Zotac GTX 980 Ti AMP! Extreme Review
NVIDIAís GTX 980 Ti has been receiving a lot of press lately, for all the right reasons. AMDís eagerly-anticipated Fury X failed to differentiate itself from the GeForce lineupís flagship and as a result, many holdouts ended up jumping to a GTX 980 Ti. As a result stocks of the card quickly sold out in the days following Fijiís launch. Meanwhile, board partners have begun to push this cardís already-impressive performance to dizzying heights through custom cooled, pre-overclocked SKUs. No better example of this can be found than Zotacís somewhat insane, thoroughly sexy GTX 980 Ti AMP! Extreme.
We havenít seen all that many Zotac cards around here as of late but the few that graced out test bench have been nothing but impressive. Take for example the GTX 960 AMP! Edition, a card that ultimately won our 5-way GTX 960 roundup by virtue of being fast, quiet, compact and oh-so-cute. The GTX 980 Ti AMP! Extreme meanwhile takes this same award-winning mentality and turns the dials to eleven.
While the only other custom GTX 980 Ti we have reviewed thus far is the excellent Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+, it should go without saying that Zotacís AMP! Extreme is head and shoulders above what EVGA is offering. Presently, this is one of the highest clocked GTX 980 Ti cards on the market, beating out even EVGAís Classified and ASUSí upcoming STRIX OC by a substantial margin. Make no mistake about it; being able to achieve a continual Boost clock of at LEAST 1355MHz takes some serious binning on Zotacís part so there wonít be a huge number of these cards in the channel.
Another thing that sets the AMP! Extreme apart is its overclocked memory. Up until receiving this card, board partners told us their hesitation to pre-overclock GDDR5 stems from the technologyís pickiness for consistent stability above its rated specification. Actually including higher speed memory proves to be an expensive challenge in the best of times. Zotac meanwhile has put their components through a stringent certification process so, albeit relatively minor, they were able to achieve a consistent GDDR5 overclock of 220MHz. Supposedly, their hand-picked ICís should lead to additional overclocking headroom as well.
On paper at least the Zotac GTX 980 Ti AMP! Extreme has what it takes to become one of -if not the- fastest air-cooled GM200-based cards on the market. Considering what weíve already seen from overclocked GTX 980 Tiís, it should have no problem surpassing the TITAN X by a notable amount while being less expensive to boot.
Speaking of price, the AMP! Extreme happens to be among the most expensive GTX 980 Tiís around at $699 (or a whopping $849 here in Canada), which shouldnít come as any surprise. It is however a good $50 less expensive than EVGAís HYBRID model while also featuring better overall performance. For anyone that wants simple plug-and-play performance without the need to overclock, Zotac seems to have exactly what the doctor ordered.
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