Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP Review: Cooler Than Nvidia’s Founders Edition

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In our launch coverage, we noted that the GeForce RTX 2080 wasn't that much faster than the GTX 1080 Ti, even though it costs quite a bit more. Yes, there are new features such as ray tracing and DLSS, but most games don't yet support them. 

When we first reviewed it, the Zotac RTX 2080 AMP's $840 price tag made it a little more expensive than Nvidia’s $800 GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition in the United States. However, in the UK, Nvidia's card was much pricier, clocking in at £749, compared to the AMP's £640 street price. In either country, Zotac's card was $140 (£104) higher than the cheapest GTX 1080 Ti cards, while serving up very similar performance.

Nowadays, GeForce GTX 1080 Tis are rare. Moreover, the Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP is much less expensive in the United States and UK. It's now one of the cheapest models available in both countries ($750 and £585, excluding VAT). At those prices, it's far easier for the Tom's Hardware editorial team to get behind a purchase.

Let's say you want ray tracing and DLSS support, but can't afford to purchase the superior RTX 2080 Ti, which carries an MSRP of $1,199 (£1,099). Which GeForce RTX 2080 do you pick? We’re only just getting started reviewing partner boards. A month ago, it was easy for us to lean toward Nvidia's home-brewed solution since third-party cards were handicapped by significant premiums. Now, however, Zotac's Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP is one of the least expensive models available.

The Founder's Edition card has a dual-slot form factor, vapor chamber cooling, and higher-quality materials. The Zotac card does sport a slightly higher GPU Boost clock rate, more conservative fan speeds, and a cooler-running GPU—it’s a highly capable card to be sure. Copious use of plastic, lighting that almost seems like an afterthought, and an exposed NVLink interface cheapen the Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP’s aesthetic compared to its competition.

Price drops over the last few weeks improve Zotac's standing in our comparisons to the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition and competing partner boards. Although it's still an expensive graphics card, the Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP is a much more compelling product for gamers craving smooth performance on high-refresh QHD monitors or playable frame rates at 4K. Our impression (and rating) of the card is now updated to reflect its competitive position.

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Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • John Nemesh
    "Just buy it", right? Nevermind that it's essentially the same performance as a card that costs hundreds less...
  • Wes006
    Hey John Nemesh, when your whole life flashes before your eyes, how much of it do you want to spend trolling every Tom's Hardware article with "Just buy it"? Not everyone shares the same opinion as Avram Piltch; you don't have to be a sheep and spread the toxicity.
  • Specter0420
    I just picked up a refurb GTX 1080 a few days ago for $430, I couldn't wait, my 1060 6GB was giving me issues and the warranty was about to expire at microcenter (so it was $250ish with the trade up, including a new 2 year microcenter warranty). After reviewing these benchmarks I feel good knowing I made the right decision. Saving $400+ while only losing 5-25 FPS is an easy decision for me.
  • aceb0079
    Lol ' prices change rapidly '. No, no they don't, not for consumers buying thru normal channels, including online. Wish they didn't spread misinformation like that, smh.
  • 680lightning
    Price did change rapidly for 2080Tis. Keep the ''Lol'' to yourself because pretty sure it's not possible for you to follow stores from different countries to check availability of some of these AIB cards. Maybe you aren't even a potential buyer!