Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming Review: Bring Out The Big Guns

When it comes to recommending graphics cards, we’re used to finding the best value at the bottom of each model range. After all, guaranteed overclocks, fancy lighting, and big coolers add substantial cost. Presumably, then, that’d put Asus’ ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming at a big disadvantage since it’s currently the most expensive GeForce RTX 2070 in the U.S. and UK.

But sometimes, the benefits of a premium product extend beyond superficial knickknacks. Asus offers better performance, lower temperatures, less noise, and more functionality than any of the other 2070s we’ve seen. Although many enthusiasts won’t be able to justify spending extra on superior attention to detail, others will appreciate the effort that went into designing a graphics card that’s better than the competition in almost every way.

Meet The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming

Asus isn’t above the laws of thermodynamics. This card’s TU106 GPU is still rated for 175W, and its waste heat is dissipated by fans blowing through a sink, just like other GeForce RTX 2070s. The difference is that Asus starts with a larger sink. Whereas Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition registers roughly 2 lbs. 2 oz. (968g) on our scale, the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming nearly hits 2 lbs. 11 oz. (1210g). The card sits on a much larger PCB and is topped by a much longer heat sink, so we’re not surprised that it’s so much heavier.

The ROG Strix board's PCB is massive at 11 ¼” (28.6cm) long. Asus’ thermal solution overhangs that, taking the total length to almost 12” (30cm). From the bottom of the PCIe connector to the card’s top edge, you’re looking at roughly 5 ⅛” (13cm). And from the backplate to the thickest part of Asus’ fan shroud, you need about 2” (5cm) of clearance. Some folks like to call this a 2.5-slot design, but expect the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming to monopolize three expansion slots.

Most of the card’s thickness comes from its heat sink. The plastic shroud sitting on top of the metal mass is low-profile and unobtrusive. It doesn’t hang down on the sides and block airflow through the fins. There’s enough room to envelop the 90mm wing-blade fans, accommodate a bit of RGB lighting under strategically-cut vent holes, and screw on to the sink. Those fans blow down through an array of vertically-oriented fins split into two sections. Both pieces are similarly sized but shaped differently to fit the components underneath them.

The side closest to the display outputs sits on top of Nvidia’s TU106 processor. Asus goes so far as to brand the surface of its heat spreader MaxContact, reflecting a precision machining process that purportedly creates more surface area for thermal transfer than competing coolers. In total, six heat pipes cut through the sink’s base. One of them passes through the base and bends back into the same fin array. The other five continue through the base and into the second half of Asus’ heat sink. Of those five, two pipes run all the way through the heat spreader and back around into the sink’s front side, closest to the card’s display connectors.

The sink’s other side is similarly composed of thick aluminum fins with protrusions at the bottom to increase surface area. An additional base plate dips even lower to sit right above the 10 TI CSD95481RWJ NexFET power stages. A long thermal pad between the buck converters and base plate help transfers heat.

The whole cooler rests on top of a metal frame sandwiching the PCB between itself and the backplate. Asus says this brace improves the card’s structural integrity by 3x. Although we don’t have the means to corroborate such a claim, casual comparisons to other, lighter GeForce RTX cards (2070s and 2080s) do suggest the Asus board bends less. We would have been more worried if the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G didn’t come with a brace of some sort, given its weight.

A closer look at the PCB reveals several other interesting features. Up top, on the back, there’s a switch labeled P_MODE and Q_MODE, corresponding to Performance and Quiet mode, respectively. They both maintain similar clock rates and power targets. But Performance mode utilizes a more aggressive fan curve, while Quiet mode dials back fan speeds. In Quiet mode, the fans can also spin down when the GPU temperature drops below 55°C.

Right next to the mode switch, there’s a push-button labeled LED ON/OFF. Self-explanatory, right? If you’d rather run without all the RGB lighting, press the button to turn it off.

Around back, a pair of four-pin headers can be attached to system fans that respond based on CPU and GPU temperatures. GPU Tweak II, Asus’ bundled control utility, has the hooks needed to tune the card’s cooling response.

An RGB header right next to the fan connectors is compatible with Asus’ Aura lighting. Even if you don’t connect an extra run of RGB LEDs for your case, downloadable Aura Sync software lets you manipulate the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G’s shroud and backplate lighting. We especially liked the GPU temperature lighting effect, which changed colors as the card warmed up.

Up front, an all-black slot cover provides a nice change of pace from the silver brackets we’re accustomed to seeing. Gone is the DVI-D interface found on Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition card. Instead, Asus exposes two DisplayPort connectors, two HDMI outputs, and a USB Type-C port for next-gen VR HMDs. Ventilation slots are cut into the metal. However, the potential benefit of airflow back there is lost since the cooler’s fins move air perpendicular to the bracket.

The eight- and six-pin power connectors are rotated 180 degrees to avoid conflict with the form-fitted heat sink. LEDs mounted to the PCB light up red if you forget to attach auxiliary power, and then go white when you make the appropriate connection. Interestingly, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition employs a single eight-pin connector to satisfy the card’s 185W ceiling. Asus’ card uses more power than that model. However, it ducks in under Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G with a 207W average across our Metro: Last Light benchmark. Asus could have made one eight-pin connector work, but just barely. Adding the six-pin connector was a better choice.

A metal plate on the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming’s back side gives the frame something to screw into. It also hosts the ROG logo, which is illuminated and controllable through Asus’ Aura software. The plate doesn’t contact any components on the PCB’s back side, so it doesn’t help with cooling. In fact, we’d normally worry about it trapping hot air. There are a few holes cut into surface behind the GPU and over the 47µF capacitors, but they only provide screw access and z-height clearance.


ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming
GeForce RTX 2070 FE
GeForce GTX 1080 FE
GeForce GTX 1070 FE
Architecture (GPU)
Turing (TU106)Turing (TU106)
Pascal (GP104)Pascal (GP104)
CUDA Cores
23042304
25601920
Peak FP32 Compute
8.4 TFLOPS
7.9 TFLOPS
8.9 TFLOPS6.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Cores
288
288
N/AN/A
RT Cores
36
36
N/AN/A
Texture Units
144
144
160120
Base Clock Rate
1410 MHz1410 MHz
1607 MHz1506 MHz
GPU Boost Rate
1815 MHz1710 MHz
1733 MHz1683 MHz
Memory Capacity
8GB GDDR68GB GDDR68GB GDDR5X8GB GDDR5
Memory Bus
256-bit256-bit
256-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth
448 GB/s448 GB/s
320 GB/s256 GB/s
ROPs
6464
6464
L2 Cache
4MB4MB
2MB2MB
TDP
~225W
185W
180W150W
Transistor Count
10.8 billion10.8 billion
7.2 billion7.2 billion
Die Size
445 mm²445 mm²314 mm²314 mm²
SLI Support
NoNo
Yes (MIO)Yes (MIO)

What lives under the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G Gaming’s hood is already well-known. We dug deep into the TU106 graphics processor and its underlying architecture in Nvidia’s Turing Architecture Explored: Inside the GeForce RTX 2080. Asus takes the same graphics processor with 2,304 of its CUDA cores enabled and bumps the typical GPU Boost rating up slightly to 1815 MHz in Gaming mode and 1,845 MHz in OC mode (versus the Founders Edition card’s 1,710 MHz). We confirmed that Asus uses the higher-end TU106-400A stepping on this model, rather than TU106-400. For those unfamiliar with the difference, Nvidia is labeling its TU106 GPU two ways. Both satisfy the company’s GeForce RTX 2070 specifications, but the higher-binned TU106-400A shows up on the factory-overclocked boards and appears to offer a bit more frequency headroom.

The Asus card's 8GB of GDDR6 memory move data at 14 Gb/s, matching Nvidia’s reference design. As you might expect, then, performance comparisons between the two models fall within a single-digit percentage variance.

All of Asus’ graphics cards include three years of warranty coverage. It’d be great to see the company add a fourth year to its highest-end models, similar to Gigabyte. But at least a three-year warranty matches the guarantee you get with Nvidia's Founders Edition.

How We Tested Asus’ ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G

Asus’ latest will no doubt be found in one of the many high-end CPU/motherboard platforms now available from AMD and Intel. Our graphics station still employs an MSI Z170 Gaming M7 motherboard with an Intel Core i7-7700K CPU at 4.2 GHz, though. The processor is complemented by G.Skill’s F4-3000C15Q-16GRR memory kit. Crucial’s MX200 SSD remains, joined by a 1.4TB Intel DC P3700 loaded down with games.

As far as competition goes, the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 O8G goes up against the GeForce GTX 1080 and Radeon RX Vega 64. Both are, of course, included in our benchmark results, along with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, GeForce RTX 2080, GeForce RTX 2070, Titan V, GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Titan X, GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, and GeForce GTX 1070 from Nvidia. AMD is also represented by the Radeon RX Vega 56. All of the comparison cards are either Founders Edition or reference models.

Our list of benchmarks received some attention ahead of today’s review. It now includes Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, Battlefield V, Destiny 2, Far Cry 5, Forza Motorsport 7, Grand Theft Auto V, Metro: Last Light Redux, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, The Witcher 3, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. Gone, of course, are Battlefield 1 and Doom.

The testing methodology we're using comes from PresentMon: Performance In DirectX, OpenGL and Vulkan. In short, these games are evaluated using a combination of OCAT and our own in-house GUI for PresentMon, with logging via GPU-Z.

As we generate new data, we’re using new drivers. For Nvidia, that means testing the two new games with build 417.22 (all of the Asus card’s numbers are generated with that driver, too). The Founders Edition cards are tested with 416.33 (2070) and 411.51 (2080 and 2080 Ti). Older Pascal-based boards are tested with build 398.82. Titan V’s results were spot-checked with 411.51 to ensure performance didn’t change. AMD’s cards utilize Crimson Adrenalin Edition 18.8.1 (except for the Battlefield V and Wolfenstein tests, which are tested with Adrenalin Edition 18.11.2).

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

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  • jimmysmitty
    The price is always hard to handle but I think Asus has one of the best solutions for cooling. My GTX 1080 has the same cooler and that thing never kicks into high gear and I can never hear it over my case fans.

    I am sure if AMDs Navi is competitive enough it might help drop the price points but you do make a good point. If you put and extra $70 bucks in you get a RTX 2080 which is better performance but then you also have to deal with higher temperatures and louder fan noise. I guess it will depend on what the people want for their build.
  • TCA_ChinChin
    For me, the "not markedly faster" for significantly more money means that the value of this card is extremely poor. In my case, I don't care about the extras this card comes with, if the FPS is the same and the price is higher, then its worse value.
  • shmoochie
    I love ROG's quality but there is a 3 fan 2070 from Gigabyte for $500 right now. I'm not sure I'm seeing an additional $130 worth of features on this card. Also, is it really that useful to compare these cards to the reference versions of every other model?
  • AlistairAB
    149725 said:
    If you put an extra $70 bucks in you get a RTX 2080 which is better performance but then you also have to deal with higher temperatures and louder fan noise. I guess it will depend on what the people want for their build.


    It's not that simple. All you have to do to get your RTX 2080 to beat the 2070 in temps and noise is to lower the power limit in afterburner, with very little loss in performance. We need a 90% power limit 2080 vs this 2070 comparison in value for dollar and noise and heat then...
  • jayptek
    This card is $589 right now on newegg. Not terrible but sure there is a cheaper TU106-400-A1 2070. If you're after a 2070 look up the card and make sure to get a TU106-400A-A1 2070 GPU for best overclock potential. Don't pay extreme premiums for it but if it is close make sure to get the 400A. Those $500 Gigabyte cards are not. Also the Stirx Asus cards are built very nicely. I have a Strix 1080 and 1080 Ti both cars run cool, quiet and have great build and styling.
  • jayptek
    Best value is the Gigabyte and MSI RTX 2080 cards for $700 for sure. I think Asus needs to adjust pricing a bit as their 2080 is usually like $869. There are some difference but one must consider if those matter or not.
  • urbanman2004
    At that price point, RTX as a whole is a early April Fools joke. That's why I opted to buy a 1080TI secondhand on eBay which was less expensive instead, and has more VRAM to boot
  • shmoochie
    2855027 said:
    This card is $589 right now on newegg. Not terrible but sure there is a cheaper TU106-400-A1 2070. If you're after a 2070 look up the card and make sure to get a TU106-400A-A1 2070 GPU for best overclock potential. Don't pay extreme premiums for it but if it is close make sure to get the 400A. Those $500 Gigabyte cards are not. Also the Stirx Asus cards are built very nicely. I have a Strix 1080 and 1080 Ti both cars run cool, quiet and have great build and styling.


    I agree that the build quality is excellent, but I just don't see how there is a market for people who want a 2070 that is a good overclocker at this price point. If you were really into clock speeds and performance, you would just shell out like $80 for a 2080 instead. If you want value, then you would just buy one of the other cheaper versions. There are cheaper ones that run cool, quiet, have backplates etc, so if you buy this one it is just for the bios (back to my point about overclockers just getting a 2080) or for the styling.
  • PapaCrazy
    I think about the parity between this and the Strix 1080, and feel that really nothing has changed in many years except RTX branding. Same basic performance between chips, and the Strix 2070 cooler is a facsimile of the 1080. They did not implement the new shrouded fan design of the 2080. Even launch pricing of $679 vs $629 is within spitting distance. I decided on a sale price 1080 a little while back, but I'm not particularly happy after all these years nothing has changed except maybe the crypto price bubble burst (yet Nvidia doesn't seem to realize it.)
  • JamesSneed
    In the graphics cards world 2018 will be known as the year of the waiting. This is just one more article proving why people have been smart to pass on this overpriced generation. Pretty much anyone who can, is waiting for Nvidia's 7nm die shrink of RTX or AMD's Navi. Seeing sales are down a huge percentage for dedicated graphics cards there are certainly a lot more smart people in this world than I have assumed.
  • vo_danh
    Can you redo BfA on 8.1 patch that actually optimized for DX12?
  • neilaydlett
    Purchased my STRIX 2070 from Amazon for $585, and also received a free copy of Battlefield V ($60.00 value). Well worth the cost over standard edition cards. You get what you pay for: better build quality, higher quality components, better cooling, faster clocks, quieter, and cool lighting effects.
  • johnrob
    The price here is just insane. looks like it's about 5 fps faster than a gtx 1080/vega 64...and you can get a vega 64 for $400.
  • jimmysmitty
    1823012 said:
    The price here is just insane. looks like it's about 5 fps faster than a gtx 1080/vega 64...and you can get a vega 64 for $400.


    You mean a stock designed Vega 64 that runs way hotter, louder and uses more power meaning you need a larger PSU? Sure. But you want the equivalent model its $539.

    I am not saying the price is justified, its still very high, but apples to apples man.
  • johnrob
    149725 said:
    1823012 said:
    The price here is just insane. looks like it's about 5 fps faster than a gtx 1080/vega 64...and you can get a vega 64 for $400.
    You mean a stock designed Vega 64 that runs way hotter, louder and uses more power meaning you need a larger PSU? Sure. But you want the equivalent model its $539. I am not saying the price is justified, its still very high, but apples to apples man.


    To be fair I've never even considered purchasing a Strix branded product before, they always seem to be $100 or so more than any of the competition.

    All this nonsense is making it very hard for me to figure out how to upgrade from my GTX 980. It's possible I wait an entire generation more, since what I want is 2080ti performance at significantly less cost. (Sustainable 144+ fps at 1440p without turning settings down)
  • jimmysmitty
    1823012 said:
    149725 said:
    1823012 said:
    The price here is just insane. looks like it's about 5 fps faster than a gtx 1080/vega 64...and you can get a vega 64 for $400.
    You mean a stock designed Vega 64 that runs way hotter, louder and uses more power meaning you need a larger PSU? Sure. But you want the equivalent model its $539. I am not saying the price is justified, its still very high, but apples to apples man.
    To be fair I've never even considered purchasing a Strix branded product before, they always seem to be $100 or so more than any of the competition. All this nonsense is making it very hard for me to figure out how to upgrade from my GTX 980. It's possible I wait an entire generation more, since what I want is 2080ti performance at significantly less cost. (Sustainable 144+ fps at 1440p without turning settings down)


    Cost more sometimes. Normally once the market is flooded the price normalizes for the AiO models. The "Founders Editions" or reference cards are always the cheapest.

    I bought a GTX 980Ti Strix for $600 which was a common price for higher end factory OCed 980Tis. I like the design and it is quiet. However one fan was starting to go bad. Asus had me send it in. They didn't have a replacement or parts for it so they sent me a GTX 1080 Strix OC instead. Win win.
  • johnrob
    149725 said:
    Cost more sometimes. Normally once the market is flooded the price normalizes for the AiO models. The "Founders Editions" or reference cards are always the cheapest. I bought a GTX 980Ti Strix for $600 which was a common price for higher end factory OCed 980Tis. I like the design and it is quiet. However one fan was starting to go bad. Asus had me send it in. They didn't have a replacement or parts for it so they sent me a GTX 1080 Strix OC instead. Win win.


    Well that's pretty excellent support, worth it in this case. The Asus RTX 2080 blower card looks really good IMO and may end up being what I get. I'm hoping the price comes down from $700 by the time I buy though (March 2019)
  • pyknus
    I might actually buy this.
  • kapsiakchris
    Why is the price difference the opposite of performance... On Newegg the 8G is like 100 more than the O8G yet the O8G is best in performance... Am I missing something?
  • jimmysmitty
    2889612 said:
    Why is the price difference the opposite of performance... On Newegg the 8G is like 100 more than the O8G yet the O8G is best in performance... Am I missing something?


    They have a sale on the O8G version right now making it a much better deal.