Date Joined: 05/21/08
Pros: - Compact
- Performs well
- Slight factory overclock over NVidia's reference card, even without increasing power limit
Cons: - Small cooler
- BIOS bugs in DisplayPort
- Pricey compared to competition
Overall Review: I upgraded to this card from an MSI GEFORCE GTX 1070 ARMOR 8G OC, which also has a 2-fan cooler and a 200W power limit.
On installation, it was obvious that the Zotac has a smaller cooler than the MSI; both the heatsink and fans are more compact.
With my setup, depending on how many monitors I'm driving and at what refresh rate, the card idles at about 50-56C, and the default fan curve goes to 0 RPM at 54C. At the higher end of idle power consumption, the fans don't stay at 0 RPM for very long; they will spin up for a second or two at a low speed (500 RPM or less, which is very quiet), then shut down for a second or two, in alternating order (front fan only, rear fan only, repeat.) I did some tweaks to my chassis fan curves and if I'm only running my main monitor at 60Hz, the card's fans will mostly stay turned off.
My monitor is a Samsung C32HG70, which may have a slightly unusual DisplayPort implementation, and the BIOS on this board is usually unable to initialize EFI GOP (Graphics Output Protocol) on this monitor when connected via DisplayPort. The full-fledged OS drivers (in either Windows or Linux) do not have this problem. This means that it is possible to boot an OS, if compatible display drivers are already installed, but it is not possible to get into the BIOS menus. I need the HDMI port on the card to connect to my home theatre setup, so I worked around this issue by buying a passive DP++-to-HDMI cable. This works fine, but requires refresh rates over 60Hz to be configured as a custom resolution in the Nvidia Control Panel, and the cable I'm using can't handle more than 100Hz at 1440p. To be fair this issue is probably Nvidia's fault, not Zotac's; the Geforce 1070 that I upgraded from had a very similar problem and I expect this to affect all competing 30-series cards.
I'm pretty happy with the purchase; I prefer cards with light power requirements over heavily overclocked cards that consume more power for little benefit. The default power target on this card is 200W, and can be increased to 220W. The cooling solution is adequate, and quiet enough (can't hear much over my home theater system when gaming, and it's quiet enough at idle.) However, given the cooling solution and the MSRP, it might make more sense to buy a competing card (if you can find one close to MSRP!) that might have a nicer cooling solution at a lower price.
Overall Review: It's a box of screws. It is what it is.
Be careful that the female side of the standoffs might not match the thread pitch of whatever screws came with your case. If that's the case, you should still be fine, but you'll need to use the screws that come with this kit.
Pros: Easy and fast, like 30-second drive install with just two screws
Cons: Fan doesn't stop when the drive spins down. Bummer.
Pros: It's a video card. It seems to get the job done for my parents (non-gamers.) The silent, fanless build is nice.
Cons: None that I'm aware of.