TweakTown

ZOTAC GeForce 8800GT AMP! Edition

We've got an 8800GT on steroids in hand from ZOTAC today, sporting overclocked speeds and an improved cooler to boot.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Dec 26 2007 11:00 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:26 PM CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: ZOTAC

Introduction

IntroductionZOTAC are back again and this time it's with the 8800GT. This isn't just any boring 8800GT though, as we have the "AMP! Edition" with us this time around. The good news is that the 8800GT stock seems to be picking up a bit more so hopefully you won't have too much trouble getting a card.The particularly good thing about the AMP! Edition is that it's more than just an overclocked card. We won't go into too much detail just yet though, let's first move onto the packaging side of things before moving onto a closer look at the card itself to see what ZOTAC have done different.

The Package

The PackageThe front of the box gives us a bucket load of information. As far as the main information goes we can see both the brand across the top and the model across the bottom of the box. We can also see just above the model that the particular card is the AMP! Edition as we mentioned.
The right of the box gives us the main features of the card like the inclusion of 512MB of GDDR3, 256-bit memory Interface, PCI Express 2.0, Overclocked and more. We can also see the inclusion of a DVI to HDMI Adaptor.
Turning the box over we have some more features of the card mentioned, some information about the technology implemented into the core along with a bit of a blurb on the card.We can also see a picture of the heatsink that the card uses through the back of the box thanks to the clear window.
Moving inside the package we have the Driver CD along with a quick installation guide.
In the cable department we have a TV-Out cable which splits off to S-Video and Component. We also have a single molex to PCI Express power connector alongside the standard DVI to VGA connector we see in most packages.
Also in the package is an audio cable for your video card and a DVI to HDMI adapter which with the assistance of the mentioned cable can pass both video and audio.While the package doesn't include a full version game it's a very good package none the less; the inclusion of the HDMI adapter and the cable for audio to pass through makes it one of the best 8800GT packages we have seen to date.

The Card

The CardMoving onto the actual card it's no surprise that the heatsink takes up the whole front of the card. We can see again the model, brand and the fact that this is an AMP! Edition, but the biggest thing worth mentioning is the bigger fan.
The bigger fan should show up more and more as it seems to be an official change from NVIDIA. What this should help us do is drop the temperature a little bit and also the noise levels.
Hidden away at the back of the card is a single PCI Express power connector that we have seen on all 8800GT cards, so it comes as no surprise.
Across the top of the card we can see the standard SLI connector, but what is really interesting here is the little white connector. With the cable provided in the package you plug one end into here and the other into your sound card or motherboard. This is needed if you want to get sound through the HDMI connector included in the package.
The I/O department is of course pretty standard with two Dual Link DVI Connectors and a TV-Out port.SpecificationWith the card carrying the AMP! naming scheme it is of course overclocked out of the box. The standard 8800GT comes in at 600MHz on the core, 1500MHz shader clock and 1800MHz DDR on the memory. ZOTAC have gotten pretty serious with the clocks on their 8800GT with the core coming in at 700MHz, shader carrying a clock of 1700MHz and the memory coming in at a healthy 2000MHz DDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark05

Test System SetupProcessor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)Motherboard(s): ASUS Blitz Extreme (Supplied by ASUS)Memory: 2 X 1GB Corsair XMS3 DDR-3 1066MHz 7-7-7-21 (Supplied by Corsair)Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA-2 Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows VistaDrivers: Catalyst 7.11, Forceware 169.06 (8800GTS 512MB)With the 8800GT AMP! Edition from ZOTAC in hand we have bought in a stock clocked 8800GT from ASUS along with the Crossfire 3850 setup to see just what such a highly overclocked 8800GT can offer us.One area that is definitely worth keeping an eye out for is the temperature and noise department. Hopefully noise and temperature has dropped with the new design. We will have a look at some 3D performance in XP and Vista first though. Let's move forward!3DMark05Version and / or Patch Used: Build 130Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark05/Buy It Here
3DMark05 is now the second latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and above.For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.
We can see here that at the lower resolution the highly overclocked 8800GT from ZOTAC doesn't show a lot between the Crossfire solution and the single card one. When we move up though we can see the CF setup pull away, but it's not by a huge margin.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06

3DMark06Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/Buy It Here
3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.
We can see in 3DMark06 that the Crossfire solution is able to leap ahead a fair bit more. With the synthetics out the way let's see what happens when we jump into the real world.

Benchmarks - Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)

Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)Version and / or Patch Used: Latest from SteamTimedemo or Level Used: Custom TimedemoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com Product Homepage: http://www.half-life2.comBuy It Here
By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism, responsiveness and new HDR technology, Half-Life 2 Episode One opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies.We benchmark Half Life 2 Episode One with our own custom timedemos as to avoid possible driver optimizations using the "record demo_name" command and loading the timedemo with the "timedemo demo_name" command - For a full list of the commands, click here.
In the first of our real world tests we can see that the overclocked 8800GT from ZOTAC can come out ahead of the CF solution at every resolution.

Benchmarks - Prey

PreyVersion and / or Patch Used: UnpatchedTimedemo or Level Used: HardwareOC Custom BenchmarkDeveloper Homepage: http://www.humanhead.com Product Homepage: http://www.prey.comBuy It Here
Prey is one of the newest games to be added to our benchmark line-up. It is based off the Doom 3 engine and offers stunning graphics passing what we've seen in Quake 4 and does put quite a lot of strain on our test systems.
Prey which tends to favor NVIDIA offerings shows the 8800GT AMP! Edition from ZOTAC coming out well ahead.

Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R.Version and / or Patch Used: UnpatchedTimedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.vugames.com Product Homepage: http://www.whatisfear.com/us/Buy It Here
F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is an intense combat experience with rich atmosphere and a deeply intense paranormal storyline presented entirely in first person. Be the hero in your own spine-tingling epic of action, tension, and terror...and discover the true meaning of F.E.A.R.
F.E.A.R. really manages to make good use of Crossfire and SLI, which means here that it comes out ahead. The 8800GT from ZOTAC still continues to hold itself and put out some good numbers.

Benchmarks - Company of Heroes

Company of HeroesVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.7Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.relic.comProduct Homepage: http://www.companyofheroesgame.comBuy It Here
Company of Heroes, or COH as we're calling it, is one of the latest World War II games to be released and also one of the newest in our lineup of benchmarks. It is a super realistic real-time strategy (RTS) with plenty of cinematic detail and great effects. Because of its detail, it will help stress out even the most impressive computer systems with the best graphics cards - especially when you turn up all the detail. We use the built-in test to measure the frame rates.
We can see the CF solution comes out slightly ahead, but considering the price of it compared to a single 8800GT from ZOTAC it's not enough to justify the cost.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict

World in Conflict (DX9)Version and / or Patch Used: DemoTimedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.massive.se Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
We can see in WIC that all cards are very close together with no real differences across the board.

High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AFOur high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.3DMark06
The 8800GT AMP! Edition from ZOTAC sits about 30% behind the Crossfire setup here, but at considerably less cost it's not a huge deal. The other thing is we're only dealing with a synthetic benchmark here and ultimately that's not all that important.Half Life 2 (Episode One HDR)
We can see that the 8800GT AMP! Edition is considerably faster than the Crossfire solution here.Prey
Again we see in a real world environment the 8800GT AMP! Edition comes out well ahead compared to the Crossfire setup.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - Vista

3DMark06Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/Buy It Here
3DMark06 is the very latest version of the "Gamers Benchmark" from FutureMark. The newest version of 3DMark expands on the tests in 3DMark05 by adding graphical effects using Shader Model 3.0 and HDR (High Dynamic Range lighting) which will push even the best DX9 graphics cards to the extremes.3DMark06 also focuses on not just the GPU but the CPU using the AGEIA PhysX software physics library to effectively test single and Dual Core processors.
We continue to see the AMD Crossfire solution come out ahead in the synthetic benchmark.

Benchmarks - Call of Juarez (DX10) - Vista

Call of Juarez (DX10)Version and / or Patch Used: DX10 Benchmark DemoTimedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.techland.pl/en/ Product Homepage: http://www.coj-game.comBuy It Here
Call of Juarez is a Western-themed FPS from Techland. The North America release was one of the first games to utilize DX10.Call of Juarez is loosely based on a number of Western movie hits from the last four decades, particularly the Spaghetti Westerns that became popular in the sixties and early seventies. The game features two different characters: Billy "Candle", a young fugitive accused of murder and the Reverend Ray, an ex-outlaw who turned to religion, believing that God himself has chosen Ray to be the instrument of His wrath.
Yet when we go real world the 8800GT AMP! Edition is able to sneak out ahead without any real dramas.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet (DX10) - Vista

Lost Planet: Extreme ConditionVersion and / or Patch Used: DemoTimedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.capcom.com Product Homepage: http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_lostplanet_home.html
Driven to the brink of extinction on ice-covered wastelands, humankind fights to survive. From extreme conditions and insurgent Snow Pirates to hostile gargantuan alien Akrid, all that you can trust are your instincts. Combining a gripping single player campaign and intense multiplayer modes with support for up to 16 players online, Lost Planet is an epic gaming masterpiece. Enormous world maps unfold as players' battle across vast snow fields and deserted cities either on foot or in armed, robotic Vital Suits.
Lost Planet sees big gains from the overclocked offering and manages to be well ahead of the Crossfire solution.

Benchmarks - Company of Heroes (DX10) - Vista

Company of HeroesVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.7Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.relic.comProduct Homepage: http://www.companyofheroesgame.comBuy It Here
Company of Heroes, or COH as we're calling it, is one of the latest World War II games to be released and also one of the newest in our lineup of benchmarks. It is a super realistic real-time strategy (RTS) with plenty of cinematic detail and great effects. Because of its detail, it will help stress out even the most impressive computer systems with the best graphics cards - especially when you turn up all the detail. We use the built-in test to measure the frame rates.
Finally we leave with COH and the Crossfire solution coming out ahead at the highest resolution, but not by loads.

Temperature and Sound Tests

Temperature Tests
With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
The new fan helps keep temperature way down compared to the standard 8800GT cooling solution found on the ASUS offering.Sound Tests
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
As you would expect noise levels are down also thanks to the larger fan not having to spin as fast.

Power Consumption Tests

Power Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
Power is slightly up compared to the standard clocked 8800GT, but we put this down to the extra speed on offer.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts ZOTAC have always given us a fairly decent product. While most of the time we see the reference design from them, when we get an AMP! Edition in our hands it's all smiles as they tend to really put the card through its paces and get a good overclock out of it.Priced at just over $400 AUD it's a bit pricey, but it's fast....very fast considering the price and the new cooler design being nothing short of fantastic. We're still disappointed that ZOTAC haven't included a game in the package but the inclusion of the big overclock and the DVI to HDMI connector that is capable of transferring audio makes the package on a whole very good, and one of the better 8800GT ones we've seen thus far.The best news of it all now is that the ZOTAC cards are available locally; we knew it was only a matter of time till someone picked up the distribution, and with cards like the 8800GT AMP! Edition it's clear that ZOTAC are going to do well.It will be nice to see what happens with the 8800GTS and if we get an AMP! Edition of that along with the new D9 video cards due out in February of next year.
What do TweakTown awards and ratings mean? Click!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles