Zotac revealed its first GTX 1080 AIB graphics cards, the GTX 1080 AMP and AMP Extreme. These new GPUs are intended to offer performance higher than stock GTX 1080s, with a custom shroud, heatsink and unique aesthetics. Although the company has officially released pics and information about the GPUs’ features, key specifications--including the clock speeds and the price--have been omitted from the announcement.
Zotac talked up its Icestorm cooling, which takes the form of two (AMP) or three (AMP Extreme) fans resting on an aluminum heatsink attached to direct-contact copper heat pipes. The company also showcased its new Spectra lighting that will be included on the GTX 1080 AMP cards and illuminates the front of the GPU and the backplate with a color of your choosing.
Zotac also revealed a complete redesign of its Firestorm GPU-tweaking software, but there’s no mention of exactly how much more performance you can expect from the new AMP graphics cards compared to the GTX 1080 reference clocks. At least Zotac's GTX 1080 Founders Edition doesn't leave anything to the imagination (its full specs have been formally revealed).
AIB graphics cards are assuredly on the way (Zotac did say we’d see the new AMP cards in June), and information about many of the leading brands’ non-reference GTX 1080 GPUs are slowly trickling out (either officially or unofficially) to the masses. Perhaps it was the need to feel included that pushed Zotac to formally show its hand before it really even placed a bet (the clock speeds and price). We’ll have to wait until Computex to see the GTX 1080 AMP and GTX1080 AMP Extreme up close, and hopefully Zotac can talk about the two specifications that matter most to consumers at the annual event.
Derek Forrest is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Derek Forrest on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.
Picturing the moment the art department is pressuring engineering for the latest mock-up to show off their shroud against the power improvements and performance leaps Pascal has made over the last generation, while adding more transistors.
The next generation engineers will be equipped with permanent face-palms.
Hah, yeah, I know what you mean. However, I'm sure you'd agree that aesthetics are more important now than ever. People love to show off their rigs--why else would they have windows and case mods? If I like the look of a card over another card with comparable specs, guess which one I'm buying. ;)