Zotac GTX680 AMP! Edition Review
Published: 8th May 2012 | Source: Zotac | Price: |
It's fair to say we're big fans of the current graphics card scenario where you really have a choice about which card you wish to go with. The performance between them both is so tight that everyone is a winner.
Indeed we were so impressed with the heatsink and performance from the stock designed GTX680 that we questioned whether a factory overclock/third-party cooler would actually bring much to the party.
With the Zotac AMP! it has two big things going for it. The biggest thing, of course, is the factory overclock. Judging from how little extra we were able to extract it's obvious that Zotac are making the most of their batch of GPUs rather than take the safe "20MHz extra" route that some manufacturers decide upon. We know that not everyone wants to overclock their card and indeed the pre-overclocked cards are very popular. Last time we mentioned this there was some disquiet on the forums, but if factory overclocked cards with a price-premium didn't make manufacturing and sales sense, then companies wouldn't do it. The fact these cards exist mean that they're popular. So if you're going to go with one that has an overclock out of the box, why not go for the one with the most banzai speed? The AMP! is really pushing the abilities of the Kepler GPU.
Overclocking always generates heat, and the AMP! cooler is unbelievable at dispersing that heat. Due to the more open nature of the cooler and the fact it has two fans instead of one, it is a little louder than the reference design. However, the cooling ability more than makes up for this. Not only is it the coolest card in our graph at idle, but is the coolest overclocked card too. The GTX560Ti and Gigabyte HD7970 are a couple of degrees cooler, but that's at stock. Regardless the cooler not only bristles out of the card at every opportunity, but does a handsome job of keeping the GPU frosty.
The only downsides are that you can't overclock it much more than it already is, the cooler is a little louder than the stock one, and obviously you're paying a premium for having the overclocking done for you. Finally the overclocked results are pretty much inseparable from the results you'd get by overclocking a reference card.
So it looks great, performs very well both in temperature and frames-per-second styles, and has the full Assassin's Creed bundle to keep you entertained, and for this reason we're happy to award it our OC3D Silver Award.