the performance gain is 6.22%.
Ashes of the Singularity – Escalation DX12
On 1080P, there is a 4.53% performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1080. On 1440p, the performance gain is 2.02%. At 4K, the performance gain is 8.18%.
The Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G is a factory overclocked graphics card. O in O8G denominates Overclocked edition. In gaming mode, we have 1410MHz base clock which is same as on the Nvidia’s reference design base clock. In OC mode the base clock is 1410MHz as well. The boost clock in Gaming mode (Default) is 1815MHz. In OC mode, the boost clock is 1845MHz.
Out of the box, the graphics card was boosting to 1965MHz in the OC mode and 1915MHz in the Gaming mode many thanks to the Nvidia’s turbo boost 3.0. Overclocking the RTX card seems challenging. I started with the memory overclock first without disturbing the core clock. The voltage was set to the 100% in the GPU Tweak II and Power limit was increased to 125% with 88°C temperature limit.
I managed to get +100MHz on the core clock and +589MHz on the memory clock. With overclocking the maximum boost was 2050MHz though the clocks were never settled as there was continuous fluctuation with 2020MHz being the lowest. It all depends upon the cooling solution which is quite adequate on this graphics card. Here is the result of the synthetic benchmark with overclocking:
This graphics card was continuously hitting the power limit (not the thermal limit). The total power limit is 125% with 88°C thermal limit. By default power limit is set at 100% and 83°C. I observed the boost clock throttling down to 1875MHz when the graphics card was hitting power limit. Mind you the temperature was 55°C during this time hence thermals have nothing to do with it. When the power limit was increased to 125% the frequency of the graphics card to hit power limit reduces significantly and maximum drop during the recurrence was 1910MHz. I would suggest the gamers/users set the power limit to 125% all the times regardless of the overclocking.
The graphics card was tested with a run of Witcher 3 at Ultra settings for a minimum of 30 minutes gaming session. For ease of reference, the ambient temperatures are also mentioned. Thermal testing was done with P-Mode and Q-Mode. After each testing minimum of 30 minutes idling was ensured. 67°C was hit under the stress test in Q-Mode. Keep in mind the ambient temperature. 58°C was hit in P-Mode. Using Q- Mode will have an impact on the boost clocks as the dynamic nature of turbo boost 3.0 it will clock down as the temperature goes higher. This is how it was with the Pascal as well.
I have tested the graphics card in P and Q modes to check for performance loss if any. For this purpose, Witcher 3 was used using Ultra settings at 4K. Here are the results:
|Mode||Minimum Boost Clock||Maximum Temperature||FPS|
Effective from this content, I will be using HWInfo 64 to record the power consumption of the graphics card. It seems like the HWinfo 64 is measuring the total power draw of the graphics card, not just the GPU. The below graph is showing the power draw of the graphics card only and not of the PC. The power draw of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE seems sketchy as the chip itself has TDP of 180W. To measure the power draw on idle, all the background apps were closed and the system was left on idling for 30 minutes. Witcher 3 at 4K using Ultra settings was used to measure the in-game power draw of the graphics card.
Here is the graph showing the maximum boost clocks out of the box without any overclocking.
As the summer season is still here, there is environmental noise that is beyond my control. These sounds will easily invalidate the sound meter testing. The card was tested on an open-air test bench and I am sitting close to my test bench setup. Using my judgment, the graphics card was silent under Q-Mode which is damn impressive. The P-Mode is still not that much audible and with room’s fan powered off and fans on the AIO set at 40% of their speed, the whole room was almost silent and I had to get much closer to the graphics card to hear the fans under the stress test. Asus has definitely done a great job in this department.
The Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G is a third RTX card on my test bench. This card is based on Turing TU106 GPU. The dimension of the graphics card is 11.83×5.14×1.93 inches or 30.5×13.06×4.89 CM. The card is following the PCIe 3.0 bus interface. It packs 8GB GDDR6 memory rated at 1750MHz using 256-bit bus width at 448 GB/s bandwidth. The base clock of the card is 1410MHz in all the modes. Default mode is Gaming Mode with 1815MHz boost clock and 1845MHz boost clock under OC Mode. Please, note that you will need to install GPU Tweak II to access these modes. BIOS switch has nothing to do with these modes. This card has 2304 CUDA Cores with a maximum supported digital resolution of 7680×4320. The card is drawing power using 1×8-pin and 1×6-pinconnectors. This card packs 64 ROP units and 144 TMUs. The pixel fillrate is 90.2 GP/s and Texture fillrate is 203.0 GT/s. This card carries all the bells and whistles of the Turing TU120 and TU104 GPUs including RT Core, Tensor Cores, USB Type-C, VirtualLink, New decoder/encoder, DLSS with ray tracing sitting at the core of Turing but the NVLink and SLI hence we don’t find any NVLink connector on the PCB. Unfortunately, we have yet to test the true performance potential of these cards due to the lack of enabled games and API.
The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G has retained the basic concept design from Pascal and has brought further improvement. This card features dual BIOS which can be toggled using a switch located on the top side of the PCB. These are designated as P-Mode and Q-Mode. P-Mode focuses on the strong cooling for better performance that may come at more sound level than Q-Mode which aims at bringing the silent operations at the user disposal. However, this is done at the cost of high thermals. Once the Windows is loaded, switching the BIOS will not take effect until the system is restarted. Dual BIOS always come handy when flashing a corrupt BIOS as we have a nice backup. There is an LED power on/off button located on the backside of the card. Now, the user has the option to turn the lighting off for a pure stealth look. Asus has retained the wing-blade design of the fans in this graphics card which is somewhat disappointing as the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080Ti carries much refined Axial-tech fans. The length of this card is 11.83” which is another important factor for clearance. The heatsink has 5 nickel plated copper heat pipes which seem to be 8mm thick. The middle portion of the heatink is bit recessed. There are two nickel plated copper plates on this heatsink. One is making contact with the GPU and the other is making contact with the MOSFET/VRMs. This card is using MaxContact technology that utilizes precision machining to create a heat spreader surface that makes up to 2X more contact with the GPU for better heat transfer. The backplate is of the same design as we saw on the previous generation Strix cards. This card is using metal brace as an added strength measure to bring reinforcement to the structure that prevents excessive torsion and lateral PCB bending. This card has two 4-pin fan hybrid headers for controlling the chassis fans according to the graphics card’s thermals. There is one 12V GRB pin format AURA header as well. If using this graphics card on Asus AURA Sync enabled motherboard then this would be an added AURA header should one need.
So, the big question. What is the performance like on the RTX 2070? The graphs are self-explanatory when it comes to the RTX 2070 competing against the GTX 1080 FE and GTX 1080Ti. The performance gain is hardly up to 10-12% depending upon the game and resolution. The gamers were expecting the RTX 2070 to be sitting nicely between the GTX 1080 and GTX 1080Ti so much so taking the game up to the GTX 1080Ti. But this is not the case here as this GPU has marginal performance gain over the GTX 1080. However, the real performance is still to be tested using the new technology and features which will be done when enabled games will be available. Nvidia has not only brought further graphics processing improvement in Rasterization but they have implemented dedicated hardware for Ray Tracing and Artificial Intelligence (Tensor Cores). DLSS is expected to bring better graphical processing with more efficiency and ray tracing which is the computationally intensive task, has been implemented as a dedicated hardware which would relax the main GPU to focus on more traditional processing. Further, they are implemented in a hybrid approach where the processing will be shared depending upon the load. The current performance gain is coming from Rasterization only. We are expecting better performance gain and efficiency once new technology will be put to full potential. As of now, it is on the paper only. I am looking forward to the time where we will be testing these cards to determine the true performance potential of the Turing based graphics cards.
This card will retail at Rs.104000/- when it will be launched in the local market. This is too high a price tag to consider particularly when the last gen’s mainstream GPU is offering a comparable performance but at much better value for your bucks. In my personal opinion, I don’t see better value for this performance in this price range. Asus is offering limited 3 years limited warranty on the Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G which is nice. I am thankful to the Asus Pakistan for giving me the opportunity to review their Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G.