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Friday, 22 December 2017

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Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Review

The Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced is here, is it really something advanced or just a sham for a name!?


The Pascal architecture from Nvidia has been a total juggernaut burning every competition and record to cinders especially with it main stream and high end cards that keep on getting better and better with new models rolling out with time with the last one being the GTX 1080 Ti a card that absolutely annihilates anything in terms of graphical performance. Last month in November Nvidia brought out the latest offering in the Pascal division in form of the GTX 1070 Ti which is to put it straight is a counter offense against the rising threat from AMD's RX Vega 56 that dethroned the GTX 1070 in the mainstream market.
Thanks to Asus India today we have with us our very first GTX 1070 Ti for review on the table and this is nothing but the very best the segment has to offer, we have with us the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Edition for review.

Priced in at $500 or Rs 50,000 in India the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Edition comes with an all new cooler design and is equipped with 2432 CUDA Cores, 152 Texture Units, a 256-bit memory controller and 8 GB of  GDDR5 memory. The card is based on the same Pascal 16nm FinFet architecture as that of the GTX 1080 Ti and Titan X & has the GP104 GPU at its heart. Since Nvidia hasn't allowed its board partners to launch any overclocked SKUs over the reference model the card we have today or any other GTX 1070 Ti on the market doesn't come overclcoked out of the box hence this card is dubbed as Advanced rather than the OC we are used to seeing from Asus.
The card is clocked in at 1607Mhz out of the box and 1683Mhz using the OC Mode while the memory is at 2002Mhz for both normal and the OC Mode, this gives the GTX 1070 Ti Advanced edition a massive 256.3GB/s of bandwidth which is enough to handle any title in the market today.

What's in the Box!?


Asus brings the ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti in a big-heavy cardboard box which is mainly black in color with hints of green on the sides. The STRIX and ROG logo along with the graphics card image occupy most of the real estate on the packing while the Aura and VR ready logos are printed clearly at the bottom and the very top right side.

On the back side the box boasts about the 3 years warranty that the card comes with along with various technical and physical features that then GTX 1070 Ti comes loaded with such as the patented fan blade design, two times more contact area for the cooler, Aura sync etc.

Inside the outer cover you will find a big black box with the STRIX logo printed right in the center. Open this and you get a small envelop nestled inside a foam cavity under which the GTX 1070 Ti rests in a thick foam block wrapped in an anti static plastic bag.

On the accessories front the box included the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Graphics Card along with the driver DVD, user manual and two ROG velcro cable ties. All in all the packaging is to the point and protective enough to keep this beefy card safe and secure during transit.

Take a Closer Look


The GTX 1070 Ti from Asus is an elegant looking card with an all black matte finish and a triple fan design which looks old but is infact an all new cooler design to keep this card cool even under extreme loads.

The unit weights at 1.3Kg and measures in at 29.8x13.4x5.25 cm making it one of the longest and thickest cars you can find on the market today. Infact the card occupies two and a half expansion slots so keep this in mind before buying this card as it can pose an issue for ITX users going for a compact build.

At the back the backplate is smooth and decorated with abstract designs all over the surface and the Asus and STRIX logo near the top end. We also find the ROG eye logo at one corner which is RGB LED lit and imparts the signature ROG look to this GTX 1070 Ti from Asus.

The Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced will offer five display connectors; you'll spot two 1.2 certified Display Ports, two HDMI 2.0b connectors and a DVI port. The dual HDMI arrangement is done with VR in mind.
This sort of arrangement enables 4K displays at 120Hz, 5K displays at 60Hz, and 8K displays at 60Hz (using two cables) making the GTX 1070 Ti the best in class for UHD gaming, recording and streaming purposes.

The ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti uses a triple fan cooling solution with new IP5X dust resistant patented fan design for better-reliable cooling and air flow experience. There are six heatpipes embedded inside the thick aluminum heatsink with a nickle plated copper base that makes 40% more contact with the GPU surface for more efficient cooling with lower noise levels. these fans don't spin at upto 55°C and after that they start spinning in an ordered fashion with the right one spinning first followed by the center fan and then the last left fan when the temperature reached above 60°C to eliminate unnecessary noise. It is also sounds and looks kind of cool to me so a few extra brownie points for this kind of implementation.

At the bottom side the entire graphics card is clean with no heatpipe or anything protruding outside of the huge plastic shroud but just the PCIe connector at one end. While at the top we can see ssupport for power connectors and SLI connectors, yes you can even SLI this monster if you have the need and money well more of money than need I'd say!

The rear houses the two extra fan headers that will spin attached chassis fans at the graphics card fan RPM. These fan headers have been carried forward from the precious generation design of Asus STRIX and ROG cards and do a great job in not only providing some much needed fan headers but also are a life saver when working in tight environments such as ITX builds with less space and lesser fan headers on the motherboard!

To power the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced we have a single 8-pin PCIe power connectors on top which make it capable of withdrawing 225W on paper which is identical to that on the reference model. Considering the power here is enough and this is what Asus is touting as a graphics card with 'binned' chips dubbed as Advanced edition I expect a good overclock on this card.

Benchmarking and Overclocking 


Installing the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced was easy and it powered up like a breeze once we booted up the system.
GPUZ reported the correct frequencies with 1607Mhz on the clock and 2002Mhz on the memory.
For benchmarking the graphics card our new test bench was as follows -

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 @3.6Ghz
Motherboard: Asus X370 Crosshair VI Hero
RAM: GALAX HOF 32GB 3600Mhz
Cooler: Stock AMD Wraith RGB Air Cooler
Graphics Card: Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Edition
Storage: Kingston A400 256GB
Secondary Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB
Power Supply: Corsair AX860i 860W
Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Overclocking the STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced was a simple process and using the Asus GPU Tweak II or any other utility yielded the same results. The highest frequency with respect to performance gains that we could obtain on our sample was 1827Mhz on the clock and 2252Mhz on the memory, anything above this either gave poor results, white dots or even system freeze. Overclocking is dependent largely upon your sample so your results would largely depend upon your card. Overclocking wise its a great yield with 13.6% increase on the clock and 12.48% on the memory, I'm sure more is possible but I couldn't take it any further due to the limited time that I got with this card but nonetheless I'm happy with what I've got here.

AIDA64 Extreme edition GPGPU


The AIDA64 GPGPU test not only calculates the read, write and copy speed of the graphics card and processor but is also very useful in observing the SHA-1 Hash and AES-256 score. These are indications of how well the GPU can handle number crunching or real life image or video rendering. Higher score shows a better card.

3DMark Fire Strike and Time Spy


Fire Strike and Time Spy by 3D Mark is a test suit that plays a cinematic scene to determine the FPS, GPU temperature and CPU temperature scaling everything via a cumulative score. It is a great tool to benchmark your GPU since the render is mostly GPU & memory dependent.

Battlefield 1


The latest installation to the Battlefield franchise and mind it the grandest one of them all aswell, Battlefield 1 is a prequel to the infamous Battlefield 1942 placing the players right in the middle of World War 1. Based on the latest Frostbite Engine by EA-DICE, Battlefield 1 takes advantage of DirectX 12 with asynchronous compute to weave together richly detailed worlds. It is heavily taxing on current-generation hardware, and you're handsomely rewarded for investing more into your graphics setup. Settings are at Ultra preset with full HD resolution.

Ashes of the Singularity 


The latest installation to the Battlefield franchise and mind it the grandest one of them all aswell, Battlefield 1 is a prequel to the infamous Battlefield 1942 placing the players right in the middle of World War 1. Based on the latest Frostbite Engine by EA-DICE, Battlefield 1 takes advantage of DirectX 12 with asynchronous compute to weave together richly detailed worlds. It is heavily taxing on current-generation hardware, and you're handsomely rewarded for investing more into your graphics setup. Settings are at Ultra preset with full HD resolution.Developed by Oxide Games & running on the Nitrous Game Engine Ashes of the Singularity is a real-time strategy game set in the future where descendants of humans (called Post- Humans) and a powerful artificial intelligence (called the Substrate) fight a war for control of a resource known as Turinium.
We've used the in-built benchmarking tool and the result is shown in an average of all the graphical tests conducted over various locations and topographies of the game. DX12 API, Quality set to Extreme, 4xMSAA and everything else to high.

Prey


After releasing the excellent Dishonored 2 France-based Arkane Studios hits it out of the park again with Prey, a first-person shooter published by Bethesda Softworks as a reboot from 11 years ago.
Unveiled at E3 2016, Prey uses the CryEngine graphics engine and audio from Audiokinetic's Wave Works Interactive Sound Engine (Wwise). It is exclusively DX11 based so no DX12 or Vulkan testing is possible.

Rise of the Tomb Raider


The latest installation of Lara Croft in the spectacular Rise of the Tomb Raider 2016 with stunning graphics and rich location makes it a great game to benchmark with while enjoying in the due course! We used DX12 and settings were at Ultimate on full HD resolution.

Call of Duty: WWII


Call of Duty: WWII is a first-person shooter video game developed by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. Not only is it a a gamer's delight but a graphics card nightmare when all the settings are cranked up offering real life graphics and optimized gameplay.

GTA V


Grand Theft Auto V is an open world, action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. If you like open world adventure then this is something that you don't wanna miss with great graphics, catchy story line and unlimited potential for mods that keep coming in and out every now and then on the web. Our settings are as follows with very high quality, 16xAF, 2xMSAA and FXAA enabled.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus


Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is an action-adventure first-person shooter video game developed by Machine Games and published by Bethesda Softworks. Not only doe it put you in the shoes of a futuristic armored suit, yey suits are back, but also gives you the ability to mow down everyone with all guns blazing! The game is well optimized but beats down upon the graphics card at all settings cranked up resulting in high power draw and heat generation.

The Evil Within 2


The Evil Within 2 is a third-person survival horror video game developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I personally love playing this game these days in dark room specifically, your preferences might be otherwise. Great gameplay and a well optimized graphical engine make sit a treat for the gamer aswell as for their graphics cad.

Forza Horizon 3


Forza Horizon 3 is an open world racing video game developed by Playground Games and published by Microsoft Studios for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows 10. The game features cross-platform play between the two platforms and is heavily demanding when it comes to PC resources. Our settings are at ultra preset with FPS cap removed. 

Noise & Temperature 


The fans on the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Edition don't spin till the card hits 55°C or more. We recorded the maximum temperature in Celsius that our card hit during extensive gaming & sound was measured in decibels from a distance of 3 feet. This was performed for both stock and overclocked speeds.

My Verdict 

The Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced is quite impressive to be honest not because of its performance but because of all the extras that Asus has tried to stuff into this card. Talking about aesthetics the card is absolutely beautiful & elegant with its all black shroud and immaculate implementation of RGB LEDs which is neither too less nor is a Christmas tree! This makes it suitable for almost all builds where you wan tto show off your card using a riser cable or just simply put it fans down and flaunt the huge ROG eye logo at the back.
Asus has done a great job by changing the DirectCU cooler and using the new one as it surely does what its meant to do that is keeping the card cool even under extensive loads without generating unnecessary noises provided you have a good air flow in your case since these cards can generate a lot of heat especially when overclocked and under load.
Performance wise the GTX 1070 Ti Advanced from Asus does an amazing job handling every title seamlessly with its out of the box frequency and due to the decent overclocking headroom that it offers we can see it flirting with the GTX 1080 in certain areas! But inspite of all this the card does have some rough patches, the pricing being the biggest and only culprit here.
We are looking at quite a heavy price difference from that of the reference design and a marginal difference from its bigger brother the GTX 1080 which makes the Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced sit somewhere in the middle. While the card doesn't come with higher frequency out of the box than the reference design due to Nvidia's own limitation levied over it we don't get anything extra on the technical end for the basic user who cannot overclock this card too much manually making it a grave issue since the extras alone cannot justify the price tag as the same are available on the non Advanced version of this card which is priced much lesser. Anyone who has some money to spare would be better off buying the GTX 1080 instead due to higher performance gains and better technology under the hood but if you are really tight on budget and want the best your money can buy at the moment then and only then is this card meant for you.
"The Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1070 Ti Advanced is the best GTX 1070 Ti one can buy today loaded with more features than one can possibly use ticking all the right boxes and beating every competitor in its way making it the new main stream king!"
Pros - 
  • Great build quality 
  • Overclocks well
  • Runs cool under load
  • Power efficient
Cons -
  • A bit pricey
I give it 8.5/10 earning our Gold Award!

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