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.
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 FE||Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE||Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti|
|Base Clock Rate||1417 MHz||1480 MHz||1645 MHz||1607 MHz||1000 MHz|
|GPU Boost Clock Rate||1531 MHz+||1582 MHz+||1759 MHz||1733 MHz+||1076 MHz+|
|Memory Size and Type||12GB GDDR5X||11GB GDDR5X||11GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR5X||6GB GDDR5|
|Die Size||471 mm²||471 mm²||471 mm²||314 mm²||601 mm²|
|Transistors||12 billion||12 billion||12 billion||7.2 billion||8 billion|
|Streaming Multiprocessors (SM)||28||28||28||20||22|
|GFLOPS (Base Clock)||10,157||10,609||11,791||8228||5632|
|Texture Fill Rate||317.4 GT/s||331.5 GT/s||368.5 GT/s||257.1 GT/s||214 GT/s|
|Pixel Fill Rate||136 GPix/s||130.24 GPix/s||144.8 GPix/s||114.2 GPix/s||116.7 GPix/s|
|Memory Data Rate||10 Gb/s||11 Gb/s||11 Gb/s||10 Gb/s||7 Gb/s|
|Memory Bandwidth||480 GB/s||484 GB/s||492.8 GB/s||320 GB/s||336 GB/s|
|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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