We already know that the reference GTX 480 is a powerhouse that can produce incredible frame rates, even with the eye candy cranked at 2560×1600 on our 30 inch panel.
We have certainly not been disappointed with the performance of the AMP! and are quite pleased to see a slight drop in power consumption … even if it is minor. With high levels of Anti Aliasing the AMP! edition delivers roughly 10 percent more performance than the reference card, whether this is noticeable in real world conditions depends on the engine. We could certainly tell with Metro 2033 as the engine was slightly smoother in particularly demanding environmental situations.
The cooler is the main selling point and we were very impressed with the overall performance combined with minimal noise throughout all our stress testing. The substantial heatpipe design really helps to keep temperatures well within tighter parameters, because although nVidia say 95c is fine, I don’t believe them … not for one minute. Thankfully Zotac have reduced these by 10c under load which is much safer long term.
In closing, we have a card that performs better than the reference solution, it also runs cooler and generates less noise. It is still a power hog, however the slight reductions we recorded are due to the AMP! edition running cooler. Would I recommend the card? £510 will be out of reach for the majority of enthusiast gamers. For the specific audience this is targeted at however they won’t really care about the price – we all know them … benchmark junkies, high end gamers in big paying jobs. A niche, wealthy audience who just want the fastest product on the market, and we are confident right now that this is it.
Kitguru says: It still consumes enough juice to power a small island, but if ultimate performance is what you want, then you really can’t get much better.
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