Zotac Geforce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme Review

 

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Zotac just amplified the GTX 1080 to the fullest, let’s see how powerful this monster can be in gaming.

With the Nvidia Geforce 10 series graphic card going on high momentum, some brands are now releasing custom versions for the Pascal cards. Giving it some new features from lighting gimmicks to overclocked settings straight out from the box. Now we got our hands on the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP Edition and tested it to see how this powerhouse can impress us.

Here are the specs for the GTX 1080 AMP Extreme:

  • GPU: GeForce® GTX 1080
  • CUDA cores: 2560
  • Video Memory: 8GB GDDR5X
  • Memory Bus: 256-bit
  • Engine Clock
    • Base: 1771 MHz
    • Boost: 1911 MHz
  • Memory Clock: 10.8 GHz
  • PCI Express: 3.0
  • Display Outputs
    • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4
    • HDMI 2.0b
    • DL-DVI
  • HDCP Support: Yes
  • Multi Display Capability: Quad Display
  • Recommended Power Supply: 500W
  • Power Consumption: 270W
  • Power Input: Dual 8-pin
  • DirectX: 12 API feature level 12_1
  • OpenGL: 4.5
  • Cooling: Triple Fan IceStorm
  • Slot Size: 2.5 slots
  • SLI: Yes SLI HB Bridge Supported
  • Card Length: 325mm x 148mm

 

The 10 Series Features

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The Pacscal architecture cards not just provide faster memory and graphic performance, it also added some new features to enhance the visuals of the games. One of them include the fourth generation Delta Color Correction, this allows the card to compress the pixel color data, giving more space and bandwidth to load more data. Another is the Dynamic load balancing scheduling system where it allows for the adjustment of the assigned tasks for the GPU so it can handle more load. The Pascal cards are also VR ready, where VR games required a larger resolution size for its games. It can also handle multiple displays simultaneously thanks to the Simultaneous multi-display feature where it prevents the display to be distorted when it was displayed simultaneously on multiple monitors.

The Appearance

One thing you will notice on the GTX 1080 AMP Extreme is that it is heavy that your typical 1080 card, sporting a gunmetal color that kind of sheer power the card can provide, it also has three whopping 90mm EKO fans that also gives a very intimidating look and the unique fins are not just for looks, it provide a better airflow to the card for proper ventilation. The backplate shows the Zotac logo with a black and yellow color scheme that gives an impressive look on the back portion of the card while keeping it secured from dust. Another big highlight on the appearance is the added lighting gimmick called Spectra, which is somewhat a new feature for high-end graphic cards, the lights can be found on the front and backplate of the 1080. Since this monster supposed to handle high-graphic games without a sweat, it will require a large amount of power to run, so the AMP Extreme version of the 1080 requires two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors. Gamers who want to set up a multi-screen gaming rig may have to use DisplayPort compatible monitors as the card only has one DVI port and one HDMI plus 3 DisplayPort 1.4, so if you don’t have any monitors with DisplayPort compatibility, you may be limited to just two screens.

The Features

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The IceStorm feature on the card provides a better heat distribution thanks to the six heatpipes mounted on the card, this along with the EKO fans help disperse the heat faster, the new design on the heat sink and improved placement on the heat pipes ensures that the card will have a better thermal regulation. The Spectra lighting provides a customizable lighting effect for the 1080 that users can tweak to their own liking, they can access the feature through the FireStorm app. It also has the FREEZE feature that disables the cooling fans whenever the card is not running any visual heavy apps or it does not reach a certain temperature, this helps lessen the wear and tear on the fans for a longer lifespan and also keeps it quiet for those who are conscious with the noise on their gaming rigs. Power Boost is the most helpful feature that is added to the AMP Extreme card, it reduces the power fluctuation on the graphic card even if the card is being used to its full power. Though both the GTX 1080 and 1070 have 8GB memory, the 1080 uses a GDDR5X memory that is faster than the standard GDDR5.

AMP Extreme Vs the Regular version

The AMP Extreme version of the GTX 1080 was initially overclocked to provide a bigger boost from its original settings, and overclocking any component will result in a higher temperature output as it is exerting more power than its original capabilities, the 1080 initially has base clock of 1607 MHz and boost clock of 1733 MHz while the AMP Extreme has a base clock of 1771 MHz and boost clock of 1911 MHz. The memory clock also gets a boost, from its original 10 Gbps, the AMP Extreme has 10.8 Gbps memory speed. The Founder’s Edition requires at least 180 w to power the card up, but the AMP Extreme version needs more power at around 270 W thanks to the overclocked settings right of the package.

The Bundled Software

Included on the package was the installer for the Zotac FireStorm GPU tweaking app. The layout has been improved to make it more presentable and it still have the usual tweaks for overclocking the graphics card. It also has the option to set up the SLI when using multiple cards. The new addition for the FireStorm was the Spectra lighting feature, the GTX 1080 AMP Extreme is supported where you can configure the light effects on your card without the need to reboot your rig. With 7 colors that can have different color combinations for the fan portions of the card and on the side, it gives the 1080 a personalized style that can match with your other LED lights installed on your rig, it can also toggle from breathing, strobe or cycle effect with just a press of a button on the app.

The Performance

And of the course the most important part of the review is the performance of the GTX 1080 AMP Extreme, we conducted a series of tests to the card to see how powerful it is in terms of gaming and other application performance. We used a series of benchmarking programs to test the GTX 1080 and even some of the latest games.

As for Unigine Heaven Benchmark, the GTX 1080 showed tremendous power as it scored high on DirectX9 and DirectX11 even with both Vsync disable and enabled. The same goes with the results on PCMark. Now in terms of games, all of the latest games that we tested showed an expected high results in 1080p and for DirectX 11.

benchmark games 2

 

The GTX 1080 can handle them pretty well without any sign of hiccups and all of the tested games were in the highest settings. Tom Clancy’s The Division holds up pretty well and there are only slight drops (around 57 frames per second) in some areas during shootouts in streets and in areas with weather effects (fog or blizzards). Fallout 4 had no issues of frame drops, but only in some rare occasions in the open world (not featured on the captured video). NBA 2K16 had a steady 60 frames with no issue of dropping and finally with Overwatch it can really go well even with multiple characters clashing on screen. Temperature level stays at around 65 degrees Celsius when performing and stays at 35 degree when idle.

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Conclusion

The AMP Extreme of Zotac’s GTX 1080 is one heck of a beast. Overclocked to provide a better performance along with a powerful cooling system, it does not disappoint any enthusiasts in bringing the best from the Pascal cards. Added with the Spectra to add more flair to any custom made PC rigs with more options for customization. But be warned as you will be spending a lot on your budget in getting this card, but if you are concern with the hefty price tag, there is always other GTX 1080 with a decent price.

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