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ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition Video Card Review

By: Anthony Garreffa | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Feb 12, 2015 3:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: ZOTAC

Card Specifications

 

ZOTAC has built a great video card with the GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition, in many ways. Not only do we have a factory overclocked card, but we have some serious cooling with the triple fan IceStorm cooling system, some even more overclocking headroom, a reactive LED lightning system, customized Power+ circuitry, advanced OC Plus real-time performance intelligence, and the FireStorm Gamer Mode that allows for some tuning to the card.

 

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Here we have the detailed specifications.

 

Using these specifications, we'll compare the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition against the reference GTX 970 from NVIDIA. The reference GeForce GTX 970 has a Base Clock of 1050MHz, with a Boost Clock of 1178MHz. The memory is locked at 7GHz, providing 224GB/sec of memory bandwidth across its 256-bit memory bus.

 

The ZOTAC card, on the other hand, bumps up the Base Clock from 1050MHz to 1203MHz, while the Boost Clock has been increased from 1178MHz to 1355MHz. ZOTAC has also overclocked the 4GB of VRAM from 7GHz, to 7.2GHz, a 200MHz overclock. This provides a little bump on the memory bandwidth, from 224GB/sec to 230.4GB/sec.

 

The overclock on the card is impressive, but what is more impressive is that there is some serious headroom left on an already nice factory overclock. We'll go into that more later on in the review.

 

 

Cooling Setup

 

ZOTAC has deployed its IceStorm cooling on the GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition video card, which keeps the card seriously cool under the harshest of loads. The IceStorm cooler uses a hybrid heat sink design that combines the best thermal capabilities of copper, and aluminum to ensure that it is pulling as much heat from the GPU and dissipating it.

 

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Better yet, is that each heat pipe is covered in a silver coating, something that allows the smoother surface to reduce air resistance, all the while provides improved heat transfer properties that pushes the heat to the aluminum fins.

 

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Next, we have ZOTAC's ExoArmor, which is a "functional aesthetic touch to the IceStorm cooling system" that helps push air and reduce turbulence to smooth out airflow, reduce vibrations and noise. ZOTAC has used thermal plates that provide direct contact to the VRAM on the card, while the metal back plate helps out for maximum cooling under even the most extreme overclocking. ZOTAC has used water transfer printing that finishes off the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition with a carbon fiber finish that looks great.

 

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Now, onto Power+, which provides improved power delivery under the most intense of situations - whether it's in the middle of that important game, or under a super stressful overclock. ZOTAC's Power+ monitors the GPU's power requirements all in real-time, optimizing the power delivery circuitry for the best stability. All the while, it is minimizing wasted energy for long term reliability and added performance.

 

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The final two technologies that make up the cooling and outer housing of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition, are OC Plus and LIGHT.id. Starting with OC Plus, it is ZOTAC's independent power regulation controller that is in constant communication with the video card through an internal bus and talks with ZOTAC's overclocking software, FireStorm through an external USB connection.

 

When the OC Plus controller is connected through USB to the PC, advanced options are made available to users. This includes voltage adjustment, status monitoring, and other detailed overclocking options that get enabled within FireStorm.

 

One of the more unique parts of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition is the LIGHT.id system, which has two colors: green and red. The LIGHT.id system will adapt to the load conditions on your GPU, breathing a green light during light load, or red during increased load. The lights can be disables, and personalized through the FireStorm software.

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