ASUS And Zotac Pimp-Out Pascal With Custom Cooled NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Cards

As if we needed more reasons to fall in lust with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, the GPU maker's hardware partners have begun releasing custom variants that up the ante with more aggressive aesthetics, superior cooling, and faster clockspeeds. We saw it yesterday with EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 Superclocked ACX 3.0 Edition, and now ASUS and Zotac are following suit with custom designed Pascal parts of their own.

We'll start with ASUS, which tapped its Republic of Gamers division to construct the ROG Strix GTX 1080. ASUS considers it "the new king of the hill," and though its competitors might dispute the claim, there's no denying this is a gnarly (slang definition) card with some fancy cooling and overclocked specs.

ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1080

If you've followed our past coverage of Pascal, then you already know that the GeForce GTX 1080 brings 2,560 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR5X memory on a 256-bit bus to the party. ASUS kicks things up a notch with its ROG Strix 1080 by bumping the base clockspeed to 1,759MHz and boost clock to 1,898MHz in its default Gaming mode. In OC mode, the base clockspeed jumps to 1,784MHz and the boost clock races to 1,936MHz. Both modes are above NVIDIA's reference clocks, which calls for the base and boost clockspeeds to run at 1,607MHz and 1,733MHz, respectively.

According to ASUS, these gains in clockspeed translate into up to 6.5 percent faster performance in 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme and 7.4 percent faster gaming performance in Hitman.

ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1080 Back

Cooling is key to running the card at higher clockspeeds. To prevent high temps from ruining the fun, the ROG Strix GTX sports a custom DirectCU III cooler with three patented triple wing-blade fans. ASUS claims its cooler allows for 30 percent chillier temps and three times quieter performance compared to stock.

ASUS says its ROG Strix GTX 1080 will be available today sometime, but didn't mention a price.

As for Zotac, it's introducing two new GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards (in addition to its Founders Edition SKU), including the Amp Edition and Amp Extreme Edition. Both models feature SPECTRA, a fancy pants name for a lighting system that users can customize with different colors and effects.

Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Amp Edition

Zotac hasn't figured out what clockspeeds it will run either card at, though it did pick out a couple of cooling solutions. For the GeForce GTX 1080 Amp Edition, Zotac opted for a re-engineered dual fan IceStorm cooler. It's similar to the previous version but made tougher with ExoArmor and brighter with the addition of SPECTRA lighting.

Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Amp Edition

For the GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme Edition, there's a triple fan IceStorm cooler that promises a 30 percent jump in airflow compared to traditional fans. It also boasts ExoArmor and SPECTRA lighting.

Zotac will trot out its new cards at Computex at the end of the month. No word yet on when they'll be available to purchase or for how much.