Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme Review

As a PC Partner brand (like Inno3D), Zotac celebrated its 10-year anniversary last winter. The company's success isn't just attributable to its many mainstream-oriented products, but also the enthusiast-class hardware it sells. Hardcore gamers with deep pockets are the ones Zotac wants to attract with its GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme.

Since the actual performance of any third-party card depends on the GPU Boost frequency it can sustain, and thus on cooling, power limits, and processor quality, any review that relies on bar charts is little more than a snapshot of a single specimen. That's why we're putting our emphasis on the actual implementation of each model. To that end, a lot of equipment goes into thoroughly documenting a graphics card's behaviors. If you'd like a peek at what goes into such an evaluation, check out our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Review. It makes for a good baseline on which Zotac builds.

Specifications

The Package, Dimensions & Interfaces

With an extreme weight of 1.568kg, this card is a whopper, to be sure. It measures 31cm from the slot bracket's outer edge to the shroud's back. A 13cm height is slightly shorter than other GeForce GTX 1080 Tis we've reviewed, and a thickness of 5.3cm is a little slimmer, too. Still, you'll need to reserve three expansion slots to accommodate it. And the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme requires an extra 0.5cm of clearance on the other side as well; keep that in mind if you're using a large CPU cooler.

Although Zotac uses mostly plastic for the card's cover, it feels fairly classy.

If you turn the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme over in your hands, it's apparent that Zotac's backplate wraps around on the top and back, helping stabilize the frame a bit. The plate's primary purpose is to look pretty, though. Unfortunately, it doesn't help with cooling (though we're willing to bet the company changes this at some point).

Up top, you'll find an RGB-backlit Zotac logo and a white, printed GeForce GTX label. A pair of eight-pin power connectors is positioned at the end of the board and rotated by 180°.

Peeking into the top and bottom reveals that the cooler's fins are oriented vertically. We don't see a VRM heat sink, which could have helped with cooling. In its place, the board features a piece of extruded aluminum that receives some airflow from the fans above.

The card's back side reveals two 8mm and three 6mm heat pipes for the right part of the cooler structure. At this angle and from the outside, Zotac's fourth 6mm pipe is not visible.

The slot bracket features five display outputs, of which a maximum of four can be used simultaneously in a multi-monitor setup. In addition to one dual-link DVI connector, the bracket also hosts a HDMI 2.0b port and three DisplayPort 1.4-capable interfaces. Remember that Nvidia retired DVI from its Founders Edition design, so Zotac had to bring it back for this board. The rest of the slot plate is dotted with openings for airflow, though they're not functional due to Zotac's fin design.

A GPU-Z screenshot provides the most pertinent technical information, even if the GPU Boost values we observed were much higher than Zotac's official specifications.


Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FEZotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP ExtremeNvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FENvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti
GPU
GP102
GP102
GP102GP104
GM200
CUDA Cores
3584
3584
35842560
2816
Base Clock Rate
1417 MHz1480 MHz
1645 MHz
1607 MHz1000 MHz
GPU Boost Clock Rate
1531 MHz+1582 MHz+
1759 MHz
1733 MHz+1076 MHz+
Memory Size and Type
12GB GDDR5X
11GB GDDR5X
11GB GDDR5X8GB GDDR5X
6GB GDDR5
Die Size
471 mm²
471 mm²
471 mm²314 mm²
601 mm²
Process Technology
16nm
16nm
16nm16nm
28nm
Transistors
12 billion12 billion12 billion7.2 billion
8 billion
Streaming Multiprocessors (SM)
28
28
28
20
22
GFLOPS (Base Clock)
10,157
10,609
11,791
8228
5632
Texture Units
224
224
224160
176
Texture Fill Rate
317.4 GT/s331.5 GT/s368.5 GT/s
257.1 GT/s214 GT/s
ROPs
968888
6496
Pixel Fill Rate
136 GPix/s130.24 GPix/s144.8 GPix/s
114.2 GPix/s116.7 GPix/s
Memory Data Rate
10 Gb/s11 Gb/s11 Gb/s10 Gb/s7 Gb/s
Memory Bus
384-bit
352-bit
352-bit256-bit
384-bit
Memory Bandwidth
480 GB/s
484 GB/s
492.8 GB/s320 GB/s
336 GB/s
L2 Cache
3MB
2816KB
2816KB2MB
3MB
TDP
250W
250W
300W (Power Target)
180W
250W

Test System & Measurement Methods

We explained our test system and methodology in How We Test Graphics Cards. If you want to learn more about the procedures we're using in today's review, have a look at that story.

Since its publication, however, we did beef up our platform and CPU cooling, mostly to rule out the possibility of a processor-imposed bottleneck. This is particularly important given the flagship status of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Test Equipment And Environment

System
Intel Core i7-6900K @ 4.3 GHz
MSI X99S XPower Gaming Titanium
Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200
1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System SSD)
2x 960GB Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)
be quiet Dark Power Pro 11, 850W PSU
Windows 10 Pro (All Updates)
Cooling
Alphacool Eisblock XPX
Alphacool Eiszeit 2000 Chiller
2x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM (Closed Case Simulation)
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (Used when Switching Coolers)
PC Case
Lian Li PC-T70 with Extension Kit and Mods
Configurations: Open Benchtable, Closed Case
Power Consumption Measurement
Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply
2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100kHz, DC)
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz)
1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
Thermal Measurement
1 x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Noise Measurement
NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz)
Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (L x D x H)
Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm
Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA)
Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise

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