As the RTX 3080 Founders Edition is the de facto representative of performance for the RTX 3080 cards, its cooling isn’t really something we can use as a baseline for reference cards. The ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity is one such card. As the behavior of NVIDIA GPU is heavily impacted by how cool the graphics card is, better cooling will definitely influence performance.
This review will solely revolve around the value of the ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity based on someone who is in the market for an RTX 3080. This review is not aimed to convince you about the merits of an RTX 3080. You can read more about that in our NVIDIA RTX 3080 Founders Edition review. With that said, let’s dive right into the my conclusion about the ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity.
Everything will be about value at this point but the audience right now for the RTX 3080 will be divided: those that want an affordable upgrade over their RTX 20 series cards and don’t care about extras and then there are those that want a long-term investment. The ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity falls a little bit to the upgraders side. Although it can be used by both, I feel that in the case of those that want to use this card, they are better off getting the full potential of the GA102-200 silicon on their card. From our short time with the RTX 3080, we can see that this card still behaves much like older NVIDIA GPUs as it favors cooler temps to achieve far higher clocks advertised without manually overclocking the card. This makes cooler cards ideal for people who particularly don’t care or don’t know how to overclock. In the case of the ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity, its definitely a good cooler but fans are not as aggressive or powerful enough to really see compliment the cards dense fin stack. I highly recommended setting up a custom curve pat 55*C to help keep the card in that magic sub-70*C range to reap the benefits of the stock boost clocks.
Again, looking at our gaming load chart we have the ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity peaking at 72*C but managing to swing back to 70*C on lighter scenes. The higher temps make our GPU clock dip from 1850Mhz down to as low as 1750Mhz. Again, these are just purely stock numbers and OC figures might be more challenging so I’m curious about how the OC models behave and most especially the higher-tier class in ZOTAC’s stack play with their larger coolers.
Anyway, I’m sharing details about clock behavior to reinforce the idea of how cooling impacts performance and as you will see in custom card reviews, those definitely bring out more performance this card. That being said, a reference RTX 3080 is still a beast and despite NVIDIA’s overselling of the potential of the RTX 3080, 20-30% across the board from 1080p to 4K is still an acceptable generational improvement and even better at the same price.
The ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity is set to retail close to NVIDIA’s reference pricing for the RTX 3080. For those that cannot get their hands on the Founders Edition, the ZOTAC RTX 3080 Trinity represents a good alternative in terms of performance and while their coolers may be different, this will ultimately boil down to the user if the design is appealing to them. The product itself is well-built and the design is good, keeping in line with ZOTAC’s gaming design since the RTX 20 series with their sharp lines and curves with a slight touch of RGB for their Trinity cooler. The card is pretty straightforward but can be configured further using ZOTAC’s FireStorm tool to control fan speeds, RGB lighting and of course, overlocking the card.
There’s not a lot to complain about with a stock card. Its simple, it works and would be one the most readily available models when the RTX 3080 arrives in store. The ZOTAC GAMING RTX 3080 Trinity is, simply put, one of the easiest go-to reference cards for RTX 3080 buyers.