Zotac GeForce RTX 4080 Super GPU Review

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When it comes to PC gaming, every component and peripheral brings something to the party that ultimately affects your gaming experience. From the speed of the SSD, clock of the RAM to the processing power of the CPU. The ability to quickly load into a game and play smoothly on the best graphics settings aids not only your gameplay but also the immersion.

I decided to take the plunge with building my own PC 4 years ago. It was great fun and so rewarding. Starting with a Ryzen 5 3600, 16Gb of RAM and a Palit 1660 Super GPU, it was all I needed to start playing alongside my friends as well as sometimes using it for work. I upgraded to an Nvidia 3070 GPU after a couple of years and also upgraded the RAM to 32GB as I was running a lot of applications at the same time. For me, winding down for the day by gaming on my 1440p monitor was bliss. Although I dream a lot of the time about future upgrades, there is usually some household crisis that prevents that from ever coming to fruition. I swear white goods just seem to know what you are up to and plan their catastrophic exit accordingly!

Cutting to the chase and dreams aside, imagine my joy when I was offered a Zotac 4080 Super graphics card to have a play with! I have always wanted to see the benefits that the giant 40 series GPUs bring to the table. Are they worth the money? Am I better at sticking with what I already have?

The Fast & The Furious

Time to deconstruct my PC and try to make this beast fit!!

image showing the Zotac 4080 super on a white background. 3 black fans can be seen mounted in a line along its huge length. The side is lit up in blue and yellow leds while the chassis is finished in silver.
On the underside, there are 3 quiet fans to ensure that you do not ever get any overheating issues.

Design

The full name is the Zotac Nvidia RTX 4080 SUPER AMP EXTREME AIRO 16GB GDDR6 Graphics Card. It’s quite a mouthful. As is the size of the actual thing! At 355.5mm long, 149.5mm high and 72.1mm wide it not only takes up 3 slots at the rear of the case but dominates the view through the side glass. Put beside my 3070 and my son’s 1660, it made the latter look like a Raspberry Pi in size.

The brains behind the formidable graphics card house 10240 CUDA cores, 16GB GDDR6X memory, a 256-bit memory bus, an engine boost clock of 2610MHz and a memory clock of 23.0Gbps. So pretty quick all around! In comparison to my 3070, I am pretty much half the specs other than the memory bus.

image of the topside of the GPU with a white background. The black and silver card details the processor position to the left as well as the vents for the airflow. There is light blue led illumination on the left and right highlighting the zotac winged emblem.
Top view of the GPU, featuring airflow vent holes and more illumination.

The connection interface to the motherboard is via PCI Express 4.0 while the power supply uses a 12VHPWR socket. Don’t worry if you do not have that particular plug on your PSU, a 3 x 8-pin-to-12VHPWR cable is included. Although it is advised that you have a 750W PSU, the 4080 Super will only demand 320W at full power. In comparison, my 3070 draws 220W max.

Supported Resolutions

HDCP 2.3 is supported, allowing content to be protected from end-to-end while for your display connections, there are 3 in no. 1.4a DisplayPort sockets with a maximum resolution of 7680×4320@60Hz. In addition, there is an HDMI connection that supports 4K@120Hz HDR, 8K 60Hz HDR as well as a variable refresh rate in accordance to the HDMI 2.1a specification. (basically, a V-Sync ability to stop screen tearing and reduce latency.) In a nutshell, you can run 4 screens simultaneously!

Visually the Zotac Nvidia RTX 4080 SUPER is very eye-catching. Three large fans are nestled in a row to provide the IceStorm 2.0 advanced cooling required when hammering those graphic-intensive games while for RGB people there is a full-on light show to be had along the metal die-cast side facing the glass screen of the PC case.

image showing the accessories that are in the box. There are 2 guides, a collectable zotac card, a stand, power cable and argb cable.
The accessories ensure you can power the GPU, adjust its lighting, and support it using the stand.

Install

I knew the length would be an issue as I rest the Zotac 4080 Super beast beside my Fractal North case. Although my case could accept the card, I had installed a be quiet! front-mounted AIO for CPU cooling that restricted it from being deployed. For what should have been a case of a simple unplugging of the 3070 card, an extra slot removed at the back, and a deployment of the 4080 Super, sadly it was not!

Once stripped down and the CPU cooler temporarily replaced, I could crane the Zotac 4080 Super into place. The card sure weighs some, around 2kg, and I was thankful for the included support arm as without it the motherboard would be torn in two.

image showing the inside of my pc from the side. The gpu is installed horizontally onto the motherboard and takes up most of the case. Everything is black or silver.
Note to self: Buy the Fractal Design North XL case next time!

With my be quiet! 1000W Dark Power 13 PSU comes the required 12VHPWR cable to power the GPU. While this made light work of the connection, I was worried about accidentally allowing the plug or cable to be bent. There are many horror stories whereby people have put the glass side back on to their case and have put strain onto the plug or cable causing it to overheat and melt. Thankfully I had a small amount of wiggle room in my case that prevented this from happening. It did make me think that a 90-degree connector would surely negate this from ever being an issue.

With everything buttoned back up, I felt like a kid at Christmas, finally able to play with their new toy.

Performance

With the Nvidia app proudly telling me that I have a 4080 Super installed, I set to ensure my drivers were all up to date.

As mentioned earlier I game at 1440p resolution and I use a 32″ Samsung  QLED monitor (C32HG70). I like to try and game with the best graphics I can possibly get without sacrificing too many of those smooth frames. I usually like to sit 80 frames and upwards with my 3070. My monitor can handle a refresh of 144Hz.

image showing a close up of the GPU card power and argb socket. The silver dust free fins of the vents and heatsink are visible.
The connection ports. It would have been nice to have 90-degree plugs rather than create the possible issue of putting strain on the cables when the side glass is installed. Thankfully I had enough room.

Game Time

So where do I start first?

Call of Duty was a good place. It is where you generally find me on weekend evenings thanks to my friends and my wife who loves to game alongside me on the PS5. I do love how most games seemingly auto-detect your GPU and change settings without you having to do that much. With a quick eye, I could see that under the quality section how shadow and lighting had increased to ultra and high. The estimated VRAM usage was not even half of what I now had onboard the 4080 Super!

Playing online, the maps I was on looked ever so better. There was a noticeable change in some reflections and how light was cast. Meanwhile, the frame rate had increased significantly from 90 to around 120-130fps. It is worth noting at this point that the CPU I have would be bottlenecking the performance at times depending on the game’s optimization.

image showing my pc with the GPU card installed and everything cabled up. It is neat and has black cables within a silver and black case and components.
The final fitted product. It is one hench GPU!

God Rays

Portal RTX is another game that I like. Not only is it fun, as I love Atlas and P-body, but visually it looks lovely when showing off the ray tracing technology. While the 3070 was getting me around 60fps when looking in the direction of an elaborate display of visual loveliness, now I was getting 100 to 135fps.

It was quite amazing the more I played, how much you really needed to push the GPU for the temperature to rise and fans to turn. The Hunter: Call of the Wild, despite being around since 2016, could easily do so. The Avalanche engine brought temps up to the 70s as I chased Water Buffalo and Tigers on the new Sundarpatan gaming reserve. Meanwhile, frames per second was consistently at 120 with everything set to max. It was pure bliss and aided the immersion significantly with the beautiful onscreen visuals that lay before me.

For a chuckle, I did also play through Robocop: Rogue City. I have been addicted to the storyline and open-world gameplay for a while. Although the rainy reflections in the city looked almost real-life at times, there were still moments when competing with the Ed 209 that just lagged out down to 20fps. I was hoping that this was originally down to my 3070 FE not enjoying these levels, however, it was quickly evident that in this case, it was not the GPU that was at fault, but more bad optimization of the game. The rest of the levels played through at the max 144fps on high settings.

Conclusion

The Zotac Nvidia RTX 4080 SUPER AMP EXTREME AIRO 16GB GDDR6 Graphics Card is an amazing bit of kit, unlocking the best-looking graphics and highest fps of any game that you throw at it while at 2K screen resolution. The design, lighting and cooling technology give you glorious aesthetics and functionality.

I have not delved into the world of 4K monitors yet (they are so pricey!) however the 4080 Super is more at home smashing out high-quality frames at 1440p. I like to play games at the maximum quality and smoothness, therefore I would not want to be lowering down textures to maintain high frames on a 4K screen. For that, the 4090 would be the better option in my opinion.

Value For Money

Compared to my 3070 FE, the Zotac 4080 Super has allowed me to see my games in far more glory and smoothness than I have been used to. It has been a real eye-opener into the high-end gaming world. Could I warrant the cost (£1050) being almost 3 times the price of the 3070 FE for the output it produces? Personally, I feel that it is not quite fantastic value…yet. Price drops are going on however and with the 50 series soon to be launched at the end of the year, this may have an influence on price in the future.

Right now, if you want the creme de la creme of 2K gaming graphics cards then the Zotac Nvidia RTX 4080 SUPER AMP EXTREME AIRO 16GB GDDR6 Graphics Card is certainly one that will provide all you ever need for a good few years. Just as long as you are happy paying the price tag.

I award this mammoth and well-engineered Zotac GPU the Thumb Culture Gold Award!

Disclaimer: A sample was received in order to write this review.

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