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Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Review: Fastest GTX 1080 On The Block?

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Since we unboxed Zotac’s monstrous GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme we’ve had a few days to play around with it. We weren’t able to publish performance numbers with our unboxing since we were still waiting for a PC upgrade to be able to really stretch the card’s legs. That PC upgrade has arrived (special shout out to the folks from ASUS that helped us with our motherboard) and we are now able to properly test Zotac’s highest end GTX 1080.

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Before we begin, let’s get the numbers out of the way. While the reference Founders Edition GTX 1080 was already a beast on its own, Zotac’s interpretation manages to surpass it by overclocking the crap out of the card. The NVIDIA Founders Edition 1080 has a base clock of 1607MHz, with a boost clock of 1733MHz. The Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme pushed the base clock of the card to 1771MHz, with a boost clock of up to 1911MHz. Even the memory has been tweaked by the card – the standard memory speed for the 8GB GDDR5X that’s in the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Founder’s edition is rated at 10Gbps, while the one in Zotac’s GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme is 10.8Gbps.

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What’s even more astounding is that the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme achieves this without raising the power requirements of the card, as it’ll still work with power supplies that are rated at 500 watts, the same as the reference card. The card does require two 8-pin connectors instead of one that’s on the reference 1080, but that’s not too bad.

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When we say the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme is monstrous, we mean that literally – the card itself is huge, and will occupy 3 spaces on your motherboard and 2 spaces on your case. It’s also quite long, coming in at 325mm or around 12.7-inches. The beast also has the company’s Icestorm heatsink tech, which utilizes six heatpipes to draw away heat from the GPU itself. This is mated with three fans and a large aluminum heatsink to keep everything nice and cool.

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On our tests, the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme got as high as 79 degrees while gaming and up to 80 degrees (both Celcius) on benchmarks with stock settings. Even under full load we found that the card itself was pretty silent, which isn’t always the case for these videocards. When the card is at idle, the fans automatically turn off as well.

Since adjustable lighting is all the rage these days, you can also tweak the lighting effects via Zotac’s Firestorm app. From the app you can also tweak and overclock the card to your liking, but for our tests we’ll be keeping everything at its factory settings.

Fire Strike 1

TimeSpy Result 1

For benchmarks, we’ll be using 3DMark’s newly released Time Spy benchmark, as well as their Fire Strike Extreme Benchmark. We’re also gong to be using Unigine’s Valley and Heaven benchmarks, both running at max settings and on 1920 x 1080. Unfortunately we don’t have a 4K display to test out the card’s 4K performance – if we’re able to do so in the near future while the card is with us, we’ll be updating this review. The card is being reviewed with an Intel Core i5 6400 Skylake processor, an ASUS B150M Pro Gaming motherboard, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 5TB HDD.

  • 3DMark Time Spy results: 6124
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme results: 9048
  • Unigine Valley results: 4071 (Max FPS: 158.4/Min FPS: 30/Average FPS 97.3)
  • Unigine Haven results: 2636 (Max FPS: 225.3/Min FPS: 9.1/Average FPS 104.7)

Unigine Valley 1

Unigine Heaven 1

Those are pretty impressive results, suffice to say that the card is able to completely demolish any game even with the settings on ultra. Games like Battlefield 4, The Division and Batman: Arkham Knight had no issues whatsoever and ran at the max FPS (around 60). The card also meets and exceeds the requirement for VR systems like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, so you know your rig is already VR ready when you get it.

Video rendering is quite fast as well – in Adobe Premier Pro CC. a typical 5 minute video clip shot and edited in full HD is usually rendered in around 7 to 8 minutes using a typical GTX 950 GPU. With the┬áZotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme, rendering time is cut down to just 4 minutes.

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Obviously the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme isn’t cheap – at Php 40,330 it’s one of the most expensive cards that you can buy today, aside from NVIDIA’s refreshed Titan X. But it’s more than enough for most gamers – while we don’t have a 4K capable monitor to try it out on, reviews on other sites have shown that the card is capable of 4K gaming without any issues whatsoever. We wished there were more freebies on hand for it for the price, but then again its performance more than makes up for that particular lapse.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

One Comment

  1. Too bad, you are using an i5. You should have better specs for your next review making sure that no component is weighing the VGA down .

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