Thursday , 21 August 2014
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Zotac GTX680 AMP Edition Graphics Card

Conclusion

When receiving the ZOTAC GTX 680 AMP I was pretty stoked as I always love to see what can be done when a company steps away from the reference. Speaking of reference pretty much everything about this card is reference except the cooler. and the cooler is simply massive and at default it keeps the card close to what I have seen from other non reference cards such as the ASUS DirectCU II TOP temperature wise. Noise, if ramped up is there but nothing I would consider ridiculous unless its right next to your head in an open test bench.

Overclocking on this card for the GPU is quite limited and this could be due to the fact that vGPU adjustment simply cannot go very far and I am hoping in the future there will be a tool available to push it more as I feel like it is being held back a bit. A software voltage control with more range would be ideal as most users will not hard mod a card just to get more volts and performance.

SLI, as long as you have a board with triple slot spaced slots should be fine but some boards may have an issue here. 3-Way and 4-Way will definitely be all but impossible without some serious custom PCIe ribbons and SLI cables. At this point I do think this is pretty much common knowledge as triple slot coolers have been around a few generations now and everyone is pretty well versed on some of the challenges.

The inclusion of the Assassin’s Creed game pack is really cool as it adds definite marketable value to the combo and honestly makes the price a bit more feasible as the Assassin’s Creed games are pretty awesome in my opinion. I will not say it adds a full 70 dollar value to the package as that would mean that it places this as almost the cheapest 680 on the market, but with the added value of the games it gets close to the lower priced efforts and with a nice factory overclock.

Mentioning overclocking also brings up some sore spots as ZOTAC does not have a capable software yet available. Finding a software from another manufacturer is easy enough and it works fine but I am eagerly awaiting a good software from ZOTAC to really show what their AMP edition is made of and I feel that could really add some serious street cred to their already strong AMP lineup.

I try to look at each product I receive as a whole and with ZOTAC products its always a mixed bag because there is so much I like with the “dare to be different” design approach. Adding multiple full games to the bundle which gives the buyer/gamer a real value and some new games to show off the performance of their new AMP edition toy. But the sticking with reference design sometimes can bite you on a top end product as on one side it ensures the widest compatibility with aftermarket components such as custom watercooling units, but also reference designs are not known for the highest overclocks either as the VRM is designed by reference to be super durable at default settings. The only thing this card is missing is some overclocking love in the build of the VRM and component selection and a nice overclock software and I would truly say this card could be unstoppable.

 

Anyone looking to get into a 680 with a unique look, a monster cooler and an excellent bundle of games could easily look at the ZOTAC AMP Edition GTX 680 to smash through most any current gen games with little to no issues even on max detail. With the Kepler GPU means you can also enjoy your games with multi monitor support up to 4 displays on a single card for a great multi-screen platform as well to offer not just extreme surround gaming but the enhanced productivity that kind of screen real estate can offer.

 

OUR VERDICT: ZOTAC GTX 680 AMP Edition
Performance 8.5
Value 9
Quality 8.5
Features 8.5
Innovation 8
We are using a new addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.
Total 8.5
Pros Cons

Very good out of the box performance

Cool looking card

Monster cooler adds to the edgy style

SLI Support

Great aftermarket component compatibility

Excellent and valuable game bundle

Its just a beastly looking card

Performance is just waiting for a performance VRM solution

High end card needs OC Software

Reference design limits OC capability

 

Summary: The ZOTAC GTX 680 AMP simply plugs in and goes and has a monster cooler to show it means business. With some small improvements this card could be unstoppable. for this it receives the Bjorn3D Silver Bear Award.
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