ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition Review – Fast and Cool!
Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP – Test Setup
The images below (not the actual benchmark setup) show how the graphics card looks like with its LED lighting effect. You can only choose 7 colors and several lighting effects. Look at the single photo below and notice what I have encircled in red. The GTX 1080 Ti AMP has an onboard MCU module that is also present on the AMP Extreme and ArcticStorm Editions. The MCU does all the processing for the Spectra LED lighting effect; as well as providing better temperature monitoring and helps control FREEZE (fan stop feature). The blue LED light simply indicates that the graphics card is healthy and active. While this is a nice feature, I do find the location of the blue LED a little bit off.
In benchmarking the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition, I am using a Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 motherboard powered with an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, overclocked to 4.5GHz. Overclocking the CPU to 4.5GHz should be on par or at least performs similar with the newer Core i7-7700K at stock. Below are the rest of the system specifications:
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7
Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.5GHz
CPU Cooler: Cryorig A40 Ultimate All-in-One
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LED DDR4-3200MHz 32GB
Graphics card: Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition
Storage Drives: Zotac Sonix 480GB NVMe SSD, WD Blue SSD
Power Supply: FSP Aurum PT 1000W
Chassis: In Win 805 (without the glass side panel installed)
Below is a GPU-Z screenshot of the said graphics card:
Zotac FireStorm GPU Utility
Zotac has a graphics card utility called FireStorm. This is a handy tool to tweak the graphics card’s GPU clock speeds, memory clock speed, control the fans manually and it also provides basic GPU monitoring. If you are not familiar with Zotac’s FireStorm, you may use other third party GPU utility to overclock the graphics card. However you will need the FireStorm to control the SPECTRA or the LED lighting effects on the AMP Edition, AMP Extreme and AMP Extreme Core. Note that the latest version (as of this time) is V2.0.0.019E. Older FireStorm versions may not be able to control SPECTRA properly.
Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP – Temperature and Noise
The Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition features a beefy cooler compared to the Founders Edition. The aluminum fin stack is not as thick as the AMP Extreme variant and it has only two fans instead of three. Nevertheless, its cooler is still very much capable of dissipating heat from the GPU and other components on the graphics card.
On idle to light load situations, the fan do not spin at all; making this graphics card dead silent. The temperature was hovering around 40°-ish degrees Celsius. Depending on your system’s cooling capability (air intake and exhaust) you may or may not get better temperature. On full load and with the fans set to auto, its temperature would reach up to 83° degrees Celsius. Once it reaches 80°+ temps, the fans will crank up to around 70% to 75% fan speed; they are a tiny bit audible but still very silent.
After I have tested and benchmarked the graphics card, I replaced the thermal paste with a liquid metal – the Conductonaut from Thermal Grizzly. Actually, I have replaced the thermal paste on most of the graphics cards I recently tested. This is in line with our upcoming Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut and Kryonaut review. Since it’s not finished yet, I’m just going to share to you some of the initial results I got after replacing the stock thermal paste on the GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition with Thermal Grizzly’s Conductonaut.
While the graphics card was on idle, I see around 5° degrees Celsius drop, from around 40°+ with the stock thermal paste. What’s even impressive is when the 1080 Ti AMP went full load. See screenshot below.
At full load, the temperature was just hovering around 77° degrees Celsius, from 83° with the stock thermal paste. It’s also noteworthy to mention that the fan speed also decreased from around 75% down to 59-60% fan speed.
Since the fans on the Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP are very silent even at high speeds, I cranked it up to 85%. The temperature dropped down to 67° degrees Celsius! That’s very impressive considering that it’s running on full load.
Now you don’t really need to replace the stock thermal paste on the graphics card, since the cooler is doing a great job at cooling the GPU already. However, if you want to get better temperature (and you’re not worried of getting your warranty void), try the Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut. I haven’t tried CoolLaboratory’s Liquid Pro yet, but I believe the results would be similar.
Just a warning though, you can only use this kind of liquid metal thermal compound on copper base. Do not use it on aluminum surface.
Final note: all the testing and benchmarks results you see in this review were a result of using the stock thermal paste.
Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP – Overclocking
The Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition is not the fastest custom 1080 Ti right out of the box. The fastest (or one of the fastest) GTX 1080 Ti on the market is Zotac’s AMP Extreme variant. The AMP Extreme has a base clock speed of 1645MHz, boost clock speed of 1759MHz and memory clock speed of 11200MHz right out of the box. But who says we can’t overclock the AMP Edition to match or even surpass the default clock speed of the AMP Extreme?
Above you can see that I have overclocked the GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition by bumping the base clock speed to 1664MHz, boost clock speed to 1778MHz and memory speed to 1400MHz. The boost clock speed even reaches 2025MHz at peak or in full load, thanks to NVIDIA’s GPU Boost 3.0. I also bump the fan speed to 90% when in full load so that it wouldn’t throttle or become unstable.
Depending on the quality of the GPU you get, you may or may not get better overclocking results. The clock speeds you see above are the best I can do with this card. Anything above will result in a crash or artifacts. The important thing here is that you need to keep the GPU cool enough so that it would boost to higher clock speeds. If the temperature is not managed properly, the GPU may suffer from thermal throttling or it may not reach higher boost clock speeds.
Now time to see what this badass graphics card can do. Proceed to the next page for the Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP benchmark results.
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For UK: available at Amazon UK here