Asus has been using the Strix moniker on its top cards for a while now. The company started with the GTX 780 and R9 280, and continues with the latest Maxwell-based GPUs. Each of the cards in this line shares a common design based on the name. Strix is a Greek word meaning owl, and the designers took that as inspiration these cards' aesthetics.
The front of the cooling solution distinctly resembles the face of an owl. The fans are clearly used to represent eyes, and the way the shroud pinches at the top between them looks an awful lot like a forehead and nose. Even the sticker on the center cap of each fan is drawn in a way that makes it look like the glowing rings of an owl's eyes while it spins.
As has become typical of Asus cards, the GTX 960 Strix OC includes a black back plate. It covers the entire PCB. However, the heat sink itself is actually quite a bit longer than the PCB and back plate. It sticks out more than an inch in the rear.
Not to worry though, even with the extended heat sink, the card is quite short, measuring a scant 215mm long. It is a little taller than a standard expansion card though, at 121mm tall. Width is typical of a dual-slot card (41mm).
Using the company’s exclusive DirectCU II cooling solution, this card has four 10mm copper heat pipes surrounded by aluminum fins connected directly to an oversized copper contact plate. Asus claims the surface is 220% larger than reference designs, which should result in significantly lower temperatures. Even with all this added copper, the total weight of the card is only 600g.
Nvidia’s reference design for the GTX 960 calls for a single six-pin power connector. Given the GTX 960 Strix OC's overclocked nature, it is somewhat surprising to see that the company stuck with this guidance. Perhaps that's due to the Super Alloy Power components, purportedly made from specially formulated alloy and claimed to reduce power loss.
Display outputs follow the recent trend of including three DisplayPort, one DVI and one HDMI. This configuration is more compatible with newer monitors, but could be troublesome if you own a lot of older screens.
The package doesn’t include a lot of extras. You get the card itself, which is tightly held in form-fitting soft foam. There’s a DVI-to-VGA adapter, a driver disc, a quick-start manual, as well as a case badge and Strix decal.
The driver disc includes Asus APRP 188.8.131.52, Asus GPU Tweak Streaming 1.0.3, GeForce Experience, Google Chrome and Google Toolbar.