Whether Zotac's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme is powerful enough to claim a heavyweight championship belt remains to be seen. After all, there are still more GeForce GTX 1080 Tis we need to test.
We can, however, tell you that Zotac opted for a very different approach than what we saw from MSI or Gigabyte, choosing to brute-force its thermal solution. At least according to the GPU Boost clock rates, the effort pays off. But our acoustic measurements aren't as overwhelmingly positive. Due to poor cooling of the voltage regulation circuitry, the PCB gets very hot, even affecting GP102's packaging. This forces the fans to work overtime as they try to keep temperatures under their 70°C target.
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme has good overclocking potential, the extent of which depends on the quality of your GPU. However, we have to be a little worried about the option to fully utilize this card's power target, since you need to manually adjust the fan settings or risk Saharan temperatures inside of your closed case.
The bespoke fan control solution goes a long way to solve issues we previously identified. We like what Zotac did there, even if we're still scratching our heads wondering how. After all, the values measured externally using a laser tachometer don't match the firmware's fan curve or what monitoring software tells us to expect. Enthusiasts might want to configure a customized fan curve with fan speeds cranked all the way to 100%. As the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme stands, though, this is only possible when the card reports temperatures beyond 50°C.
We do recommend this card for its good GPU cooling, plenty of overclocking potential, higher-clocked memory, and good overall workmanship. But we also have to note some of its flaws, including lackluster VRM cooling, relatively loud and bass-heavy fans, and VRM noise. Weigh your priorities and decide where you can compromise. After all, none of the 1080 Tis we've tested thus far are perfect.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: All Graphics Content