Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 6800 OC – Design and Features
The ROG brand carries a certain aesthetic and the RX 6800 Strix OC carries the weight of that industrial sci-fi look in every way. The front of the graphics card is trimmed in strips of gunmetal gray aluminum broken by polygons of rigid black plastic and exposed hex screws. Even the design of the fans adds to the look with its aluminum-topped center shaft and logo work. The metal backplate complements the look with its two-tone design and vent port.
The only thing that really breaks from this look is the glossy RGB strip on the side, but it adds a cool bit of customization and visual flair if you’re already running an RGB gaming rig.More striking than even the aesthetic is just how large it is. At 13 inches long and just shy of triple-slot thickness, it’s much larger than AMD’s reference edition board. That added size carries benefits in sound and thermals however.
In fact, cooling and acoustics appear to be the name of the game with this card. Apart from having such a large heatsink, Asus has enhanced the fans with more blades and reduced air turbulence with a center fan that spins the opposite direction. The center fan also features two additional blades to increase static pressure into the heatsink, forcing more air between the fins for enhanced cooling. The heatsink also overlaps the PCB, which allows for a nice open vent on the backplate and improved exhaust. Checking the temps after several hours of gaming, I found myself hovering around 58C with a peak temp of 62C.
The card also features a dual BIOS option, controlled by a small switch on the back of the card. You can choose from Performance or Quiet Modes. Quiet Mode limits the overall fan speed at the expense of some additional heat, but since the GPU isn’t overly loud in the first place, I left this off and opted for higher cooling.
Underneath that heatsink is the GPU itself, which is built upon AMD’s RDNA2 architecture. As is the case with all of our AIB reviews, we’ll direct you back to the original RX 6800 review for the full breakdown. The RX 6800 Strix OC carries with it all of the benefits you would expect from an RX 6000-series graphics card: hardware-accelerated ray tracing, ridiculously fast clock speeds, improved performance per watt, PCI Express 4.0, and, of course, 16 GB of GDDR6 video memory. It also features an identical core count with 3840 shader units, as well as other enhancements like AV1 decoding, and software features like Radeon Boost and Radeon Anti-Lag.
This version one-ups the original RX 6800 in sheer speed, however. Out of the box, it features overclocks to both Boost and Game Clock speeds. The biggest boost is to its Game Clock which is rated at 1980 MHz, 165 MHz faster than the OG RX 6800. Boost Clock is a bit closer but is still 85 MHz faster at 2190 MHz. Of course, like all modern GPUs, the Strix will automatically speed up or slow down depending on power and thermal headroom, and while gaming, it regularly clocked itself up to more than 2100 MHz.
Finally, if running multiple displays is your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that Asus added a third DisplayPort 1.4 output. There is a trade-off, however, as the USB Type-C connection for easily connecting VR headsets has been dropped. Sorry virtual reality fans.