The Bottom Line
- + Faster than the RTX 3090 Ti, and cooler!
- + Beautiful AIRO design aesthetics, looks SO good
- - No DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity... why!
- - $200 premium over the RTX 4080 FE
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
ZOTAC GAMING's new custom GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO graphics card is the latest GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card on the GPU test bench today, with one of the best-looking designs and some great performance and technologies underneath.
Inside, the new ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO features factory overclocking, fantastic thermal performance, and a design that really stands out from the crowd. Sure, you might love the look of NVIDIA's in-house GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition, or the sea or custom GeForce RTX 4080 cards out already, but man... ZOTAC did a great job with the design of their new GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO.
It's not just curved for the style, but ZOTAC is using the same aerodynamic cooling design that it uses on the flagship GeForce RTX 4090 AMP Extreme AIRO here on the AD103-based GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO. This means you're getting a beefy AF cooler that handles thermals like a champion.
NVIDIA kicks pricing off at $1199 for the GeForce RTX 4080, with ZOTAC GAMING's new custom GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO costing $200+ premium on top, with pricing at $1400... and more like $1500 on Amazon at the time of writing. Let's dive right into the review!
ZOTAC has the best retail packaging of all of the custom GeForce RTX 4080 graphics cards that I've got here in the GPU lab right now, with the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO really standing out. ZOTAC, you've got to have props for this retail packaging... fantastic work!
The new ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO graphic card features an "AIR optimized design" that looks awesome if you're a fan of it... you're going to love it. It's not just the front of the card that looks great, but the back also looks awesome.
This is one of the best backplates -- and one of the most, if not the most interesting -- backplates of the GeForce RTX 4080 cards on the market so far.
It's also not a super-thick design, with some beautiful all-around SPECTRA 2.0 ARGB lighting that lights up the card beautifully. Especially if you've got more RGB lighting inside of your case, it'll really pop with the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO graphics card.
You've got the usual 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 ports and 1 x HDMI 2.1 port on the back of the card, with a nice little ZOTAC GAMING logo, too.
Here's the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO graphics card all lit up with its impressive SPECTRA 2.0 ARGB lighting really popping off. Just a few more colored lights bouncing off of it, and it will shine inside of your system, showing off all those beautiful curves.
Test System Specs
I've recently upgraded my major GPU test bed for 2022, but I will be upgrading again soon, now that Intel has launched its new 13th Gen Core "Raptor Lake" CPUs and Z790 motherboards, and AMD with its new Ryzen 7000 series "Zen 4" CPUs and X670E motherboards.
The new upgrades include the shift to the Intel Core i9-12900K processor, ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, 64GB of Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800 memory, and 8TB of Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD goodness. Intel's flagship Core i9-12900K is a beast, with the Alder Lake CPU packing 8 Performance cores (P-cores) and 8 Efficient cores (E-cores) at up to 5.2GHz.
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme
I've got that installed into the bigger-than-life ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, which is absolutely loaded to the brim with technologies and features that it houses everything you need. We're talking about one of the best-looking designs on a motherboard yet, PCIe 5.0 support, enthusiast-grade 10GbE networking, and oh-so-much more.
RAM: 64GB Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800
Sabrent helped out in a huge way by sending over 64GB of DDR5-4800 memory in the form of 4 x 16GB DDR5-4800 modules of its new Sabrent Rocket DDR5 memory. The company also helped out in an even bigger way, supplying us with a gigantic and super-fast 8TB model of its Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD.
SSD: 8TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2
We're talking about 7.5GB/sec+ (7500MB/sec) from a single M.2 SSD, along with a gigantic 8TB of capacity. The 2TB drives aren't big enough for all of our game installs for GPU testing... the 4TB is much better, but the 8TB gives us room to move into 2023 without worrying about installing multiple games that are 200GB+ in size.
Some glory shots, of course.
Displays: ASUS ROG Strix 43-inch 4K 120Hz
ASUS has been a tight partner of TweakTown for many years, with the fine folks at ASUS Australia sending over their ROG Strix XG438Q and ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitors for our GPU test benches. They're both capable of 4K 120Hz+ through their DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity.
I will be upgrading these in the near future, over to some DisplayPort 2.0-capable panels and some new HDMI 2.1-enabled 4K 165Hz panels in OLED form of course...given that next-gen GPUs are right around the corner, there has been no better time to upgrade your display or TV.
I've been working on this system for a while now, but now we're stretching its legs with the newly-released PC port of Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered. Not just in 1080p or 1440p, not even in just 4K... but at 8K with a native resolution of 7680 x 4320. I've run through some of the very fastest GPU silicon on the planet.
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CORSAIR iCUE H150i ELITE LCD Display (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Sabrent Rocket 64GB DDR5-4800 (4 x 16GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 8TB Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: MSI MPG A1000G Gaming Power Supply 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro x64 (buy from Amazon)
- Display: ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ (4K 120Hz) (buy from Amazon)
Benchmarks - Synthetic
Benchmarks - 1080p
Benchmarks - 1440p
Benchmarks - 4K
Temps & Power Consumption
ZOTAC GAMING's new GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO graphics card runs nice and cool, like the rest of the custom GeForce RTX 4080 cards on the market, with the GPU sitting at a cool 60-61C or so. GPU hotspot temperatures were steady at 68C, while using around 235-240W of power.
What's Hot, What's Not
- ZOTAC's wicked AIRO design aesthetic: ZOTAC has done a fantastic job of differentiating itself from the other custom GeForce RTX 4080 cards on the market with its GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO. The curves look great, and the RGB lighting that ZOTAC has used on the card also looks great, it's just an all-round fantastic card on the eyes.
- Thermal design: ZOTAC is re-using the same thermal system from its higher-end GeForce RTX 4090 on the GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO, which is not a bad thing at all. 60C temps on the GPU, whisper quiet... what more can you ask for?
- Faster than the RTX 3090 Ti: Yep, the GeForce RTX 4080 is faster than the previous-gen Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3090 and GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics cards... all while running cooler, and using less power.
- Premium over other RTX 4080 cards: The $1500 pricing is a big sting over the $1199 price on the GeForce RTX 4080, but you already knew that considering this is an ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4080.
- No DisplayPort 2.1 connector, WTF: NVIDIA not including the new display connector moving forward -- DP2.0 -- is a huge mistake. It means anyone buying a $1500 graphics card in the tail end of 2022 is not going to be able to use next-gen DP2.0-capable gaming monitors that we'll begin seeing debut in the coming months, probably at CES 2023 in January. WTF, NVIDIA? Even Intel's is-it-even-real Arc GPUs have a DP2.0 port.
ZOTAC GAMING's new custom GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO is a fantastic entry into the world of Ada Lovelace, offering tons of power for 1080p, 1440p, ultrawide, and 4K gamers alike. If you're playing games with ray tracing and especially DLSS (and more so DLSS 3) then the sky is the limit in terms of performance, and fun.
There's some room in the AD103 GPU on the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO for some overclocking, but the card does come factory overclocked... providing a smidge more performance than some of the other GeForce RTX 4080 cards, depending on the resolution, game, and settings that you're using.
If you're playing games at 1080p then I would highly suggest you've got a 240Hz+ refresh, and the same goes for 1440p as well. But if you have a 21:9 ultrawide gaming monitor with a 3440 x 1440 resolution, or a super ultrawide 32:9 monitor at 5120 x 1440... the GeForce RTX 4080 can handle it. The high-end, highly coveted 4K resolution is another thing the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO has the muscle to help you through.
I was playing a bunch of Overwatch 2 and Warzone 2 at 4K without an issue, using DLSS on "Quality" mode at 4K is an absolute blessing... better visuals, more performance, and buttery smooth gameplay. Overwatch 2 can be cranked to the absolute max, and I was still cranking 300FPS+ virtually all day lone.
The ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO is also whisper quiet while looking beautiful at the same time. I truly love the design work that ZOTAC has put into the card, versus the chunky, square design of something like the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4080.
ZOTAC... great job on the GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO! What a breath of fresh air.
ZOTAC GAMING's new GeForce RTX 4080 AMP Extreme AIRO is the best-looking custom RTX 4080, while running cool and quiet. A true breath of fresh air, pun intended.