Card layout and Photos
While the R9 380X is a little larger than the budget cards I have taken a look at recently, it does still have the same Strix styling. Basically this means that Asus included their standard DirectCU II cooling meaning their direct contact heatsink design with two fans. The fan shroud though is what gives the Strix all of its unique styling. You see, the Strix brand is built completely around the Strix mythology and Strix genus of owls. The Strix logo is designed into the shape of an owl face and all of the Strix products incorporate the owl design as well. For their video cards the fan shroud highlights the two fans as eyes with the angled areas on the left and right sides matching the Asus Strix logo. Seriously once you see the owl face in these cards you will never un-see it! The fan shroud is plastic and overall extends about an inch above the top of the PCI slot but not past the large heatpipe up top.
Asus kept the same styling with the two cooling fans. Both have a red and black sticker with a unique design on them that helps continue the owl theme, in this case the eyes. Then in the middle of the fan shroud they also slipped in two red and black stickers with a weird tribal design. Frankly every time I look at these on Strix cards I can’t think of anything but Darth Maul.
As usual though it’s the cooling that really sets Asus cards apart and the 380X Strix is no different. As I mentioned before it comes with the DIrectCU II cooling meaning the heatpipe has direct contact with the GPU and helps pull the heat out across the large heatsink. The heatpipes on the Strix though are huge. We have one up top that in centered on the GPU and pulls the heat out to the far end of the card and then two on the bottom that sit to the left and right of the top heatpipe on the GPU. These pull heat to the area about three inches to the left and to the right of the GPU. Then of course the thick heatsink has a large base that also transfers heat up into the heatsink. The two fans push air down across the heatsink then against the PCB. The design is efficient enough like most cards these days that it doesn’t actually have to turn the fans on until the card gets under load. This means the card runs dead silent most of the time. The design does mean that all of the hot air that the card generates will be pushed into your case, so keep that in mind when picking out your case.
Up on the top edge Asus did include a small Strix logo. It’s not backlit and it isn’t fancy like a lot of cards but it does help show what you have inside.
The 380X doesn’t have or need Crossfire bridge connections to run multiple cards so the only connections on the card are the two power connections. You need two 6-pin power cables to get things running. To help save room Asus has flipped the plugs around backwards and notched the PCB. This puts the clips on the back side of the card where they don’t need to leave room in the heatsink for fingers. Just under the plugs on the back Asus has also included red and white LEDs. When you put the 380X Strix in a PCI slot it will light both up red to show that you don’t have power hooked up yet and when you plug them in they switch to white. This makes diagnostics quicker and easier as well.
On the back of the card we can’t see much of the PCB because of the backplate but we can see that they went with a black PCB. In the center at the back of the GPU they have a hole in the backplate and we can see everything as well as give a little breathing room to keep things cool. The backplate is aluminum and is a little different. The top and bottom areas have angled lines carved for a little styling. Asus also included their logo and DirectCU II branding as well but upside down so that it can be read when the card is installed in a normal case.
On the end of the 380X Strix Asus opened up the ventilation as much as possible with thin margins between holes, extra wide holes, and vents tucked in around all of the connection ports as well. Speaking of connections, the card comes with a full sized DisplayPort, a full sized HDMI, and two DVI’s. This is similar to the 380’s and below where the newer 390’s and above are all moving to a single DVI and more DisplayPorts.