Asus ROG Striker GTX760

In a perfect world or at least a perfect enthusiast and gamer’s world, everyone would have a GTX 780 or better graphics card and we’d all be gaming at 120Hz on UHD G-sync enabled monitors. That would be gaming nirvana indeed, but unfortunately we aren’t quite there yet. Certainly not for the displays, but for GPUs we’re getting there. This is not saying that the GTX 760 offers anywhere near the performance of a GTX 780, but consider that right now, the standard GTX 760 is half the price of a 780. It offers more than half the performance though and this is what we are concerned with ultimately.

For just over $300, this is not the cheapest GTX 760 on the market, as these can be had for as little $239. However those are the 2GB models which are unlikely to be desirable for anyone given just about every triple A title is using HD textures. As such,a more honest comparison would be between the 4GB models where the ASUS ROG STRIKER fairs much better as it’s in line with other 4GB offerings from other vendors.

What ASUS is hoping to do here is give you a little bit extra to sway you into buying their GTX 760 over the MSI or EVGA card for instance which coincidentally retail for a similar price. The clock speeds are identical for all three cards, but the ASUS model goes the little bit farther in providing you with the most aesthetically pleasing design of them all. Indeed aesthetics are subjective but there can be no denying that the plastic shroud in the standard ROG red and black scheme does look striking. Aiding in the visuals department is the glowing ROG logo atop the card that can be customized using GeForce Experience LED Visualizer. If you’re not too concerned with that you can let the load on the graphics card determine the colour. It’s not going to make this a resounding winner over the competing cards, but it does add that little bit extra which goes a long way into justifying the cost to the end user.

Build quality as you would expect is impeccable with ASUS choosing an 8-Phase VRM which is unusual for a mid-range graphics card. Consider that the NVIDIA reference GTX TITAN Black uses a 6-phase VRM and that’s powering a NVIDIA’s highest end single GPU solution. As usualthis graphics card allows you to adjust voltages via software. You may choose to use the ASUS GPU Tweak or Inspector tool or any other utility you prefer. How far you’ll fair with your overclock
will obviously be dictated by the particular sample and your operating temperatures, but it’s worth noting that the sample we had performed admirably. Once again this isn’t going to be blow your socks off performance for overclocking. For that you’ll need much more exotic cooling methods, but what ASUS has put together with the Direct CU II is respectable to say the least. It’s not as elaborate a cooling solution as we’ve seen from other vendors and the heat pipes certainly get very warm to the touch but it does do the job by keeping the GPU well under the 80’C mark.

ASUS claims that their cooling solution allows the card to remain at 65’C. We couldn’t match this in our testing environment but we only fell short by a mere 3’C which is truly impressive given that we were running a very stressful benchmark on the system looping it for hours on end in what we assume is a much warmer environment.

Temperatures alone won’t be the deciding factor for many of you, but operating fan noise as well. This is where the card really did live up to the claims as it was very quiet and actually bearable even with the fans set to maximum rotation. It’s not something everyone could live with but we certainly couldn't hear it over the whirl of the other system components. You may think it’s not an important thing to consider at first but nothing becomes more annoying than fan noise after hours of gaming especially when you’re not using headphones We can’t be sure where but at some point in the marketing material 4K or UHD gaming rather was mentioned. Obviously this is for justifying the 4GB of memory over the standard 2GB. Sound in theory but not so much in practice. We did performance measurements on a number of games but also recorded how much of the memory on the graphics card we were utilizing. It turns out that even with 8XMSAA at 3840x2160, the most we ever used was just over 3GB of memory.

That’s a lot and more than what any GTX 780Ti has. Thus 4GB does make sense, but do consider that the game in question (Hitman: Absolution) isn’t playable on a GTX 780Ti at those settings. Not because of the lack of memory exclusively but because the processing power just isn’t there to provide a play experience that is above 30fps. (Ideally we’d want above 40fps). For the GTX 760 then there’s all but no hope of accomplishing this. That is an extreme case though and we’ve no reason to believe that 8xMSAA is necessary at that resolution on any reasonably sized screen (30” and smaller). Thus,the ASUS ROG Striker or any other GTX 760 for that matter isn’t for gaming at UHD resolutions, but WQHD works perfectly even in Metro Last Light we were able to record above 32 fps using the highest graphics fidelity options available save for SSAA. That is admirable given that this is a taxing game for a great many graphics cards even those costing three times as much as the ROG STRIKER (we’re looking at you TITAN Black Edition!).

In other games we recorded frame rates in the 40s which is certainly more than playable. Another claim we had to take a look at was that the ROG STRIKER was 10% faster than the standard GTX 760. 10% in the context of frame rates doesn’t mean much unless you know the actual value but we found that we on average recorded 5% better performance in the real world. It was only when we overclocked the card that we achieved 10% better performance and sometimes more (near 20% in some games).

We employed as stable was at the edge, but not where the system would crash or be unable to complete our entire test suit. It was artifact free and more importantly didn’t require voltage adjustments. Actually the reason for that was we found voltage adjustment didn’t add much to the stability of the set GPU clock. What we needed was better cooling (water block for instance) to truly benefit from it. Merely increasing the GPU voltage yielded very little gains for a significant rise in operating temperatures. For the more adventurous individuals and those who are chasing Hardware points on HWBOT, there is plenty of fun to be had here with the ROG STRIKER. In a gaming context and environment it’s almost over engineered, but we’ve no doubt that it will be a worthwhile piece of overclocking gear in the right hands with much better cooling.

In closing, ASUS has put together a neat little card here with the ROG STRIKER. We do wish that there was more in the package, something like a bundled game or something else other than just the bare essentials to make it stand out a little more. After all you are buying a ROG product and one that is supposedly platinum as well. That aside, as far as GTX 760 cards are concerned there isn’t a faster GTX 760 on the market and certainly not one that can claim to look better. This one gets our
recommendation and gaming gear award.

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