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ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition Graphic Card Review

  1. Intro, Specs and Unboxing
  2. Graphic Card Overview
  3. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  4. Futuremark Benchmark
  5. OpenGL Benchmarks
  6. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  7. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  8. Hitman
  9. DOOM
  10. GPU Computation Benchmark
  11. Folding at Home and LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
  12. GPU Cooling and Manual OC Impressions
  13. Conclusion
  14. Online Purchase Links
  15. View All


Disclosure: This unit is supplied by Zotac

About AMP! Extreme’s legacy…

With my hands finally on the ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition, we’ll see if the added advantage makes a difference. ZOTAC GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme made a very good impression enough to earn itself the gold standard. As you’d expect with AMP! Extreme, these are very big cards and are usually known to have the highest factory overclocks with great cooling and the extended warranty period.

About the GTX 1080…

There’s nothing out of the ordinary to speak about the GTX 1080, apart from what’s already been told in its Founders Edition review. This is a high-end card and currently at the top of the GPU food chain. Unless AMD miraculously coughs up something or until the fabled GTX 1080 Ti comes up at some point in the future. But in this time of age, justifying a high-end/ very expensive graphic card is a hard sell. Mostly because mid-end offerings are keeping 1440p users very happy (like the GeForce GTX 1070). This is a very large user base.

Still, GTX 1080 is a great card. While GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme does seem to be a hit with a lot of users, does it deliver the same value for a higher costing performer?

Packaging and Contents

ZOTAC cards are protected by a very good internal packaging. This card is not an exception. The manual and installation disc are probably missing due to an exchange of hands between reviewers but it should be there with the retail packaging. ZOTAC provided two sleeved PCIe cables, a pair of cables nobody needs and uses as modern power supplies natively provide them.

Specification

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
Supported OS Windows 10 / 8 / 7
Card Length 325mm x 148mm
Accessories 2 x Dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe adapter
Driver Disk
User Manual

Initial Impression

The wow factor is the size as it measures 12.79″ in length and 5.82″ in width. In comparison, the founder’s edition is 10.5″ in length and 4.38″ in width. Wow, can AMP! Extreme cards get any bigger???

The Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme has RGB LED around the fans, the “Push the Limit” backplate area and the left side of the card. Zotac follows a very familiar colour scheme that is seen in its GTX 1070 variant. Zotac refers its main cooling unit as ‘Icestorm’ and its backplate/fan shroud design as Carbon exoarmor. The multi-coloured lighting accents are called ‘Spectra’.

The card occupies 2.5 PCIe slots, one of the characteristics of the AMP! Extreme cards. The shroud and the back plate are shaped in a way that it wraps the card, giving it an ‘industrial’ look as an end product. You cannot see the copper heatpipes apart from the rear I/O and from PCIe x16 interface. Other graphic cards with a more open design have a plated heat pipes to avoid oxidation. MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X is an example of that. The shroud is plastic while the backplate wrap is metal.

The GTX 1080 supports SLI. The graphic card takes additional power from to 8-pin PCIe. There’s also an LED indicator towards the top which lights up if its connected properly.

The backplate vents provide passive access for heat dissipation and it also gives a good look to the card. The LED highlights are at the both ends of the fans. Zotac provides 90mm ‘EKO FAN’ which they claim to have a better design than the typical GPU fans. Due to the blade designs, it could provide additional airflow up to 30%. Note that fans will only turn on once it crosses a certain temperature.

Teardown and PCB Overview

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Zotac’s Icestorm unit is a copper flat heatbase with five heatpipes going through it. It’s a typical blower design but since some company cheap out on the heatbase, the copper surface is appreciated. Notice the metal area around the heatbase.

The card uses Micron’s GDDR5X memory total of 8GB. The PCB uses an 8+2 power phase design.

Test Setup

Hardware BBQ gets very minimum support from hardware manufacturers since we have a no-strings-attached policy and ended up blacklisting even tier 1 brands for improper misconduct. But thanks to a handful of companies who value the importance and benefits of providing components for the test bench, we do what we’re good at with the resources at hand. I would like to thank:

  • Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT Rev 1.0 motherboard
  • WD India for providing 4x WD Red 3TB NAS drives
  • Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
Test Setup for: ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition
CPU+ CPU Cooler Intel i7 4790K + Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT Motherboard
Memory Kingston 8GB 1600 MHz DDRIII
Primary OS drive SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD + WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX
Power Supply Corsair TX750
Chassis Lian Li A70F Full Tower PC Case

Driver Version: 368.64

The fan speed is kept at auto for stock benchmark and on 100% when overclocked via WATTMAN and on Turbo preset when overclocked via Gigabyte Xtreme Engine. The

Futuremark Benchmarks

  • 3DMark: Sky Diver, Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme and Fire Strike Presets
3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your PC and mobile devices in one app. Whether you’re gaming on a smartphone, tablet, notebook, or a desktop gaming PC, 3DMark includes a benchmark designed specifically for your hardware.

With more tests coming soon, we’ve given 3DMark a new interface that’s faster, more flexible and easier to use. What’s more, you can now get faster downloads and save storage space by choosing to install only the tests you need.

  • 3DMark 11: Xtreme Preset
3DMark 11 is a DirectX 11 video card benchmark test for measuring your PC’s gaming performance. 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of DirectX 11 features including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 consistently and reliably tests your PC’s DirectX 11 performance under game-like loads.

OpenGL Benchmarks: Cinebench 11.5 and Cinebench R15

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

Game Benchmarks

  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor DX 11 with 3 presets
Fight through Mordor and uncover the truth of the spirit that compels you, discover the origins of the Rings of Power, build your legend and ultimately confront the evil of Sauron in this new chronicle of Middle-earth.
  • Ashes of the Singularity DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each

Planet by planet, a war is raging across the galaxy. The technological singularity has given humanity the power to expand further than they ever have before. Now, they compete with each other and their sentient artificial intelligence adversaries for control of newfound worlds.

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each
Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautiful hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you will join Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition as she seeks to discover the secret of immortality.
  • Hitman (2016) DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each
As Agent 47, you perform contract hits on high-profile targets in exotic locations around the world. With the Full Experience, you will have access to all episodes as they release periodically throughout 2016, starting April 2016.
  • DOOM OpenGL 4.5 with 3 presets each
DOOM returns as a brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience. Relentless demons, impossibly destructive guns, and fast, fluid movement provide the foundation for intense, first-person combat.

Buy game licenses for cheap!

For measuring GPU computation, I’ve included Compubench benchmark workloads.

  • Face Detection and TV-L1 Optical Flow Test
  • Ocean Surface Simulation Test
  • Particle Simulation-64K Test
  • Computation Benchmark- Graphics and Video Composition
  • Bitcoin Mining

OpenCL Benchmarks

  • Folding at Home Benchmark
  • LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark

3DMark 11 Benchmark

Extreme Preset


3DMark Benchmarks

Sky Diver

Fire Strike

Fire Strike Extreme

Fire Strike Ultra

Cinebench 11.5

cinebench-11-5-zotac-gtx-1080-amp-ext

Cinebench R15

cinebench-r15-zotac-gtx-1080-amp-ext

shadow-of-mordor-dx12-ultra-zotac-gtx-1080-amp-ext

Presets List

Medium High Very High
Texture Quality Medium High Very High
Anisotropic Filter 2x 4x 16x
Shadow Quality Medium High High
Sun Soft Shadows Off On High
Depth of Field On On Very High
Level of Detail High High Very High
Dynamic Foliage Medium Medium High
Ambient Occlusion On On HBAO+
PureHair On On On
Specular Reflection Quality Normal Normal Normal
Vignette Blur Yes Yes Yes
Motion Blur Yes Yes Yes
Bloom Yes Yes Yes
Tessellation Yes Yes
Screen Space Reflections Yes Yes Yes
Lens Flares Yes Yes Yes
Screen Effects Yes Yes Yes
Film Grain

DX 11 Test

DX 12 Test

Presets List

Preset 1 Preset 2 Preset 3
Super Sampling 1 1.5 2
Level of Detail Low Medium Ultra
Anti-Aliasing Off FXAA SMAA
Texture Quality Low Medium High
Texture Filter Trilinear 8x 16x
SSAO Off On On
Shadow Maps Low Medium Ultra
Shadow Resolution Low Medium High

DX 11 Test

DX 12 Test


Presets List

Medium High Ultra
Lights Quality Medium High Ultra
Shadows Quality Medium High Ultra
Player Self Shadow Off On On
Directional Occlusion Quality Medium High High
Decal Quality Medium High Ultra
Decal Filtering 2x 4x 8x
Virtual Texturing Page Size Medium High Ultra
Reflections Quality Medium High Ultra
Particles Quality Medium High Ultra
Compute Shaders Off On On
Motion Blur Quality Medium High Ultra
Depth of Field Off On On
Depth of Field Antialiasing Off On On
HDR Bloom Off On On
Lens Flare Off On On
Lens Dirt Off On On
Rendering Mode Default Default Default
Sharpening Amount 2.0 2.0 2.0
Film Grain 1.0 1.0 1.0
UI Opacity 70% 70% 70%
Show Performance Metrics Off Off Off

OpenGL Test


Bitcoin Mining

bitcoin-zotac-gtx-1080-amp-ext

FAHBench

FAHBench is the official Folding@Home GPU benchmark. It measures the compute performance of GPUs for Folding@Home. In addition, by use of a loadable DLL system, it provides vendors and skilled hackers with a method make customized plugins and test their results

The single precision implicit model most closely relates to current folding performance. Nvidia GPU will involve tests involving CUDA and OpenCL while AMD Radeon is limited to OpenCL tests.

folding-home-zotac-gtx-1080-amp-ext

LuxMark

LuxMark is a OpenCL cross-platform benchmark tool. The idea for the program was conceived in 2009 by Jean-Francois ‘Jromang’ Romang. It was intended as a promotional tool for LuxRender (to quote original Jromang’s words: “LuxRender propaganda with OpenCL”). The idea was quite simple, wrap SLG inside an easy to use graphical user interface and use it as a benchmark for OpenCL.

luxmark-zotac-gtx-1080-amp-ext

ASIC Quality and Overclocking

asic

Like many Nvidia Pascal GPUs, the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme did not show its quality rating.

Reference AMP! EXT Manual OC
Base  1607  1771 1832
Boost 1733 1911 1971

The AMP! Extreme has a 10.20% / 10.27% boost compared to the founders edition. When overclocked, there’s a 14% / 13.73% increase over the FE, and 3.44% / 3.13% bump compared to AMP! Extreme’s factory OC.

The stress testing on the first two attempts prompted the driver to crash during 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra testing.

Fan Speed and Temperature Observation

If you’ve noticed the stock factory clocks’ temperatures and fanspeed, you’ll notice that it achieved 29% fan speed even at the time the card was up to 71 degrees celcius. I wasn’t able to hear any fan noise even at the speed of up to 88%. With a 120 MHz overclock, it stays 60 degrees celcius.

3DMark Benchmark

With Futuremarks, its able to make a pretty decent bump in performance. The in-game performance are as follows:

Game Benchmarks- DX 12/OpenGL 4.5 Highest presets

Size DOES matter!

Just like its GTX 1070, the size shouldn’t bother you unless your case has space for two PCIe slots or cannot accommodate 12-inch cards. The question is whether Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme needs to be this big? What would be nice to see if the fan profiles were set with a bit higher speed should the temperature touch 70 degrees celsius. Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme is more than capable of doing that.

I recommended a VGA holder for such cards:

You get what you pay for…

If you’re shopping for a GTX 1080, you’ll think if its worth a premium over the premium GTX 1080. At the end of the day. you’re paying for the factory overclocks on the core and memory, cooler, LED lights and the added advantage of its extended warranty. The difference in performance between the FE version and factory overclocked AMP! Extreme isn’t really something great to write about. With this unit, I feel the card should have had the 1st overclock stable. Many would agree that GTX 1080 would be more future-ready for 1440p gaming, along with 8GB GDDR5x. What’s important to write about is that the FE does get noisy at high speed. With this card, a higher manual fan speed will still not bother you in closed case setup. Plus you get extra RGB LED action.

The cheapest Founders Edition I can find in Amazon US is from MSI, costing about $648. In India, while its cheaper on retail, people do buy from online- Rs. 69,000 from Leadtek. While in the US, the Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme will cost $681, folks here will be amused or pleased to know its cheaper to buy this over the FE as it costs Rs. 62,900/-.

  • Highest factory OC Graphic card
  • Excellent Cooling Potential
  • Spectra RGB lighting
  • Extended Warranty after registration
  • Auto fan profile should allow higher fan speed at high temperatures
India US UK
INR 62,900 $680.99 £668.45

ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition Graphic Card Review from hardware

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One comment

  1. Doom:

    GTX1070FE min 49
    GTX1060FE min 80

    WTF?

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