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Zotac GTX680 AMP Edition Graphics Card

Overview of the ZOTAC GT680 AMP

 

The packaging for the AMP Edition 680 is similar to what we saw on the 660 Ti card but a bit larger. The front shows at the top what I had mentioned previously which is the inclusion of the 3 game bundle of the Assassins Creed series. Other key specs are listed but for the most part a large AMP! takes up most of the front as ZOTAC definitely wants you to know this is their best of the best. The rear has multilingual info along with some key story line about AMP edition graphics. Also a few game screenshots and some supporting performance details.

 

here is what you see when we open the box.

 

Here is a list of all items included in the accessory pack:

  • Installation Disc
  • Dual 4 Pin Molex to 6 Pin PCIe Power adapters
  • Installation manuals/material
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • Assasin’s Creed Bundle (approx $70.00 value)

The accessory package is complete as you can expect and of course includes the previously mentioned 3 game bundle. (Consisting of Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed II & Assassin’s Creed Revelations) This bundle when doing a quick check on steam would be an approximate retail value of $70.00 USD which definitely adds some value to the whole card combo especially if your a fan of the Assassin’s creed franchise.

 

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Here we have the card out of the protective foam and box and boy is it BIG! The large heatpipes really do sail quite high above the heatsink/card combo and make the card much taller than you would expect so definitely no skinny cases for this thing, but then again who’s gonna get a card like this and throw it in a tiny case? Overall the card is largely based on reference design which means its a proven design since its the way NVIDIA designed it to begin with. This may affect overclocking performance as reference VRM designs can have a tough time matching the performance of some of the custom PCB variants. If this is anything like the 660Ti though I think it will be just fine.

 

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The rear IO supports multiple connectivity options including:

  • DVI-I
  • DVI-D
  • HDMI
  • DisplayPort

This connectivity is vast and supports any display you could find. Being a Kepler based card also means it can support up to 4 displays so therefore all of these ports can be populated to offer an awesome surround + accessory gaming display array.

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The cooler is super thick 3 slots thick to be frank and it shows as you see the massive fin array and huge heatpipes. The heatpipes feed down into the base which we will look at when we remove the cooler but as you see from the bottom shot there is plenty of surface area to pull the heat away from the GPU. The cooler being so wide does require special note as any SLI configuration above 2 way will require specially spaced slots and special SLI ribbons unless of course your looking to go liquid cooled at which point it really doesnt matter. This is another advantage as this card being a reference design there should be plenty of liquid cooling options available rather quickly.

Popping the top on the AMP Edition GTX 680

 

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The cooler, once removed, we found an interesting design as the baseplate contacting the GPU is a vapor chamber design. This means that the vapor chamber saps heat away, passes it to the sandwiched heatpipes which carry it to the fin array to be dissipated to the ambient air. Usually there is a vapor chamber or a heatpipe but to see the 2 mixed in such way is intriguing but hey if it works im not gonna complain. Looking back at the card with the large cooler removed and I find the plate type cooler which is 2 separate pieces.  One is covering the VRAM and the other is a T shape and covers the VRM which once uncovered I verified my suspicions that it is a reference design completely.

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The reference design board is kept true even to the stacked 6 pins ready to feed this hungry beast. The stacked 6 pins are not at all a bad design and work quite well but I do see that some of the high performance models use a 8 pin/6 pin combo for the extra power overhead when overclocking. Here we see the GK104 GPU which is the basis for pretty much every 6 series part and it is a very powerful piece of technology just waiting to be unleashed.

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The rear we see the PWM controller like we covered in our reference 680 article which appears to sit on its own mini pcb which likely made life much easier for NVIDIA to test out different control combinations to find the best combo for what they needed. I actually like this design as when it comes time to push the limits and get some extreme overclocks underway you have a raised area that looks to be even easier to mod for manual voltage control or even some hopeful hardware overvolting to get some record breaking clocks. The lower area has 6 blank solder pad sets which were likely in place for capacitor components which wound up being rendered unnecessary when the design was completed. The rear of the GPU which of course has the most direct feed to the GPU houses some components  located in direct opposite the GPU which is likely to clean up the signal going to the GPU and give the power delivery best as possible for optimum performance.

 

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