Zotac, a well-known maker of advanced graphics adapters, has quietly started to sell its highest-performing factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card, which has enough performance to beat far more expensive GeForce GTX Titan X. The new graphics board not only features extreme clock-rates, but it is the world’s only GeForce GTX 980 Ti add-in-board with factory-overclocked memory.
The Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme Edition graphics card is based on c highly-custom printed circuit board with a proprietary voltage regulator module that greatly improves GPU power plane to enable maximum overclocking potential. The graphics board is significantly taller than Nvidia Corp.’s reference design to accommodate additional inductors, MOSFETs and capacitors required for a sophisticated multi-phase (probably 10+2- or 12+2-phase) VRM.
The graphics card uses sophisticated printed-circuit board for a reason. Nvidia’s GM200-310 graphics processor on the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme Edition is clocked at 1253MHz/1355MHz (base/boost), the highest out-of-the-box clock-rates of any GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics adapter to date. Moreover, Zotac decided to further improve performance of its product and overclocked memory of the card to 7220MHz, something that none of Nvidia’s partners has done to a flagship graphics adapter.
The board requires two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors and can consume up to 375W of power. To cool down the world’s highest-performing GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card, Zotac uses triple-slot/triple-fan IceStorm cooling system. The monstrous cooler is equipped with LED lights in order to appeal to modders.
Thanks to massively increased frequency of the GPU and memory, the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme Edition is at least 25 per cent faster than Nvidia’s reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti. In fact, compute horsepower of Zotac's eForce GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme Edition is around 7056GFLOPS, which is approximately 15 per cent higher compared to that of Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan X and is around 25 per cent higher compared to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Moreover, thanks to 3 per cent higher memory bandwidth compared to competing solutions, the board from Zotac will provide even higher performance in ultra-high-definition resolutions, such as 4K (3840*2160).
Zotac first demonstrated its GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme Edition at Computex last month. Right now, the graphics card is available for sale at Overclockers UK for £599 for a limited amount of time. In the U.S. the board is available at Newegg for $699. Considering the fact that the product promises to outperform considerably more expensive GeForce GTX Titan X in almost all cases, its price does not seem excessive.
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KitGuru Says: It is interesting to note that while end-users can overclock memory on their Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics adapters, suppliers of add-in-cards are not allowed to boost clock-rates of GDDR5 DRAM on their products. Memory controllers of Nvidia’s GM204 and GM200 graphics processors can handle clock-rates of 8GHz and higher, there are memory chips from Samsung and SK Hynix that can officially operate at 8GHz. It is a complete mystery why Nvidia does not use such chips and also does not allow its partners to utilize them and/or overclock memory on their GeForce GTX products. It is unknown how Zotac managed to convince Nvidia to let it overclock GDDR5 on its card and whether other manufacturers follow Zotac.