Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity Review 24

Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity Review




Zotac today releases its GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity graphics card, a premium custom-design offering based on the GeForce RTX 3080 "Ampere" by NVIDIA. Zotac's custom design focuses on meeting all the expectations of the DIY premium gaming segment, including a low-noise design, decent overclocking headroom, and a fair bit of ARGB bling to brighten up high-end gaming PC builds. This card sees the introduction of Zotac's new and smarter IceStorm 2 cooling solution with idle fan-stop, and aesthetic enhancements from the Spectra 2 ARGB illumination package. A conventional triple-fan setup tames the next-generation beast underneath.

The GeForce RTX 3080 by NVIDIA is the company's new flagship graphics card, designed to make 4K UHD gaming with RTX-on possible at a price you got a 1440p-segment graphics card for in the previous generation. The new Ampere graphics architecture introduces NVIDIA's 2nd generation RTX real-time raytracing technology. NVIDIA innovated a means of combining raster 3D graphics with real-time raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadow, reflections, ambient occlusion, and global illumination, to make the hybrid raster+raytraced 3D scenes that are as true to life as possible and a generational leap above DirectX 12.

The GeForce Ampere architecture introduces a new generation double-throughput CUDA core design that can perform concurrent INT32+FP32 math. The new 2nd generation RT core doubles the BVH traversal and triangle intersection performance over the previous generation and introduces new fixed-function hardware that enables RTX effects such as raytraced motion blur. The 3rd generation Tensor core shares many similarities with its HPC cousin powering the A100 Tensor Core processor NVIDIA launched this Spring, which leverages the sparsity phenomenon in deep-learning neural networks to double AI inference performance by an order of magnitude. NVIDIA heavily uses AI in its raytracing pipeline, and image-quality features, such as DLSS. The new DLSS 8K feature takes a stab at 8K gaming by utilizing AI.

The new GeForce RTX 3080 features more than double the CUDA core counts than the previous-generation, with over 8,704 CUDA cores, 68 RT cores, 272 tensor cores, 272 TMUs, and 96 ROPs. All this compute muscle is fed data by an updated memory setup consisting of 10 GB of 19 Gbps GDDR6X memory across a 320-bit wide memory interface, which works out to 760 GB/s of bandwidth—that's 70% higher than the previous generation. There are several other "next generation" bits, such as support for PCI-Express 4.0 x16 bus, the latest HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a connectivity, and AV1 video acceleration. NVIDIA built the GA102 over the 8 nm FFN process Samsung designed specially for NVIDIA.

As mentioned earlier, the Zotac RTX 3080 Trinity is one of the company's premium custom-design RTX 3080 offerings, though like most other board partners, it is designing more bleeding edge products. The IceStorm 2 cooling solutions uses a trio of fans with alternative spin directions (although the same airflow direction) to minimize lateral vortex formation, which leads to noise. Since this is the Trinity SKU (and not Trinity OC), the card ticks at NVIDIA-reference clock speeds of 1710 MHz GPU Boost and 19 Gbps memory. Zotac sells their card at the NVIDIA MSRP of $700—no price increase.

GeForce RTX 3080 Market Segment Analysis
GTX 1080 Ti$6503584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT$3702560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070$3402304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super$4502560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$6803840641802 MHzN/A1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080$6002944641515 MHz1710 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Super$6903072641650 MHz1815 MHz1940 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Ti$10004352881350 MHz1545 MHz1750 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
RTX 3070$5005888961500 MHz1725 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3080$7008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
Zotac RTX 3080
$7008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RTX 3090$1500104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit


Package Front
Package Back

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

The Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity is a more traditional-looking card with a triple-fan, triple-slot setup.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 32 x 12 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. Interestingly, the USB-C port for VR headsets, which NVIDIA introduced on Turing Founders Editions, has been removed—guess it didn't take off as planned.

The DisplayPort 1.4a outputs support Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2a, which lets you connect 4K displays at 120 Hz, and 8K displays at 60 Hz. Ampere can drive two 8K displays at 60 Hz with just one cable per display. Ampere is the first GPU to support HDMI 2.1, which increases bandwidth to 48 Gbps to support higher resolutions, like 4K144 and 8K30, with a single cable. With DSC, this goes up to 4K240 and 8K120.

NVIDIA's new NVENC/NVDEC video engine is optimized to handle video tasks with minimal CPU load. The highlight here is added support for AV1 decode. Just like on Turing, you may also decode MPEG-2, VC1, VP8, VP9, H.264, and H.265 natively, at up to 8K@12-bit. The encoder is identical to Turing; it supports H.264, H.265 and lossless at up to 8K@10-bit.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The card takes in two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. This setup is rated for 375 W.

Multi-GPU Area

The GeForce RTX 3080 does not support SLI. Its bigger brother, the RTX 3090, has SLI support. As both are based on the GA102 GPU, it's purely a segmentation choice. Multi-GPU really isn't supported widely anymore, so it's no big deal.


Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

Disassembling the Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity is fairly straightforward. The cooler features seven heatpipes and three 90 mm fans.

Once the main heatsink is removed, a metal frame that provides rigidity for the card becomes visible. It also helps cool the VRM circuitry.

The backplate protects the card against damage during installation and handling.

High-resolution PCB Pictures

These pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles or forum posts.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

High-res versions are also available (front, back).

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