In our test lab has already visited several video cards GeForce GTX 1080. Also Founders Edition we tested nine models. But the video card ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm occupies a special place because it is equipped with a water-block with full coverage. So far we have tested the GeForce GTX 1080 air-cooled only. It will be interesting to see what can the GeForce GTX 1080 water-cooled.
ZOTAC is the exclusive NVIDIA partner, so the company produces a wide range of models. We have already tested the GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition, which test takes place among the leaders, becoming one of the fastest graphics cards on the market. But it is possible that the GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm will bypass all the other models due to the water-block with full coverage. Yet modern Boost mechanism works best at low temperatures where the rate is limited to limit power consumption and voltage, not the temperature. And here the video card with water cooling can give a significant boost. It will be interesting to see the results of the tests.
Earlier, ZOTAC has offered ArcticStorm graphics card, but they belonged to the hybrid solutions. So, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti ArcticStorm used air cooler, which can be optionally enhanced by adding to the CBO circuit water block GPU. As often happens, the manufacturer tried to get the best of both worlds, but in practice, the graphics card is not impressed, because the combined and disadvantages of both methods of cooling. In the case of GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm ZOTAC chose a more extreme approach, completely switching to water cooling.
According to the specifications of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm can not say anything remarkable, the ZOTAC did not add a high level of factory overclocking, limiting modest characteristics. Compared with the Founders Edition base rate was increased from 1.607 to 1.633 MHz. The GPU Boost mode, the minimum frequency of 1.772 MHz, 1.733 MHz instead. In our test lab has already received a video card with a frequency of 1.800 MHz more, there was even a model with a frequency slightly above the 1.900 MHz. But the real frequency of the practice – a completely different question.
Ultimately, the level of factory overclocking ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm not so important. Much more interesting to see what frequency Boost graphics card will give in practice due to water cooling. Here lies a great potential.
If you are interested in architecture Pascal, we encourage you to read our review of the standard version GeForce GTX 1080. In it, we looked at Pascal architecture, the new 16-nm process technology and FinFET other details.
As we have noted in many GPU tests, whether the NVIDIA or AMD, graphics card performed better paired with alternative cooling systems, as performance depends on frequency and temperature. All this was perfectly evident in the video cards in the first consolidated overview of GeForce GTX 1080.
Due to water cooling in the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm GPU temperature is very low – only 46 ° C, a record result for the GeForce GTX 1080 in our test lab. Each GPU tests at maximum frequency of 2.063 MHz, video card takes tests in the leading position. Even after a long load rate remained at 2.063 MHz without lowering. GPU temperatures were sometimes below, depending on the other ingredients in the CBO circuit. For our tests we used the CBO aquaduct 360 aqua computer.
Before we move on to a detailed review of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm, let me give you a cooler specification, PCB, etc.
Video card with installed water-block is different from the traditional models. It has no fan, so is not an option and they turn off when idle. Below we will consider the PCB.
ZOTAC used waterblock own development, rather than the product from top manufacturers such as EKWB or Aerocool. Video card manufacturers often resort to third-party professionals who have extensive experience. In any case, the ZOTAC chose copper water block with nickel-plated and black coloring. On top of the water block is closed Plexiglas. Aluminum panel at the rear of the water block is added to the beauty.
Behind the card is very interesting, ZOTAC chose their traditional colors. Backplate continuous, albeit with several openings for ventilation. Due to the considerable dimensions of the plate quite heavy.
If you look at the water block, you notice liquid passages. Water is supplied through the nozzle into the water block then passes through wide channel. Over the GPU is an array of micro-tubules with a width of 0.3 mm. This approach allowed the manufacturer to increase the contact area, in order to better transfer heat to the fluid. As a result, the cooling performance is better. Waterblock removes heat from the GPU, not only, but also on the memory chips and the components of the power subsystem. He has the appropriate pads.
The aluminum plate at the back of the video card looks good, although someone prefer to see the PCB. No additional load plate can not be held under it is still the same cover of plexiglass. New ZOTAC design implies a circular brand logo.
ZOTAC GeForce GTX used for 1080 ArcticStorm the same PCB, as for the AMP! Extreme Edition. Power is supplied via two 8-pin socket. Each provides a power of 150 watts, add to this the 75 W through a PCI Express slot, which allows you to apply for a card up to 375 watts of power. Of course, these numbers are theoretical, based on the PCI Express specification. ZOTAC indicates TDP of 270 watts, so headroom is.
ZOTAC chose standard fittings. Plugs hide holes G 1/4, but adapters are supplied with G 1/4 “to 10 mm internal diameter. So the video card can be easily integrated into an existing circuit CBO.
On the cap slot we get the typical Pascal generation interfaces. Namely, one dual-link DVI and HDMI 2.0b, three DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4. Theoretically, the graphics card can be done single-slot, since the dimensions of the water block fits.
We continue the detailed examination of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm.
Two SLI interface allows theoretically combine up to four graphics cards in an SLI array. However, in reality, scaling more than two GPU is not as good. Especially as a 12 multi-GPU gaming system limited to two GPU. Yes, the price to buy more than two graphics cards are very expensive.
The back plate can be seen numerous air vents. You may notice different logos and symbols that add variety to a dark gray background.
If you look closely, between the components of the power system and GPU it is a fairly large capacitor, providing stable power even in extreme conditions. In everyday use it is hardly necessary, but hardcore overclockers will come in handy.
Plexiglas cover has a thickness of 8 mm. Clearly visible and rubber gaskets to ensure tightness of the circuit. We did not remove the water block, as PCB is identical to the AMP! Extreme Edition, it can be considered in detail in this review.
We have video and lighting with multiple LED, which shines on the Plexiglas, which gives a nice visual effect. A Spectra utility, which is included in the package Firestorm overclocking graphics cards, you can control the color LED. Also available, and adjust the brightness of eight steps.
Proceed to estimate noise power and temperature.
Fan switch off idle today are nothing new, even for high-end graphics cards we have quiet operation. The only exception was KFA2 GeForce GTX 1080 HOF. In the video card ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm fans there, so it is completely cooled passively. Of course, this should take into account the level of noise ITS components such as pumps and fans in the heat exchanger.
The same applies to the work load, the video card ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm has no active components and runs silently. If you correctly pick the other components of the CBO, the system can work very quietly.
We used an external CBO with a relatively small volume of fluid in the circuit, so it pretty quickly heated. In idle mode the GPU temperature was 42 ° C. It is a normal value, although not as low as some of its competitors with an air cooler. Again, other SVO can give significantly lower temperature.
But under a load of water cooling system potential. The temperature increased from 42 ° C at idle to only 46 ° C under load. It remained at this level, regardless of the game or dough. As a result, the video card ZOTAC GeForce GTX ArcticStorm 1080 became the leader, leaving behind even the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X with compact CBO closed loop.
Power consumption in idle mode ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm appeared at the expected level, we did not detect any anomalies.
Low GPU temperature under load has a positive effect on energy consumption. Despite the high clock speeds, graphics cards consume less power. The reason lies in the smaller points of leakage and lower voltage, despite the high frequency of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm. Here we once again see a great potential for the water cooling system, it will be interesting to see the results of overclocking.
With the connection of two monitors no problems were observed. The power consumption of the entire system increased slightly.
As shown by the tests of video cards on the Maxwell architecture, Boost mechanism allows you to expand capacity and achieve higher clock frequency of the GPU at maximum cooling efficiency. The same thing we see with graphics Pascal. And the relationship became even stronger, the 16-nm process technology allows FinFET squeeze a higher clock frequency of the GPU Pascal.
As we found in our tests the GeForce GTX 1080, most of the models do provide the promised frequency Boost – at least for a while. But, depending on housing and ventilation, as well as the ambient temperature, the video card may not achieve the stated frequency Boost. What surely disappoint customers.
Such lack of video card ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm not observed with water cooling. But the video card is not equipped with CBO closed loop, and integrated into the existing circuit CBO through the water block set with full coverage. Unlike many solutions CBO closed loop, in this case, not only water-block cools the GPU, and other components, including memory chips, and power GPU subsystem. Unfortunately, no mention of the ZOTAC Developer waterblock.
In tests, a similar cooling system could unlock the potential of GeForce GTX 1080. Under load, the GPU frequency reached 2.063 MHz, significantly ahead of its competitors with the fastest air-cooled. On the other hand, according to the specifications ZOTAC put a very small level of factory overclocking. If a hand, you can reach 2.200-2.300 MHz frequency. Our sample was stable at 2.323 MHz, the GPU frequency, an increase of 12% compared with Boost frequency in normal mode. In tests ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm also shows decent performance boost. After manual overclocking graphics card leaves the competition far behind.
In addition to low temperature, low voltage and leakage currents (in turn, they provide a high clock frequency), at ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm have other advantages. If you correctly pick the other components of the CBO, the graphics card can run very quietly. In the most active components of the graphics card is not present, therefore it is silent. Temperatures of 42 ° C at idle and 46 ° C under no load record for the water cooling system, but here, too, depends on the pump and heat exchanger.
A nice bonus we would call a cover made of plexiglass and light. However, many other manufacturers waterblock with full coverage also offer lighting in their products.
It remains a question of price. The Russian card ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm has not yet appeared in Europe, for it will have to pay from 899 euros. The same Founders Edition can be purchased from 750 euros. In Russia, the GeForce GTX 1080 prices start from 46 thousand. Rubles. Waterblock EKWB will cost an additional 100 euros, so that the overpayment for ZOTAC graphics card is not as significant. But we should remember that the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm released in 500 copies, which makes the card an exclusive product.