Zotac GTX 480 AMP! Edition VideoCard Review
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.
|950 / 3800 MHz (Clock Rate / Effective Rate)
|1536 MB GDDR5
|1 x Mini-HDMI, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I connectors
|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
Zotac Software Bundle
|1 x 6 pin , 1 x 8 pin PCI-E power connectors
Minimum 600 Watt power supply
|Height - 4.376 in / 111.15 mm
Length - 10.5 in / 266.7 mm
Weight - 3 lbs
Must register within 30 days of purchase
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.