Visually, the ASUS STRIX uses a mixture of black and various shades of gray, nice shininess there indeed. The front cooler shroud is made out of plastic, while the backplate is metal.
Dimensions of the card are 28 cm x 14.5 cm.
Installation requires three slots in your system.
The watercooling radiator is permanently attached to the card. It comes pre-filled and is ready to go, no maintenance is needed.
The cables for fan power and RGB look a little bit messy, some additional sleeving would have been nice.
On the GPU side, everything looks much cleaner, though.
Display connectivity includes two standard DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.1, and one USB type-C with DisplayPort passthrough.
The card uses two 8-pin power inputs. This configuration is rated for up to 375 W power draw.
ASUS has installed a dual-BIOS feature on the STRIX that lets you toggle from the default "Quiet" BIOS to a "Performance" BIOS, which runs higher fan speed. Clock and power limit are identical and both BIOSes have fan stop.
Two fan headers near the back of the card can be used to connect case fans to the graphics card. These fans will now run in sync with the graphics card radiator fans—stopped when idle and increasing in speed depending on the GPU temperature. Since the graphics card is the primary heat source in most computers, this makes a lot of sense and helps keep noise levels down.
The AMD Radeon RX 6000 series doesn't support multi-GPU.
The waterblock uses a large copper baseplate that provides cooling not only for the GPU, but also the memory chips. Note the thermal pads, which indicate that VRM cooling is handled by the main heatsink. That's the reason why there's a fan installed on the graphics card, too.
ASUS has combined the pump and waterblock into one compact unit that looks great.
Not sure if you noticed in the previous pictures, but one row of memory chips is missing thermal pads. Guess someone forgot to install them at the factory. Memory overclocking works fine, though, so this doesn't seem to be having any effect.
The backplate is a very nice design that's thicker than other backplates and feels very rigid, nicely done. Note the thermal pads on the back, arranged in a memory chip pattern—is this a hint that we'll see the same cooler on the GeForce RTX 3090, too?