Zotac GTX 480 AMP! Edition VideoCard Review - HotHardware

Zotac GTX 480 AMP! Edition VideoCard Review

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By now, we all know that NVIDIA's flagship GeForce GTX 480 is a powerful graphics card. For most systems, it provides a lot more GPU muscle than is even necessary, but that's OK with us. We're sure there are many enthusiasts out there that consider overkill a good thing. Unfortunately, the card in its reference form is not perfect and has its own set of flaws that might turn off some consumers, namely excessive heat and noise. Roughly $500 is a lot of money to spend on a single PC component. And if a product commands such a high price, any perceived drawbacks can be a tough pill to swallow. Without a doubt, if you happen to have that much disposable income to spend on a video card upgrade, you definitely don't want to make a choice that you may regret later on.

Zotac's GTX 480 AMP! Edition was designed to address some of the issues found in the reference design. One look and it's easy to see that this is an extreme graphics card, made for enthusiasts that want only the best of the best. What makes us say that? With a core frequency of 756MHz, with 1512MHz shaders, and 950MHz memory, this is the fastest GTX 480 on the market currently. The preinstalled, triple slot Zalman VF3000 cooler also makes it one of the largest cards you can buy. Nevertheless, it's obvious to us that Zotac made no compromises in designing this bad boy, which caters to hardcore consumers who won't settle for stock.


Zotac GTX 480 AMP! Edition Video Card

Zotac GTX 480 AMP! Edition
Specifications and Features

Core Clock
756 MHz
Memory Clock
950 / 3800 MHz (Clock Rate / Effective Rate)
Shader Clock
1512 MHz
CUDA Cores
480
Total Memory
1536 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface
384 bit
Memory Bandwidth
182.4 GB/s
Output Connectors
1 x Mini-HDMI, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I connectors
Bus Type
PCI-E 2.0
Form Factor
Triple Slot
Accessories

Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter
DVI to VGA Adapter
Dual 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCIe Power Adapter
Dual Molex to 6-pin PCIe Power Adapter
Supersonic Sled / Design Garage Tech Demo
Driver Disk
Zotac Software Bundle
User Guide
Power Requirements 1 x 6 pin , 1 x 8 pin PCI-E power connectors
Minimum 600 Watt power supply
Dimensions

Height - 4.376 in / 111.15 mm
Length - 10.5 in / 266.7 mm
Weight - 3 lbs
Warranty
Limited Lifetime
Must register within 30 days of purchase
Price
$509




Currently, Newegg lists this video card at $509. We find several reference model GTX 480s in the $449 to $499 range, making Zotac's asking price somewhat competitive, especially considering the factory overclock and upgraded cooling. With this model, Zotac is targeting enthusiasts who desire more performance with less heat and quieter operation, straight out of the box. While this review is filled with benchmark results of the AMP! Edition compared to several high end offerings, the following page takes a closer look at the card to show you exactly what it has to offer.  

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sick card

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Thats is a wicked card and cooler

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Looks loud, and unnecessary. Although I wouldn't mind having it. It beats the crap out of my 5870.

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Nice card, and great review.

In the future, would it be possible to also run Heaven in OpenGL mode on Windows?  It would give your alternate-OS followers a better idea of how well the devs are pushing it in their drivers.  Tests on both Windows and Linux have shown that the OpenGL scores in Heaven are consistently equal between Win7 and Ubuntu 10.04 when using Nvidia's drivers.

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I have owned this card for about 2 months now.  It is not loud at all, in fact it's damn near silent.  The fans turn at 44% under idle and they never go above 60% speed while playing Crysis Warhead (which by the way, I play with every setting on max or enthusiast settings and 16xAA and I'm getting 50fps avg. at 1920x1080).  I have also overclocked my card to 800MHz core and 1025 memory so far with no voltage changes and it's 100% stable for 24hrs under OCCT GPU test.  This is by far, for the last 3 months, the fastest single GPU solution on the market.  I bought mine for $499 off newegg.com (with a $10 discount coupon).

Here is the kicker... add a second of of these cards to your system in SLI and get an 80% performance increase.  Wow.  Compared to ATI's 45% increase with crossfire, this card becomes the best price to performance enthusiast card on the market in a duel setup. 

Nvidia got some bad press at the Fermi debut but Zotac turned all that right around. This is the only GTX480 you should really consider IMO.  It's worth it.

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Good performance...But LOOK AT ALL THE PLACES THAT DUST CAN COLLECT! Indifferent

Your gonna have to take it out and clean it with a toothbrush every other week:P

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