Zotac GeForce 8800 GTX AMP! Edition Review
On the whole, Zotac's first foray into our labs has been a pretty good one. Of course there is very little differentiation, aside from clockspeeds, from most other board partners out there because Nvidia’s high-end cards are all built by a third party contractor. However, what we have seen is that even a relatively new manufacturer can polish Nvidia’s now nine month old GeForce 8800 GTX and create a pretty good product. We’re a little disappointed that Zotac didn’t increase the shader clock speed, but considering the relatively small performance difference this isn’t a massive issue. Games are becoming more shader heavy and as proven by the GeForce 8800 Ultra, the higher shader clock results in ultimately higher performance even despite a lower “core” clock.<br><br>
I think that trend is only going to continue going forwards as more and more shader heavy games come out. DirectX 10 is all about shaders and doing more with pixels instead of necessarily rendering more pixels on the screen at any given time, so higher clocks on the shader portion of this graphics card would have made sense in our eyes. Zotac has positioned this card quite aggressively if the likes of Ebuyer and CCL Computers can sell at, or under the £389.99 suggested retail price given to us by Zotac’s sales representatives. EVGA’s e-GeForce 8800 GTX KO Superclocked ACS³ card retails for around £415 (inc. VAT), while other cards like the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX XXX Edition (which has the same clock speeds as Zotac’s AMP! Edition) retail for around £410 (inc. VAT). Probably the closest competition on price is BFGTech’s GeForce 8800 GTX OC2 video card, which is currently on pre-order at Scan for just under £400 (inc. VAT). BFGTech’s card currently has a better warranty than Zotac, but as we mentioned towards the start of the review, we’ve heard rumours suggesting that Zotac might be looking to extend its warranty to something comparable to what both BFGTech and EVGA offer in Europe. If that happens, then all of a sudden Zotac’s GeForce 8800 GTX AMP! Edition card looks very competitive.
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