Cooling, Noise, and Power
So the overclock helps the Strix pull ahead in a lot of our performance testing, but how has Asus handled keeping it cool. Does the Strix run cool but is noisy because of it? Does the overclock pull more power? To start things off let’s take a look at the idle and load power usage of the GTX 980 Strix. Being a high end card I wasn’t shocked to see it up in the top half of the card tested. What is really cool to see is that even with an overclock it is still pulling less than the GTX 780 and in line with overclock versions of the GTX 670 and the GTX 760. It does pull 20 watts more than the reference GTX 980 but having seen the performance numbers I would say it was worth it. Idle power usage is a little higher as well but still in line with any modern day cards.
Is the GTX 980 Strix going to drive you insane with noise? Well the short answer is no not at all. At lower usage and temperatures both of the fans turn off and the card actually runs completely silent. It isn’t until you really push it that the fans even turn on. When they do turn on you can expect it to be quiet unless you decide to turn up the fan speeds yourself. At 100% fan speed it is in the middle of the pack for noise output, 50% testing is similar as well but like I said I don’t think the card even hit 50% fan speed in my testing at all.
Okay so it is one of the fastest cards I have tested and it turns its fans off at low usage it has to run hot right? Well actually it runs 14 degrees lower than the reference card and sits in the middle of cards like the HD 7790 and the R7 260X for temperature performance while in game. Asus did a great job with the cooler on the Strix.