We’ve seen what Nvidia’s latest graphics muncher is capable of and now it’s time to take a look at some of the other retail offerings in the market, starting with ZOTAC’s Amp Edition of the GTX 670. Not only is this factory overclocked, but it also features some elaborate cooling solutions, similar to Asus’s DirectCU II heatsinks. Despite all of this, ZOTAC have managed to keep the pricing very competitive, so let’s see how it fares with the rest of the cards out there.
Design and Build
There’s nothing sleek or classy about the design, infact ZOTAC has gone with a hardcore, vulgar design choice, which we quite like to be honest. There’s a skinny metal plate on the front covering the heatsink's copper heatpipes that sprout out from the top. While this set-up certainly looks bad a**, the one problem is that is occupies a three slot in your cabinet, which can be an issue, if you have a sound card or anything else installed. We ran into a problem where the heatsink would collide against the SATA cables, since our motherboard has the ports facing upwards, rather than outwards.
For connectivity, we have two DVI ports, HDMI and a DisplayPort. There are vents above the ports, but due to the open nature of the card, the hot air will mostly be dispersed in the chassis itself, rather than directly outside. As usual, ZOTAC gives you a very satisfying bundle with all the cables, drivers, a game pack (TrackMania 2) and 5 year warranty.
Will occupy thre slots on your motherboard
Since this is the overclocked edition, the core speed has been bumped up to 1.09GHz and the Boost clock set to 1.17GHz. This is quite a healthy overclock out-of-the-box from 915MHz and Boost clock of 980MHz. The memory remains 2GB GDDR5, but the frequency has increased to 6.6GHz. Rest of the features remain pretty much the same as the reference card we reviewed, which includes Adaptive Vertical Sync, FXAA, TXAA and 3DVision Surround.
The card runs absolutely silent even on full load, since the dual-fan configuration easily keeps the temperatures down with having to spin too fast. The ZOTAC GTX 670 Amp runs at 43 degrees Celsius on idle and doesn’t go past the 69 degrees mark even on full load. ZOTAC also bundles Firestorm software for further tweaking the card.
3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation to determine the performance of a computer's 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing 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 video game 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 Geomerics' 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 video game 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 first-person shooter video game, which continues to bring even the toughest graphics cards down 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 gameplay as well as DX11 elements. For this test, we disabled Nvidias’s PhysX, since it would be unfair to AMD’s cards. Everything else was maxed out.
For a street price of Rs.30,999, the ZOTAC GTX 670 Amp Edition is clearly one of the best GTX 670 offerings in the market right now. Not only are you getting a solid bundle and very good card, you also get a very good performance boost right out of the box that even rivals a stock GTX 680. If we had to find some fault with the card, then I’d say that it's a little too big, if you have a cramped case or have other expansion cards installed, so you might want to keep that in mind before going for it.
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