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ZOTAC GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition

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Posted August 16, 2012 by Jake in

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Overview

 
Manufacturer:
 
Price at time of Review: $330
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Excellent performance, Bold styling, Low temperatures, Factory overclock, Compact PCB design
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Lack of power upgrade for serious overclocking, Pricing higher than competitors
 
BOTTOM LINE:
Excellent performance and unique styling for gamers who want to impress their buddies.
by Jake
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Summary

When Kepler first launch with the GTX 680, it was revolutionary in many regards. The GTX 670 continued those innovations forward, still maintaining excellent performance but coming with a lower price tag. And now the GTX 660 Ti takes Kepler into more performance-oriented “mainstream” territory, hitting the $300 price range. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this new card is a racehorse under the hood, nearly as fast as the GTX 670, which isn’t surprising given its vast similarities. But the 660 Ti costs quite a bit less; in fact, the value here on this new card is good enough that we’d hesitate to recommend the 670 in most instances.

What even more interesting is that the GTX 660 Ti should be positioned against the Radeon 7950, but as we saw during testing, not only did this new Kepler card trounce the AMD counterpart, it also beat the flagship 7970 in many instances as well. There were a few scenarios where the GTX 660 Ti fell back, so we can’t declare it fully a grand slam, but it did manage to unquestionably hit it out of the park.

In terms of innovation, the Kepler lineup features Adaptive V-Sync, FXAA improvements and performance, and multi-screen Surround support. But arguably the most ground-breaking is GPU Boost. GPU Boost, in our opinion, is nothing short of revolutionary. The concept isn’t entirely new though, as Intel’s Sandy Bridge Turbo was the real innovator, but Nvidia appears to have taken the same approach with GPUs as Intel has been with CPUs. It’s really a new way of thinking, continually monitoring and dynamically adjusting the card’s processes to provide optimal performance. And not simply gaming performance; power consumption, temperatures, and loads are all monitored and adjusted steadily for peak efficiency. Suffice it to say, we’re huge fans of GPU Boost.

Expect to see several Nvidia partner cards with this launch, nearly all of them sporting a custom cooler, improved power design, or factory overclock. And in a few instances, all of those. ZOTAC has taken the middle road here, offering a custom heatsink in the form of the Dual Silencer as well as a factory overclock. It’s a smaller design, sporting no significant power improvements for hardcore overclocking, so don’t expect to break speed records with your manual overclocking mad skillz here. However, it gets the job done very well regardless.

The performance is certainly impressive, and while the styling may not be to everyone’s best tastes, we think it’s bold and quite like its uniqueness. The fans are quiet at idle and do a very good job at load as well, though the higher RPMs exhibit a bit of a slight whiny signature, but nothing troubling when inside a closed case.

Lastly, in terms of price, the reference Nvidia design is slated to cost $300, while this ZOTAC AMP! Edition will retail for $330. We think the $30 premium is worth the investment, though we have seen a couple other GTX 660 Ti cards that all sports custom heastsinks and factory overclocks, and upgraded components in one instance, for $10 less. So ZOTAC has this card priced slightly higher than the competition, though it doesn’t necessarily warrant it by comparison.

Nonetheless, we think Nvidia has another winner here, and the ZOTAC GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edtion is an excellent card overall.

ZOTAC GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition

 

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