Zotac chills out with a new GeForce GTX 1080 card packing a full-board waterblock

Zotac introduced on Thursday the GeForce GTX 1080 ArcticStorm, the company’s latest graphics card powered by Nvidia’s Pascal-based GPU that’s chilled by Zotac’s ArticStorm fanless cooling system. This waterblock provides full-board coverage so you don’t have to worry about the card buckling under pressure during heated gameplay moments on your PC.

“ArcticStorm uses innovative designs and the best materials to deliver the one of the coolest temperatures,” the company said. “The lightweight aluminum waterblock uses a direct copper cold block contact with precision 0.3mm micro-channels for maximum heat extraction throughput.”

This waterblock is made out of translucent acrylic that’s backed by a thin metal wraparound plate. It comes packed with a standard G1/4 threaded fitting, making it compatible with major third party liquid cooling systems. It also uses Zotac’s Direct Copper Contact technology, meaning it uses a direct copper cold plate contact lined with 0.3mm precision micro-channels for better GPU contact.

According to Zotac, the waterblock supports the company’s Spectra lighting system, which can be customized through the free, revamped FireStorm tuning software users can download from Zotac’s website. With this tool, PC gamers can choose eight brightness levels, the overall color, and four illumination modes including Static, Breathe, Strobe, and Cycle.

Looking at the hardware specs of this new card, it’s slightly faster than Nvidia’s reference design, with a base clock speed of 1,632MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,771MHz. The card features three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, an HDMI 2.0b port, and a DL-DVI port, making it great for a four-panel, multi-monitor setup. However, Zotac recommends a 500-watt power supply, as the card requires two 8-pin power connectors and 180 watts of pure energy.

The overall size of Zotac’s new card is 11.8 (L) by 5.83 (H) inches, and it takes up enough space for two expansion slots. The card comes with two dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe adapters, two G1/4 threaded 3/8-inch fittings, the user manual, and a driver disc (although we recommend downloading the latest drivers from Nvidia).

If you’re not familiar with the GTX 1080’s other specs, it’s provided with 8GB of on-board GDDR5X memory backed by a 256-bit memory bus and a memory clock of 10GHz. It parks in a PCI Express 3.0 slot and supports the latest PC gaming APIs like DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, and Vulkan.

This isn’t the only GTX 1080 card Zotac serves up to PC gamers. Other options in the company’s arsenal include the fan-cooled GTX 1080 Amp Edition with a base clock speed of 1,683MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,822MHz, the GTX Founders Edition with a base clock speed of 1,607MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,733MHz, and the GTX 1080 Amp Extreme with a base clock speed of 1,771MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,991MHz.

Currently, the card isn’t listed with online retailers, nor has the company provided a price. However, as a comparison, Zotac’s GeForce GTX 1080 Amp Extreme costs $880 on Newegg along with the GTX 1080 Founders Edition model selling for $700; the GTX 1080 Amp Edition is currently out of stock. However, the company offers plenty of GTX 1070 models for a cheaper price.

That said, we’re betting Zotac might throw its ArticStorm cooling solution upon Nvidia’s GTX 1070 GPU in the near future, so stay tuned.


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