After the Asus GTX650TI-DC2T-1GD5, it’s now time to take the ZOTAC GTX 650 Ti AMP! Edition for a spin. The GTX 650 Ti sits in the price range of the GTX 550 Ti all the way up to the GTX 560, depending on which version of the card you get. Let’s see if ZOTAC’s overclocked offering delivers the extra performance that it charges for.
Design and Build
Unlike the Asus offering, ZOTAC has stuck with a much more sensible design and designed the cooler around the size of the card rather than just slapping a large one from one of its high-end cards. Don’t let this miniature size fool you though, as it packs in quite a powerful chipset. The card is quiet tiny, so it will easily fit into most mid-tower chassis. The rear ports include two HDMIs and two DVI (one DVI-D and one DVI-I) ports. There’s a little vent as well for some air circulation. The cooler consists of an aluminium block with fins along the sides. This heat dissipated from the fins is then cooled by a single large fan.
Compact and easy to install
Since this is based on the GK106 silicon, the GTX 650 Ti doesn’t really require any extravagant cooler to keep the temperatures in check. The maximum power draw of the GTX 650 Ti is just 110W, so you only need a single PCIe power connector. Nvidia recommends a 400W PSU as the bare minimum to properly power the card. Overall, ZOTAC has done a pretty good job in the design and build aspect of the GTX 650 Ti, plus the orange accent does add a bit of flair to the card as well.
Good connectivity options
This being the overclocked version of the GTX 650 Ti, ZOTAC has bumped up the core speed from the stock 928MHz to 1033MHz. There’s a total of 768 CUDA cores or stream processors onboard as well. The memory on the AMP! Edition is clocked quite a bit higher as compared to the reference card from Nvidia. The clock speed of the memory now sits at 1550MHz (6200MHz effective) and you get 2GB of it.
As compared to Asus’ overclocked edition, the ZOTAC GTX 650 Ti AMP! Edition is very similar in performance since they both run at the core clock speed. However, since the memory runs a bit faster on the ZOTAC, it manages to edge out the Asus card in some of the gaming benchmarks. On the temperature front, the custom cooler does a good job of keeping temperatures in check. The card idles at 40 degrees Celsius while on full load and does not go beyond 55 degrees Celsius.
3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation to determine the performance of a computer's 3D graphics rendering and CPU workload handling capabilities. The latest version makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. We used the ‘Performance’ preset for this benchmark.
Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and is based on the new Frostbite 2 game engine. The game only supports DX10 and DX11, which enables enhanced in-game destruction with Destruction 3.0, creating more refined physics than its predecessor and quasi-realtime radiosity using Geometrics' Enlighten technology. The game is a visual treat and a nightmare for graphics cards, which makes it perfect for our test. We used the ‘Ultra High’ preset, Post AA: High, Blur: Full, Field of View: 90, Level: ‘Fear no Evil’.
Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter developed by Crytek and is based on the new CryEngine 3. Just like the first iteration of the game, Crysis 2 continues to be one of the best looking shooters to date. The settings used for this benchmark were ‘Ultra High’ preset in Adrenalin, DX11 and High-resolution texture patch.
Dirt 3 is a rallying video game and the third in the Dirt series of the Colin McRae Rally series, developed and published by Codemasters. The game is extremely scalable and features DX11 tessellation effects. We used the built-in benchmark tool, along with ‘Ultra’ quality preset.
Metro 2033 is a slightly older first-person shooter that continues to bring even the toughest of graphics cards to their knees. The game has a lot of DX11 eye-candy, which really puts a strain on any GPU. All DX11 features were enabled for the benchmark and we used the “Tower” level for our test.
Batman: Arkham City
A sequel to Arkham Asylum, Arkham City features a more open-world style of gameplay as well as DX11 elements. For this test, we disabled Nvidia's PhysX, since it would be unfair to AMD’s cards. Everything else was maxed out.
Verdict and Price in India
With an MRP of Rs.12,999 for the AMP! Edition, the ZOTAC GTX 650 Ti is priced the same as the Asus one. In fact, the street price of the card should be a lot lesser, which makes it better value since it does offer slightly better performance for less money. If space is a constraint in your cabinet, then ZOTAC’s offering is the way to go as it delivers very good performance in a compact form factor.
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