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Zotac GTX 580 AMP! Edition review

When KitGuru originally reviewed the GTX580, it earned our highest award, and deservedly so. It is the fastest single GPU card on the market, and that hasn’t changed since it was released. The reference card was released around £420 and it delivered class leading performance with a pretty good standard cooling solution – it was the card the GTX480 should have been.

In the months since we last reviewed the reference sample, Asus released their GTX580 Direct CU II which is easily one of the best nVidia oriented graphics cards on the market – especially when factoring in the proprietary dual fan cooling solution. This monster card can be yours for £390, which in today’s market is actually fantastic value for money.

The Zotac GTX 580 AMP! Edition is clocked higher than the Asus card, but the sample we received failed to manually overclock to the same levels. The biggest problem however has yet to come … the price.

Scan are selling the Zotac GTX 580! AMP Edition for £453 inc vat, £63 more than the Asus Direct CU II, which is supplied with a custom PCB and twin fan cooling system – the Zotac card is basically a reference card with a different bios setting. Things get worse as it is not only more expensive than the Asus GTX580 card, but it is £153 more expensive than the Asus HD 6970 Direct CU II. No matter what way I look at it, Zotac have the pricing very wrong, because even if they reduced the price by £60, the custom Asus GTX580 card offers better value for money.

While we love the GTX580, this particular AMP! Edition is pricing itself out of the market. If Zotac had given this the full AMP! treatment, complete with enhanced cooling and custom PCB then it might have made more sense.

Pros:

  • GTX580 is Nvidia’s finest hour
  • great image quality
  • good ‘out of the box’ clocks

Cons:

  • same old reference cooler
  • price point is silly
  • competition is offering better solutions for less money

KitGuru says: GTX580 rocks, but Zotac need to drop the price, significantly. Worth buying if you can find it at a lower price.

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Rating: 8.0.

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