Date Joined: 04/06/12
Pros: I am writing this review to enter into the "Join The Republic- Your Path to Legendary Commences" campaign.
- Advertised Boost clock for this card is 1708MHz via OC Profile. Mine however, out of the box without changing any settings aside from applying a custom fan curve to the OC Profile in GPU Tweak II, is boosting as high as 2093MHz and generally resting at 1973-1987MHz while playing AAA titles at 4K60fps or running benchmarks.
- This card is a 4K BEAST. I expected rock solid 2K@60+fps but it's chewing through Watch Dogs 2** & GTAV in 4k@60fps like its nothing, generally hovering around 80-85% gpu utilization. Both games are at Ultra save for 2-3 settings on High/VeryHigh and MSAA off since it simply isn't needed at 4K resolution. Post Process AA for each title can be maxed to minimize any jaggies left at 4k which really, you gotta be looking for em (like me lol) for them to bug you.
- At 1440p resolution, 2-4x MSAA seems to be no problem with minimal compromises on other settings.
- When playing on my 1080p monitor most games I can enable Nvidia DSR and render in 2160p then have it downscale to 1080p resulting in better image quality and a reduction in jaggies. Enabling DSR also ensures that the 1080ti maintains most of the workload preventing your cpu from becoming a bottleneck at 1080p.
- I'm able to maintain 60fps at 4k in my HEAVILY modded Fallout 4 build (315 mods stable, over 6000 textures replaced with 2-4k equivalents) with this card even in dense cities with extremely extended draw distance/LOD settings.
- The redesigned cooler on this card works incredibly well. The increase to 2.5 slot width for increased radiator surface area thus better heat dissipation was completely worth it! Idle temp is usually 29-34*C with an ambient room temp of about 24-25*C. GTAV in 1080p60fps at High/VeryHigh settings on my previous Strix 980 ti would push temperatures often as high as 77-82C at stock 1393MHz Boost clock speed. GTAV in 2160p@60fps near max settings on this card averages around 60-62*C! The highest temperature the card has reached after numerous benchmarks, stress tests, and 6+ hour gaming sessions is 67*C which is incredible imo when you consider my cards resting clock speed under load is generally 1973MHz, almost a full 600MHz higher than my previous 980ti.
- RGB lighting looks great, nice and vibrant. The ROG eye looks great compared to just seeing back-plate. Asus Aura software allows you to control the lighting to your taste. Effects include Static, Breathing, Strobing, Color Cycle, and 2 "Special Effects" modes. One syncs the color to your gpu temp transitioning from green, yellow, orange, and red as temperatures rise. The other mode is Music reactive, colors change semi-rapidly and the brightness varies depending on the volume of whats playing. The software also allows syncing your color profile across varying Aura compatible products as well.
- One of my favorite new features was the addition of 2x 4-pin fan headers to the card. My last motherboard upgrade left me short 1-2 fan headers to hook up all of my case fans. I was able to hook a bottom intake fan up to the card no problem, even though it was a 3-pin the gpu will work with 4 & 3-pin fans. The bottom intake fan blows almost directly into the gpu, so I linked that particular fan to gpu temperature easily with GPU Tweak II. That intake fan blowing into the gpu brought gaming temps down about 2-4*C. Had the gpu not come with the fan headers, the fan still wouldn't be hooked up until I got around to buying & installing a fan controller. You also have completely separate control of these fans independent from the gpu fans. You can sync these external fans to gpu/cpu temp, set them to a static speed, or set a custom fan profile for them.
- Under load while gaming with temps at around 55*C, my custom fan curve ramps my fans to about 50%. I don't find the noise bothersome or overly noticeable with a closed case seated on top of my desk directly to my right.
- The addition of a second full size HDMI port was great for me since I use more than 1 HDMI display, previously I was switching cables or using a switch box.
- ZERO GPU SAG!!! Granted I have a motherboard with metal reinforced PCI-e slots but my previous Strix 980 ti immediately sagged when installed in same motherboard so it had a wooden dowel support for its entire lifespan in the case. I expected worse from this card given its increased 2.5 slots width but to my HAPPY surprise the card clicked in and didn't sag at all! I have the dowel in place for piece of mind over time but visibly I could not detect any sag at all without the support.
- Includes a 1 year premium license for Xsplit GameCaster, normally a $99 value. You can be setup with a chat overlay and follower notifications ect within minutes so great for new users first getting into streaming tho you may find yourself eventually wanting a larger suite of customization's than provided by Xsplit.
Cons: - Seems a lot of people put cost as a con, and while I agree it is not a cheap upgrade at all, when you consider the performance and quality of this card I think you get ALL of your value out of this card. It's priced proportionately to last gens equivalent (Strix GTX 980 ti OC) meanwhile its outperforming last gens $1100+ Titan gpu.
- It didn't come with a badge, probably my biggest and possibly only gripe. I received a nice clear Strix decal with my 980ti, and recently purchased an ROG Spatha Mouse which came with 2 of the nicest, highest quality badges I've received with any computer purchase so I was disappointed by the lack of a badge when unboxing. I imagine this probably doesn't matter to a lot of people tho, lets face it we're not spending $750+ on graphics cards for the stickers.
Overall Review: 3Dmark Bench scores (EXACT same system, only part changed was the gpu):
TimeSpy w/ Strix 1080ti - 9253 Max Temp 57*C
TimeSpy w/ Strix 980ti - 5462
FireStrike Ultra w/ Strix 1080ti - 7179 Max Temp 56*C
FireStrike Ultra w/ Strix 980ti - 4570
Unigine Valley Benchmark
8x Anti Aliasing
Max Temp: 55*C
Max FPS: 87.4
*System specs for reference:
MSI z170 M7 Gaming Motherboard
i7 6700k @ 4.6GHz
Hyper 212 Evo Cpu Cooler
2x 8gb G.Skill TridentZ Ram @ 3200MHz
500gb Samsung 850 evo M.2 SSD
Win 10 64bit
(The gpu temps I've mentioned are at fan speeds around 55% per my custom curve)
**4K at rock solid 60fps with near max settings like I'm obtaining in Watch Dogs 2 is entirely dependent on Temporal Filtering being enabled. It is similar to how recent consoles achieve a "4K comparable image", in very simplified terms its up scaled 1080p with some nvidia wizardry applied to prevent blurriness ect. The result is a sometimes near indistinguishable image compared to true 4K but at a fraction of the performance. Odds are once you're sitting a comfortable distance from your display you may not even be able to see the difference in some cases. When using identical settings with Temporal Filtering disabled so rendering at true 4k, Watch Dogs 2 averaged around 47fps @ 99-100% gpu utilization in high action scenes.
So if you haven't noticed I'm pretty fond of this card. It has exceeded every expectation I had for it, and since installing it roughly 2 weeks ago I am very often finding myself just admiring the graphical fidelity of the games I'm playing (first time I've ever been able to play in 4k with next to no stutters on higher than potato settings). Using Nvidia Ansel to capture stunning super resolution screenshots, 360* screenshots ect is so satisfying. The first time the famous "San-Fransisco Fog" rolled in at sun rise while playing watch dogs 2 was awesome. I raced to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge and got some of the most cinematic screenshots I've ever taken. If you're on the fence, have the money for this card but are still deciding if its worth it you should just pull the trigger on it! I was upgrading from a Strix 980ti OC, already a beastly card, so was wary the performance jump wouldn't justify the purchase and I'd be left with some buyers remorse. I was so wrong lol This card is in a category of its own, and really is a suitable single gpu 4k solution. Bottom line, if you get one of these monsters you are not going to end up disappointed!
Pros: - Aesthetically this is probably one of, if not the, nicest looking mice I've ever seen and is definitely the highest quality that I've ever owned (tbh this is coming from limited experience with many high end mice).
- Ergonomically, its hard to imagine anyway they could have made this thing more comfortable to hold. There's a rest on the right side of the mouse where you're ring finger lays that has completely eliminated the pain that would sometimes develop in the back of my hand where I imagine the tendon gets sore from constantly squeezing a smaller mouse yet hardly ever moving (I previously used claw grip). Might seem small but having that rest there instantly trained my hand to stop curling and turning in my ring finger in to squeeze the mouse which otherwise I feel like would have been a difficult habit to break.
- Haven't noticed any issues with tracking or lag in any of the games I've played with it so far, nor noticed any issues in desktop enviorment (Firmware updated to 1.49, using latest version of ROG Armoury)
- Packaging was really nice (which has been the case for every Asus product I've purchased in the last few years)
- Braided cable for using mouse in Wired mode feels durable, and the micro-USB end that connects to the mouse has grooves that align with tabs on the mouse to ensure its plugged in straight. The plug is also a nice distance recessed into the front of the mouse and sits firmly in the recessed area which should help alleviate and damage from the cord getting caught or pulled accidentally.
- Included a nice carrying case for the wireless receiver, base and cables.
- Includes 2 replacement Japanese Omron switches should you ever need to replace the installed set which are rated for 20 Million clicks.
- Included the nicest 2 Badges (stickers, but the high quality thick/rigid type) I've received with any PC product, 1 red and 1 silver ROG Eye logo.
- RGB Lighting is nice and vibrant
- The 6 side buttons, are easily identified and discerned from one another without having to look at the mouse or feel around with your thumb too much.
Cons: - Took me 2 hours to get the mouse setup and working correctly. I plugged the mouse and receiver in initially and the mouse lit up and seemed to work fine as did the receiver. I proceeded to look for drivers via the product--->support page however the only available download was for the software Armoury. I assumed that would handle the updates so installed it and upon launch was told Firmware update available so let it update. As soon as it started it knocked the lights out on the mouse tho since updating firmware I assumed it was normal behavior. Well the update said it completed, but for the next 2 hours the lights wouldn't turn on, the scroll wheel functionality was inverted, and the mouse was completely unresponsive in wireless mode it would only work as wired. I tried every combo of system restart, unplug and plugin, different USB ports, different ROG Armoury versions, cleaning out dirs and registry between versions ect and every time it would just say Firmware update found, update saying complete, but then not detect the mouse. I finally found a thread with people having the same issue, some new owners, some it happened to after the most recent update however unfortunately there was no solution in the thread. At this point, on a whim while applying for permission to post to the ROG forum for help, I decided to unplug the mouse and dock it with the wireless receiver to see if anything happened and it lit right up and has been working since flawlessly in both wired and wireless mode. I reinstalled the most recent version of Armoury, it detects the mouse fine, and I haven't had a problem since. Unfortunately I tried so many things that I don't know what fixed the issue, perhaps it did just need to dock with the receiver for whatever reason, but I feel like the whole 2 hours could have been avoided if a manual with more detailed instructions was included or available online for the mouse with the proper ordering on how to setup the mouse and drivers/firmware updates.
- Limited information available that I could find for the mouse. Did not include an owners manual, just a 3 page "Quick Start" guide with very limited info. The only guide for it I could find via the support page for the mouse was only for the software used with the mouse, ROG Armoury.
- The unexpectedly nice, included carrying case fits everything nice and neat EXCEPT the mouse o..O I may be able to remove the form fitting insert that the accessories all slot into nicely and cram everything in there loose or with my own padding but for the price of this mouse, I think the carrying case should have been twice as thick, opened like a book and had a slot for the mouse.on the opposite side. The carrying case is exactly half as deep as the total package, they should have simply made it the same size as the packaging and include the mouse already inside of the case like everything else, instead of the cardboard insert used to hold the mouse on top of the travel case.
Overall Review: - For the price I think it would have been nice for some of the housing to have been perhaps aluminum instead of plastic, but I'm not sure if that would have made an already somewhat hefty mouse even heavier.
- Side buttons are a bit squishy causing you to sometimes press harder than should be needed. There isn't too much of a distinct feedback to the clicks, personally I would have liked a more satisfying and clear click. I don't however consider this a con, because on the flip side the buttons not being too easily clicked makes it possible to pinch and pick the mouse up to relocate it on my mouse pad without accidentally pressing any of the buttons.
- This is a pretty large mouse. I have fairly large hands and I can only reach the button at the end, to the left of Left Click (Forward by default) if I'm in full on Palm Grip chocked up on the mouse. If using Claw Grip or even further out and just using Finger Tips that button requires me to release the mouse to reach over to it. MINOR issue considering the buttons can be remapped, that just simply wont be a critical button that I use often if at all.
- If you plant your wrist to pivot when using Claw/Tips grip styles be aware that that due to the mouses large size you won't have as much clearance or range. I primarily used claw/fine tuned with finger movement so used to bend my fingers to slide my old, smaller mouse under my palm to look down or move cursor down in game however I can't really do that now because the larger mouse hits my palm much sooner. You can get around it by using your very finger tips to hold the mouse but that will put some buttons out of reach for you. Just expect to spend some time adjusting to the mouse if you're coming from one that's much smaller than this one.
All in all, once setup and running I absolutely love the mouse. Everyone I know who's stopped over and tried it since it arrived loves it too, one of my friends already has is own. Worth noting, his setup and update experience went smoothly, he did not have the issues I did once I told him he may need to dock the mouse after updating which I don't think he even needed to do anyway.