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ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition Video Card Review

By: Anthony Garreffa | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jan 22, 2015 2:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ZOTAC

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition GPU.

 

What's Hot

 

It's Quiet, and Most of the Time, Even Silent: During all of my testing at various resolutions and loads, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition barely made a peep. Sitting here right now I'm running a benchmark as I write this, and its fans may be spinning, but they're not making any noise.

 

Unbeatable Price Point: At $209... well, holy hell it's good. At this price you're getting a card that is capable of smashing out 1080p at 60FPS in virtually every game on the market right now which is just incredible. Consoles, eat your hearts out (at 720p 30FPS).

 

1080p 60FPS Gaming Has Met its Match: ZOTAC has a card that can perform at 1920x1080 at nearly 60FPS in every game with the details cranked up. 1080p might not be enabled, but the 128-bit memory bus is going to start to feel the strain once you crank things like AA up. At 1080p, you're able to enjoy a near-silent GPU that can pump out 60FPS. Better yet, it's not priced anywhere near the level of the GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290.

 

4K at 30FPS Is No Problem: This is something I thought I wouldn't be saying, but the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition is capable of 4K at 30FPS... for $209. Wow.

 

Great Style: ZOTAC make some truly great looking cards, with the new GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition being no exception. If you want to show off your new GPU through your case window, you'll have all eyes on your system with this card.

 

Maxwell Architecture: As we detailed in our GeForce GTX 960 architecture overview article, NVIDIA has got some magic with its Maxwell architecture. We wouldn't be here today praising up the work of ZOTAC on this GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition if it weren't for the engineering efforts NVIDIA went to with Maxwell. Truly impressive stuff.

 

What's Not

 

Back Plate Gets Extremely Hot: This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's worth pointing out. The back plate on the GTX 960 AMP! Edition gets extremely hot, but this means it's doing its job - taking the heat away from other areas, that would normally get hotter. I'd rather have a hotter back plate, with cooler and quieter operation overall, than no back plate and additional heat needing to be worked off of the card.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

This was my first GeForce GTX 960 off the ranks, with an MSI card coming up next, and an EVGA and ASUS on their way. ZOTAC has impressed me, with a card that features a great cooling setup with its dual fan cooling system and FREEZE technology. During 90% or more of my time with the AMP! Edition, it didn't make a peep.

 

zotac-geforce-gtx-960-amp-edition-video-card-review_25

 

This is hard to say about most other cards, especially since the last system I was playing with featured two GIGABYTE Radeon R9 290X WindForce GPUs in Crossfire, which made a huge amount of noise when they were under full load.

 

ZOTAC includes their easy-to-use and very functional FireStorm software so that you can squeeze every single last drop of performance out of the GTX 960 AMP! Edition, which has some incredible headroom in it considering its low power footprint. ZOTAC has already overclocked it by a decent margin out of the box, and even if you leave it, you can see that from our benchmarks, you're getting close to 60FPS at 1080p most of the time which is great.

 

Even when things are turned up to 2560x1440, or 1440p, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition was still taking swings at performance. The AMP! Edition, with our stock Core i7-5820K and stock clocks on the factory overclocked AMP! Edition card was capable of around 30-40FPS at 1440p. This is more than playable, and considering the price, this is a great achievement.

 

Hats tipped to NVIDIA who are continuing the domination of the GPU market with their Maxwell architecture, which has now hit the mid-range market. ZOTAC, on the other hand, has taken the reference design of the GTX 960 and spun its own story with the AMP! Edition. This is a card you can be proud of buying, and surprised with just how great the bang for buck is with it.

 

 

PRICING: You can find the Zotac GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition 2GB for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

 

United States: The Zotac GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition 2GB retails for $229.00 at Amazon.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (overclocking, power)95%
Quality (build, cooling, design)90%
General Features (display outputs, etc)90%
Bundle, Packaging & Software90%
Value for Money99%
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: ZOTAC has crafted such a great video card in the GeForce GTX 960 AMP! Edition, with near silent and sometimes silent operation, huge overclocking headroom and a quality card all-round. This is something to remember.

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