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Zotac GTX280 AMP! Edition Review

ccokeman    -   October 27, 2008
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Conclusion:

At this point in time the Zotac GTX280 Amp Edition is the highest performing "Single GPU" video card I have tested. Even the HD4870 1GB model fell short against this card. There were several benchmarks where the 4870 1GB models performance was equal but they were few and far between. On the other hand the HD4870X2 is still a monster but it should be with two GPU cores providing the performance. As an overclocked card I expected the performance to be at the upper end of the spectrum and I was not disappointed in any way. Pushing higher than the pre set clock speeds is sometimes difficult as there is usually not much room left unless you resort to volt mods and extreme cooling, something Joe six pack is not going to do. Increases on the GPU core clock speeds were at 5% and 12% on the memory clocks. What was amazing was that I was able to push 1300+MHz on the memory. One thing Zotac did not scrimp on was the bundle. The HDMI adapter, two power connections and Full version of Race Driver Grid were additions you do not see on most bundles. Some manufacturers more so than others. With the ability to take the Physx computing off of the CPU and push it to the GPU Nvidia has found a way to increase performance and allow for a more realistic experience in the gaming we so love. That is the reason we purchase cards of this caliber.

The GTX280 uses CUDA technology to enable the GPU to do massive parallel computing operations such as video transcoding and distributed computing. With the reduced time to code video you can spend more time enjoying the video instead of making the trips back and forth watching the CPU chug along slowly as it completes the work. With 240 processing cores compared to 4 on a quad core CPU you can see the potential improvement. Stanford University saw the light and created a distributed computing client that takes advantage of those 240 processing cores with their Folding At Home project that looks for cures to some of the incurable diseases we have to contend with. On launch day the GTX280 was selling for $649 dollars, then the HD48xx series dropped on the world at a much lower price point and delivered performance a level below but at a price more of the masses could take advantage of. To combat this, Nvidia and its partners have the GTX currently going for around $400 or lower if you catch the rebates just right. If you can only take advantage of one video card the GTX280 would be a good choice. But for those who can take advantage of using two or three of these cards with the correct 780i or 790i based motherboards the performance is just amazing. In the Zotac GTX280 you have a video card that offers incredible single GPU performance, comes with a great bundle and is currently priced below $400 with a rebate. Without a down side this card from Zotac would easily fulfill your gaming needs.


Pros:

  • Pre overclocked
  • Bundled accessories
  • Excellent performance
  • Overclocking
  • Parallel Computing
  • Physx Capable
  • F@H
  • Raw Performance
  • Lowered Price
  • TrI SLI Capable
  • Video Transcoding

Cons:

  • Fan Loud at 100%


OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Configuration (Drivers & Programs)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  6. Testing: Crysis
  7. Testing: Knights of The Sea
  8. Testing: BioShock
  9. Testing: Call of Duty 4
  10. Testing: World In Conflict
  11. Testing: Call of Juarez
  12. Testing: Company of Heroes (Opposing Fronts)
  13. Testing: 3DMark06 Professional
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Conclusion
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